The Economic Impact of Events and Experiential Venues

The UK has consistently been a top destination for events boasting some exceptional venues including ExCeL London, NEC Birmingham, the International Convention Centre Belfast, Farnborough International and Aberdeen Exhibition and Convention Centre.

Facts & Figures

There are over 1.3 million business events held in the UK annually. Just under £40 billion was spent by those attending these events, and the segment generates more than £20.6 billion in gross value added (GVA) and £58.4 billion in gross domestic product (GDP).

The event sector is worth a massive £42.3 billion to the UK economy in terms of direct spend by delegates, attendees and organisers. In addition to this, the spend by those accompanying attendees and induced spending surrounding the event adds a substantial amount.

Sport Spotlight

The sports industry alone has a major impact on the economy and has become a £20 billion-a-year industry, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs. World-class events such as Wimbledon, British Open Golf Championships and Rugby & Football Leagues/Cups, all have a massive impact on the venues themselves, accommodation providers, travel, shops, bars, restaurants and car parks.

Large scale sporting events such as the Tour de France Grand Départ in 2014 and the London Olympic Games in 2012 had a massive impact, boosting the UK economy by £102 million and £9.9 billion respectively.

It is clear the sporting industry is booming with a growing number of opportunities to monetise on. Venues such as Tottenham Football Club and Wembley stadium are fantastic examples of venues developing to transform the guest experience, utilise technology innovations and maximise returns from attendees.


The tourism sector is predicted to grow at an annual rate of 3.8% through to 2025 – significantly faster than the overall UK economy (with a predicted annual rate of 3% per annum) and much faster than sectors such as manufacturing, construction and retail.

There is obviously concerns surrounding BREXIT, however, earlier this year (June 2019), the UK’s first-ever Tourism Sector Deal was announced to help support the country’s position as a key player in the global tourism sector. The deal is a huge boost for the tourism and hospitality sector as it will massively support the predicted influx of new overseas visitors coming to the UK (expected to grow by 23% by 2025). The deal’s investment plans will grow every region of the UK, with initial plans including £250,000 investment into conference centres, improve accessibility for those with disabilities, 10,000 new apprenticeships each year and the introduction of Tourism Zones.

Currently, the tourism industry is worth £68 billion to the UK economy, however, with the investments planned and continued growth in footfall, this figure has the potential to increase massively.

Looking to the future

With so much potential to be harnessed, it’s essential venue management teams are unified under the right long-term strategy, combined with the most effective ongoing operational management. We recruit leadership and management level positions that drive the operational excellence of experiential environments across the UK, so please get in touch to discuss how we can support your team or you in your next move.

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