What is Driving the Growth of Venue Finding and Event Management Companies?

Event Management Companies

A question we get asked often is “what is driving the growth of venue finding and event management companies?’ and this is not an easy question to answer. However, what we can do is take a closer look at some of the key figures involved to see if this gives us a clearer idea.

Key statistics

Recent research shows that the conference and events industry contributes around £42 billion to the UK economy through the direct spend of attendees, delegates, and organisers themselves. If you include indirect and induced spending, as well as accompanying persons spend then the figure is closer to £50 billion. If we break this down by segment, it looks like this:

  • Conferences and meetings – £19.9bn
  • Exhibitions and trade fairs – £11bn
  • Sporting events – £2.3bn
  • Music events – £1.3bn
  • Corporate events – £1.2bn
  • Incentive travel & performance improvements – £1.2bn
  • Outdoor events – £1.1bn
  • Festivals – £1.1bn

How many people are employed by the events industry in the UK?

There are over 25,000 businesses currently listed as being in the events sector, including conference experts, destination management companies (DMC), destination marketing organisations (DMOs), event production companies, exhibition contractors, and event organisers. There are also thousands of supplier businesses as well, such as event insurance specialists, interpreters and translators, specialty caterers, telecommunications and IT companies, transport operators and so on.

If we look at all of these businesses as a whole, there are estimated to be around 570,000 full-time equivalent people working in the events industry, mostly in SMEs.

How many events are held in the UK each year?

So, we know that there are a lot of people employed in the UK event industry, and it generates a lot of money but how is this spread out? Well, we know from experience that there are around 1.3million events held in the UK on an annual basis which generated £40bn for the UK economy.

Most popular events by segment

#1 Charity events

Charity events have seen the most growth in the past few years, with some reporting a 50% increase in the number of attendees and a 700% increase in the number of events. Many organisations have seen event fundraising income rise in the past couple of years, with the majority of them saying that participants would consider supporting their charity again through the same type of fundraising event or even something a little different.

#2 Exhibitions and Trade Fairs

Exhibitions and trade fairs are key in the success of UK exports with many exhibitions held in the UK in the past helping to establish themselves as a strong base for international trade. The most recent figures we could find an estimate that £19.2bn was generated by exhibitions and trade fairs through destination and venue direct spend, attracting over 13 million visitors annually.

#3 Music Festivals and Concerts

Nearly 28million people attended music festivals and concerts in the UK last year, and they spent around £250 each per event! Music festivals and concerts are definitely a growing sector of events, as seen by the fact that around 24,000 people are employed in order to sustain the level of music tourism that the UK enjoys at the moment.

Another interesting statistic is that 41% of live music audiences are made up of tourists, and they are estimated to spend around £657 each when they attend a concert.

#4 Outdoor Events

You may be surprised to learn that around 7000 events are held outdoor every year, and these include agricultural shows, charity events, craft events, major festivals, and small village events as well as sporting events. Thanks to the success of the Olympics in 2012 the UK has managed to establish itself as a leader in hosting outdoor events, with nearly £2bn people attending outdoor events in the past two years.

No matter what you are planning, whether it be event management London or an outdoor conference in Glasgow, the team at Conferences Group is here to help.


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