The results for the 2017/18 period suggest a like-for-like increase in overseas turnover of 36 per cent with £2.1 billion generated by those UK businesses that took part in the research project. According to the latest ONS figures, this places the UK events industry in the top ten UK service exports.
Stephen Brooks, chairman of the AEO International Working Group that commissioned the study, said: “The AEO’s Global Event Study provides a definitive profile of the extent to which UK-based organisers are instrumental in running shows throughout the world. The number of international events, the quality of those events and the number of countries in which they take place is exceptional.”
The number of events that are organised outside the UK by participating AEO members has increased to 1,224 from 1,057 since the first study was released in 2012. This compares favourably to the number of events that are organised in the UK (1,035) as reported in the recent SASiE survey.
Chris Skeith, chief executive of AEO, added: “The Global Events Study shows that more organisers of traditional trade or consumer fairs have held a greater number of conferences, conventions and academic or scientific events during the past year with growth in numbers showing in North America, Western Europe and the Far East.
“This indicates that, having invested resource in new markets, international organiser members are now benefiting from this by developing different types of events in regions they already have experience of operating in.
“I’m delighted the UK events industry is such a major contributor to export revenues. Due to the different types of events and range of sectors and markets in which to launch new ventures, the events industry has traditionally shown strong resilience and growth and it is fantastic news that this looks set to continue for AEO members.”