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BVEP welcomes new protocol to improve bidding prospects for events  

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has praised both VisitEngland and outgoing Minister for Tourism, Hugh Robertson MP, for seeing through the establishment of a Ministerial Support Initiative for business events. The initiative was confirmed before the minister left DCMS to take up his new role at the Foreign Office as part of the government’s recent Ministerial reshuffle.

The set up of the initiative was labelled a priority by the BVEP following its Subvention and Bid Support Practices report (2011) as part of a review to help the UK events industry win more international business. VisitEngland has led on the introduction of the initiative and has now established a working process alongside the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which involves other government ministers and departments as appropriate to the event subject to the bid process.

“The support of Ministers can have a major impact on the winning of major convention business," comments Simon Gidman, Head of Business Visits & Events, VisitEngland. "VisitEngland, in partnership with England's leading events destinations, are targeting international events from our priority economic sectors including life sciences, energy, engineering and the creative industries.”

“These events bring together thought-leaders from around the globe and we want to ensure those influential leaders are discussing and debating the latest issues in their field in England - as well as spending their money in our towns and cities of course!” Gidman continues. “The Ministerial Bid Support Initiative is a key element in helping bring those events to England and I would like to thank the Ministers for their support.”

“We’re delighted that VisitEngland have taken the lead on this important initiative and have set up a system with DCMS that demonstrates our desire to win and welcome major international conventions to destinations throughout the Country,” comments Michael Hirst, Chair of the BVEP. “As Sports and Tourism Minister, Hugh Robertson understood how important ministerial involvement has been recently in attracting world-class events.

The Ministerial Support Initiative will be managed through VisitEngland working closely with DCMS and will be applicable to international congress and convention bids. New Minister for Tourism, Helen Grant has also added her own support for the initiative, commenting: “The London 2012 Games put the UK in the international spotlight and has boosted our ability to compete successfully for major global events. It’s important we capitalise on that further and attract international events from a range of different sectors to stimulate economic growth and give a boost to the tourism industry.

“We will continue to work in partnership with VisitEngland and other stakeholders to see where Government can play a role in supporting event bids from UK destinations,” Grant concluded.

“We are delighted Hugh Robertson acted enthusiastically to set up this new arrangement and that his successor, Helen Grant MP is giving the initiative her fullest support,” continued Hirst. “It is now down to destination management organisations and event organisers to make full use of this opportunity and activate the resource that is now in place to win more business.”

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