As the third biggest industry in the UK, events are worth a staggering £46billion. But, are we taken seriously and is our value recognised? Speaking at the Event Production Show 2018 are The Fair’s CEO Nick Morgan, Alan Miller of The Night Time Industries Association, David Tunnicliffe Commercial Director of GL Events UK and James Heappey a Member of Parliament for The Well’s Committee. They argue that the events industry deserves greater recognition and promotion at a global level. But most importantly, how can we claim this?

In a world where statistics and data reign supreme one of the most significant challenges the events industry faces is our lack of hardwire data. A void that undoubtedly contributes to the perception of events as only holding value within the perimeter of their heras fence; and generates hostility and nervousness among Councils and Local Authorities, especially towards events they are unfamiliar with. Although this perception is flawed, it is also widespread and the real value of events in bringing together communities and encouraging tourism, growth and regeneration is often overlooked.

The panel highlighted critical difficulties for the events industry. First our failure to sit neatly within a single department or comply to the linear structures of Government, and second the lack of involvement local councillors have in events which generates fear and detachment amongst key decision makers. 

To combat negativities The Night Time Industries Association has a role to play in the sharing of positive testaments in order to repose the narrative and boost the profile of the events industry among policymakers. While event organisers must involve local councillors and residents in our events so they share and understand the value of events through experiencing them. If we are to be taken seriously and really valued we need to convincingly tell the positive stories of our industry, shout about the unforgettable experiences we create, the benefits that we bring to the wider community, and how events encourage investment in the UK and boost our commercial viability. As without broader recognition and support we could face greater challenges in the future. 

Are you doing your bit for our beloved events industry? 

If you are an event organiser, make sure you take the positively affected local people with you stakeholder meetings. And as a valued participant in events, make sure you’re supporting your local events organisers by publicly speaking of the positive impacts they’re having on you.