Figureheads from the event suppliers and services sector reunited face-to-face after a year’s hiatus at the ESSA annual conference and awards ceremony.

Specialist event insurance company InEvexco has stepped forward to support ESSA members with a flexible approach to insurance that is tailored to the events industry, now that there is a clearer path out of lockdown and into the future.

“We are in unprecedented times where normal business isn’t really normal, and where everything will have to adapt,” explains InEvexco managing director, Mark Clayton. “And that also includes insurance policies for businesses operating in the event industry.”

InEvexco is rolling out a programme of flexible insurance policies that correlate more directly with the business on the books, it takes into account the volume of work in hand and how that will increase as the industry unlocks.

“Matching insurance policies to the risk at that moment is critical if we are to see the industry get back on its feet and kickstart the economy. Being underinsured is arguably more  damaging than being overinsured so we are launching a programme of flexibility where we will work with our clients and the insurer to match policy and premium to trade, risk and exposure. We don’t want our clients to sacrifice important cover to achieve a false saving so we will aid customers to hold relevant insurance with an appreciation of the sectors likely exit of these dark times.  They will not be paying for cover that they will not need at the moment but we will also work with them to make sure that as business  returns they remain covered for the increase in exposure,” added Clayton.

Luke Facey, managing director of Alfa Display Limited applauded the initiative, “We’ve had such a period of uncertainty over the last year and a half, having to reduce business costs and adapt to jobs being postponed or cancelled at a moment’s notice. Now that we are starting to grow back again, it’s been critical to have the support of an insurance broker that understands our industry, and enables flexibility in our insurance. 

Discounted rates available to ESSA members for vehicles under 3.5 tonne Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) represent approximately 46% - 47% discount off standard rates through AA.

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).

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

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

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP), the umbrella body and advocacy group representing the UK events sector, has today published its Shape of Events Report.

Today the Association of Event Venues (AEV) has announced the publication of the 2021 edition of the eGuide, with significant updates and major revisions to 10 sections of the document which provides essential and straightforward guidance on best practice to the UK event industry.

The Event Industry Alliance (EIA) has announced today, 20 August, that the new edition of its ‘All Secure Standard’ guidance has been prepared in line with guidance published by DCMS / Government and is now publicly available.

The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) has confirmed that Barmotion, the branded event hospitality specialist, is the first event supplier to join the association on its new 'ESSA Associate' tier of membership. ESSA Associate membership is a gateway to full membership.



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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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