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BVEP Launch Report into Global Subvention Practices

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has today released a report that examines Britain’s competitive position in providing subvention and bid support for international conferences and events.

The 26 page report, prepared by Sally Greenhill of the Right Solution Limited and Tony Rogers of Tony Rogers Conference & Event Services, entitled ‘Subvention and Bid Support Practices for International Conferences and Events in Britain’, was commissioned as part of the Britain for Events campaign. It includes a detailed perspective on the issue of subvention and the forms of monetary and in-kind support that subvention can take. 

Recognised nationally and internationally as one of the most important factors for attracting many types of conferences, in particular those affiliated to international associations, the report contains research undertaken among UK destinations and venues, overseas destinations and UK-based professional conference organisers and event management agencies. 

The extent to which the UK and UK destinations may be placed at a competitive disadvantage because of the levels of support offered by key competitors when bidding to attract major international events is also assessed, together with an indication of the costs and missed opportunities resulting from failed bids. 

The report concludes that the UK is at a clear competitive disadvantage when bidding for major international conferences and related events. With competition from new and emerging destinations, as well as existing key competitors set to further increase, Britain must face and address the commercial and competitive realities if it is to maximise its chances of success. 

The report suggests improvements to other forms of support offered, especially to international association congresses. This includes the adoption of a more innovative, creative and joined-up approach to bid support, and a clear demonstration of a real hunger to win more international conference and events business. 

Michael Hirst, OBE, Chairman of the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) comments; “This is the first report of its kind commissioned to look at subvention and bid support practices globally and their effect on the UK conference and event market in particular. It clearly shows that we are at a clear competitive disadvantage when compared to other global destinations and in particular those from emerging markets. 

Increasing the number of events staged in Britain should be an essential part of the government’s growth strategy because of their ability to position Britain at the very forefront of knowledge exchange, professional development and technical, medical and scientific advancement, and in employment creation and in new investment, innovation and technology transfer”. 

The report will now be put out for wider industry consultation, including seeking input from the Minister for Tourism, John Penrose, members of the BVEP and the newly formed All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, VisitBritain, VisitEngland and members of the Tourism Alliance. 

It is expected, following the consultation, to make firm recommendations as to how Britain can develop its subvention and bid support practices to become more internationally competitive.

Eventia Members can view the report here.

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