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Behind the scenes: BVEP keeps up fight for struggling eventprofs

From the outbreak of the pandemic, the Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has been lobbying for support for the business meeting and events industry.

The BVEP, which is the umbrella body and advocacy group representing every part of the UK events sector, has been working closely with its partners and government departments to ensure the industry is up to date on current restrictions and guidelines and aware of what support packages have been made available.

It has also undertaken a programme of lobbying, through its Government Relations & Advocacy Group, to ensure that the industry is provided with a clear voice to government Ministers and Officials and that their needs and concerns are presented through regular evidence-based briefings.

“It’s at times like these strong trade associations and advocacy groups come into their own representing members on the critical issues,” BVEP chairman, Simon Hughes, told M&IT.

“The events industry is diverse and has a multitude of concerns, some affecting individual industry sectors and others where there is significant strength in acting collaboratively and collectively. The BVEP has, over the last 21 years, facilitated that collaboration and is best placed to continue to do so at this time of greatest need for the entire Industry.”

In addition, the BVEP has also continued to work closely with other recognised stakeholder and advocacy groups, including the Tourism Alliance, UK Events Industry Board, UK Hospitality, UK Inbound, The Tourism Industry Emergency Group and the APPG for Events to coordinate and support wider lobbying activities.

Other supportive activities undertaken by the BVEP in the last quarter include:

  • Attending regular meetings and carrying out both scheduled briefings with officials and Ministers from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCM) and Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Holding direct meetings with the Secretary of State and Ministers from DCMS & Ministers from BEIS
  • In conjunction with government officials, collated an industry-wide survey to provide an overall picture of industry viability and status relating to support packages for submission to the Treasury
  • Meeting with Treasury Officials to explain industry concerns and request additional business support
  • Meeting with the Secretariat of the Culture Media & Sport Select Committee to ask that future enquiries should include, as appropriate, evidence from the events sector
  • Meeting with Alex Sobell MP, Shadow Minister for Tourism, to brief him on the issues confronting the Industry
  • Attending meetings of the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group (TIER) and providing daily briefings to partners
  • Developing a specific Budget Submission to Treasury in consultation with Partners and DCMS which recommended nine key areas of financial support
  • Providing a briefing from Partners to the Chair and Officers of the newly reformed All Party Parliamentary Group for Events
  • Helping to re-establish the APPG for Events and working with its Secretariat and Advisors to create a series of sector-specific policy recommendations for the Covid Recovery Commission
  • Working with the Tourism Industry Council and Events Industry Board on responses to Recovery Planning. This will ensure the Industry is included both as part of the Visitor Economy Recovery Plan and also has a separate plan tailored to its specific requirements
  • Providing regular briefings to officials to highlight the challenge for supply chain business and freelancers and secure long term government support
  • Lobbying for support for event organisers not located in rateable premises, in collaboration with other representative bodies across the visitor economy and working with the Local Government Association to ensure guidance reflects inclusion of these businesses
  • Providing support and endorsement for the creation of a Climate Action Framework for the events industry
  • Working with key partners to launch an industry-wide commitment to Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity
  • Working on developing a research brief to prepare a report on the state of the Industry post-pandemic
  • Responding to regular questions from Partners and their members on COVID & Brexit guidance issues and seeking clarification from government Officials via the Cabinet Office
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