Add a SIC code to your business and let the events industry be counted

One of the reasons that parts of the industry have been excluded from support by the government is because from a statistics point of view, the industry is “invisible” with a lack of relevant Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) codes. Equally, many have remained unaware as to how important they are when it comes to the government analysing business sectors. 

ESSA have been working with the BVEP, #WeMakeEvents and PLASA, as well as others from the EU and USA, in campaigning for some changes to these codes to make them more relevant. However, that is going to take between three to five years as they are agreed internationally.

In the meantime, to create our own yardstick that we can monitor and use to inform the government in the future, we are asking every company to include at least one code from the selection below in addition to that which you currently use.

 Lets be counted


List up to Four Codes!

In the UK, you can list four codes on your return to Companies House, although most businesses only use one, and for many, this is not always relevant as the descriptions are not well matched.  As an example, recent analysis of ESSA members showed up to 50 different indivdual SIC codes were used by members as a description of their business. Equally, by using more than one, you can retain any existing key sector category such as manufacturing or transport but use the additional codes to flag your connection to the events sector.

The idea is to get all companies involved in ALL aspects of the events industry to use these codes – to help create data and visibility and to better demonstrate how financially significant the industry is.

We are aware that the descriptions that go with these codes are unlikely to be totally accurate to many of your businesses and we are campaigning to get the descriptions made ‘wider’. But in the meantime, we believe they will help achieve our aim of improving data and visibility.


We urge all suppliers to exhibitions, meetings and conferences, venues, organisers and gencies to do this.



Currently classified as: Activities of exhibition and fair organisers but please use for any activities within exhibition hall.

This subclass includes the organisation, promotion and/or management of events, such as business and trade shows and conventions, whether or not including the management and provision of the staff to operate the facilities in which these events take place. Click here to find out more


Currently classified as: Support activities to performing arts

This subclass includes support activities to performing arts for production of live theatrical presentations, concerts and opera or dance productions and other stage productions; activities of directors, producers, stage-set designers and builders, scene shifters, lighting engineers etc.; and activities of producers or entrepreneurs of arts live events with support activities to performances or without facilities. Click here to find out more


Currently classified as: Event catering activities.

This class includes the provision of food services based on contractual arrangements with the customer, at the location specified by the customer, for a specific event. Click here to find out more





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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