Stress Matters, in partnership with multidisciplinary researchers from the University of Hertfordshire and Walters Research and Consulting have published the results of their latest research study into the wellbeing and mental health of eventprofs to celebrate World Mental Health Day (10th October 2021).

Our sister association, AEV, will hold its first post-pandemic conference on Friday 26 November 2021 at the Business Design Centre,.

It gives us great pleasure in announcing this year's ESSA Awards open for entry. A key part of the ESSA calendar since 2017, we're so happy that after a gap in 2020 they are back on 02 December at Arena MK.

We have been alerted to a consultation that the Government has put out regarding mandatory COVID certification in a plan B scenario – see below.

ESSA has announced details of its schedule for the ESSA Conference and Award Dinner, at Arena MK on December 2, 2021, in conjunction with its headline sponsors, BeMatrix and JL Live.

As the largest ESSA event since lockdown in 2019, this year's conference will feature an opening keynote address from James Poulter, former Head of Lego Group’s Emerging Platform team and a leading thought leader and keynote speaker on the future of work, voice technology, conversational artificial intelligence, and social media.

Andrew Harrison elaborated on the schedule for the conference and awards, saying, "This is our first opportunity in two years to bring the membership together for a conference under one roof, and we're making the most of it with well-chosen, relevant content. Many points in the day will be familiar to previous conference delegates, including features like The Solutions Room, but we also have scheduled parallel break-out groups, available to pre-book, where members can delve into the detail of a range of pertinent topics including Diversity & Inclusivity, ESSA Accreditation, Local Authority Engagement, and Sustainability, amongst others."

The Awards Dinner will be different to previous years, as ESSA has created some new awards categories to recognise the work done by its members during the last 24 months, including Young Persons Award, Covid Hero Award, and the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Harrison concluded, "We will publish details and open nominations for the awards in October, and there are still some opportunities for partnership, sponsorship and exhibiting available. Members can also check the ESSA website regularly as we update the conference schedule with additional content. This is the time to unite with our industry colleagues and prepare for 2022, and the ESSA Conference and Awards Dinner is where we start that task in earnest."

Hello Members,

ESSA dedicated Member to Member Zooms are moving to once a month in a fixed position, the last Thursday of each month. 

ESSA has announced today, September 15, that its 2021 conference, dinner and awards will be returning to MK Arena, Milton Keynes on 2 December 2021 after a year's hiatus due to the pandemic.

The ESSA has welcomed Jane Whitaker of High Flying Events Crew Ltd to the association today, the first to join at the new Individual level of membership, announced at the ESSA AGM earlier this year.

Our sister association, AEO, is throwing a party for their 100th anniversary. As an AEV/ESSA member, not only can you attend at a special rate but you can also submit entries to the Classic Awards, for free!

  • New economic impact analysis by Tourism Economics suggests the UK’s business events industry is forecast to grow 43% by 2026
  • However, research also predicts business events sector unlikely to rebound to 2019 levels until 2023 at the earliest, indicating a slower recovery than for the rest of the economy
  • With spending on business events plummeting by around 80%of 2019 levels due to Covid
  • Attracting more international inbound delegates is key to turbo-charging sectoral recovery, with international delegates estimated to be worth six times more than domestic delegates by 2026 (£1078 for inbound delegates versus £180 for domestic delegates)
  • Business leaders call on Ministers to do more to support sectoral recovery, including measures to boost inbound international delegate market by further easing international travel restrictions safely

A new research report published today by the pro-cities advocacy group Cities Restart called ‘The Importance of International Conferences and Business Events to Restarting City Economies’, has revealed that spending on international conferences and business events for the UK is estimated to have been worth £19.4bn in 2019, but following the interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, by 2026 is forecast to be worth £27.6bn, a 43% increase. Although at the low point of the lockdown period spending on business events plummeted by around 80% of 2019 levels due to the pandemic.

The economic impact analysis commissioned by Cities Restart and carried out by Tourism Economics, has further found that inbound international delegates to international conferences and business events are significantly more lucrative than domestic delegates. The research found that in 2019 the average international delegate was worth £864, whereas the value of an average domestic delegate was £154. But by 2026 this is forecast to grow to £1078 for an international delegate and £180 for a domestic delegate. Meaning by then, international delegates will be worth six times their domestic counterparts.

However, the research has also highlighted that the business events industry, which has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, faces a number of immediate challenges, with the sector not forecast to rebound to 2019 levels until 2023. Suggesting a slower and more protracted recovery than what many have predicted for the wider economy.

In particular, London’s business events sector, which accounts for 40% of all spending on international conferences and business events across the UK, faces a potentially more challenging future. In part because of its greater dependence on lucrative inbound international delegates.  With the research suggesting that in a worst-case scenario spending on business events in the Capital may not return to 2019 levels until 2028 at the earliest. On the upside, if the worst-case scenario is avoided, by 2026 spending on business events in London alone, is forecast to be worth £10bn.

Business leaders are now calling on the Government to introduce additional support measures, particularly those aimed at boosting confidence and attracting delegates back to business events.

Jeremy Rees, Chief Executive of ExCeL London and Cities Restart Advisory Board Member said: “This research further highlights the crucial role business events play in driving positive economic impact in our major cities. Events are a huge catalyst for trade, driving billions of pounds worth of import and export activity, supporting thousands of jobs. They are also a key driver of the visitor economy, helping sectors including public transport, hospitality, accommodation and aviation to thrive. We need to ensure that this vital sector gets the support it needs, including measures to open-up international travel. This will enable the UK to retain a globally competitive, world class sector, that will drive our economy for years to come.”

Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive of UK Hospitality said:
“International conferences and business events support an interconnected economic eco-system. People attending these events also spend money on hotels, in restaurants, pubs and bars. The fact is the hospitality sector will not fully get back on its feet, until the business events sector is properly restarted. It is therefore imperative that the Government goes further in restarting and boosting the virtuous economic circle that business events help to drive. First and foremost, the Government must reassure the public and businesses that it is safe to attend events once more, confidence is key.”

Michael Hirst OBE, Chair of the Events Industry Board said:
“Business events have a unique role to play is show-casing ‘Global Britain’ to the rest of the world in the post-Brexit economic era, as well as fulfilling the Government’s Tourism Recovery Plan ambition to make the UK the world’s meeting place. This ambition will be realised by a reinvigorated Industry, working together with enhanced support from Government and its agencies, attracting major international conferences to be held here in the UK.”

Gavin Hayes, Director – Aviation and Travel of Cities Restart said:
“The message from our research is clear, if we are to effectively enable the rapid economic recovery of our cities post-Covid, then we must ensure we have a thriving business sector once more and capitalise on the economic opportunities they provide. With inbound international delegates set to be worth around six times domestic delegates in the not-so-distant future, we must do far more to attract these international visitors to attend UK-based business events. This must immediately include further steps to relax international travel restrictions safely.”

For further information/to arrange an interview call Gavin Hayes, Director – Aviation and Travel, Cities Restart on 07900 195591

Hello Members,


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