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

The report was compiled using responses from more than 300 professionals and organisations from across the UK events sector and authored by Richard Smith, a tourism research, intelligence and planning expert at Team Tourism Consulting, and John Gallery, chair of the BVEP’s Research Group. The report contains several headline findings, including:

  • Overall event activity was down 95 per cent across the UK during the past 12 months
  • The BVEP estimates the UK events industry lost £57 billion of value from the pre-pandemic level of £70 billion
  • Seventeen per cent of event and exhibition businesses permanently ceased trading during 2020
  • 126,000 jobs were lost during the same period
  • However, the BVEP finds that the pandemic has also been a catalyst for change and innovation across the entire events sector
  • While the industry has been far more engaged with government during this period, there is still a need for greater, deeper, and longer-term industry representation

Simon Hughes (pictured), chair of the BVEP said: “This report shows both the devastating impact that the pandemic has wrought on the UK events industry over the past 18 months, but also how resilient and adaptive we have shown ourselves to be. Most importantly, our report shows the significant opportunities that can be there for all of us in the future, if we continue to work together as a single united industry, and that is something the BVEP will continue to encourage and facilitate.”

Sections of the report include an overview of the current landscape, the impacts felt due to the COVID-19 pandemic, insights into the road to recovery and building back better.