Following a successful three years, VisitBritain is once again dedicating funds to support development of international business events in the UK.
Applications for grants have officially re-opened for VisitBritain’s Business Events Growth Programme. This follows a successful year which saw more than £173,000 of funding awarded to support UK destinations and venues in securing new international business events and grow the value of existing events through increased international delegate attendance.
VisitBritain’s Business Events Growth Programme provides support to the UK’s business events sector with two funding strands. The ‘Bid Enhancement and Support’ strand supports UK cities in bidding for international events. The ‘International Delegate Growth’ strand supports existing business events to boost international delegate attendance and profile.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “Following a very successful 2018/19 year for applications, we are very pleased to have supported UK wide events through the Business Events Growth Programme, demonstrating our commitment to growing this valuable sector and supporting our world-class destinations and venues to boost inbound business events.
“Working with the industry we can secure more international conferences, promote the UK as the premier destination for business events and grow local economies.”
Organisations can apply to the Business Events Growth Programme for grant-funding under each strand. Funding is open for applications from Convention Bureaus (CVBs), Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) or venues and event organisers including universities and associations.
Organisations can also apply on an ongoing basis for government advocacy to support the bid process for international events, or to grow the international profile of existing events, in many ways including letters of support and video messages from ministerial and senior UK Government officials.
To date the programme, launched in 2016 as the Event Support Programme, has supported 37 events and bids across the UK from Aberdeen to Bristol, London to Belfast, Brighton to Glasgow with more than £700,000 awarded.
VisitBritain promotes business events worldwide, under the Events are GREAT brand, part of the UK Government’s GREAT Britain campaign. Events are GREAT drives awareness of Britain’s destinations and products, highlighting its history of research, innovation and high-quality infrastructure, positioning it as a leading destination for business events.