EUROPE – The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the UK events industry lobbying association, has urged new ministers to implement, without delay, the government’s Events Strategy, launched just prior to the General Election by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
BVEP chairman Michael Hirst told CMW: “The BVEP was quick to write and congratulate both Secretaries of State on their appointment and we have been delighted to hear back from both over the last couple of weeks. We are now in touch with the offices of both the ministers, and are looking at meeting them in the next month. Our main priority is to see the implementation of the DCMS strategy; one of the authors of which were at IMEX last week and attended the Politicians Forum. They were very encouraged by what they saw and we hope to see more progress in the coming months.”
The strategy report had recommended the establishment of an Events Industry Board to be co-chaired by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) and the meetings and the events industry.
The strategy also envisages the board would have the specific task of facilitating a more competitive environment for the industry in Britain and identifying and supporting international and domestic events aligned with the government’s economic priority sectors.
John Whittingdale, the new Secretary of State at DCMS, has acknowledged the importance of business tourism and expressed a wish to work closely with the industry.
Tracey Crouch, the new tourism minister, has also said that she looks forward to maintaining the good working relationship and discussing the next steps on the Business Visits and Events Strategy.
The new Secretary of State at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid, who launched the Strategy while Secretary of State at DCMS, is now in a potentially strong position to ensure the benefits of trade growth, inward investment, scientific research and knowledge exchange from a stronger business events sector are delivered. His department has indicated it is considering building on the strategy report, in discussions with Officials and with the No 10 Policy Unit, to focus on relevant economic sectors and regions of the country where the greatest opportunities exist.
BVEP chairman Michael Hirst said: “I am reassured by the feedback I have received that the strategy is very much on ministers’ radar. Obviously new ministers need some time to consider all the various policy areas in which they are involved. However it is clear that with the new ministers already having a strong understanding of the benefits from business tourism, through their past membership of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, and with Sajid Javid, as the new Secretary of State at BIS and the original architect of the Events Strategy, we should be able to expect the full support of the two government departments on which we most depend to move our industry forward”.