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Government funding available to help bring international events to UK

VisitBritain has released details about the Government’s Business Events Growth Programme.

The programme has been designed to support the attraction of international business events, which VisitBritain say align with the Government's priority industry sectors, and the growth of the international profile of business events in the UK. 

Through the programme, VisitBritain will support all organisations in hosting international business events in the UK, whether they would like to win international events or to develop, grow and internationalise existing events.

VisitBritain will offer three types of support.

  • Bid Enhancement and Support to bid and win new international business events for the UK
  • International Delegate Growth to support the growth, development and internationalisation of business events in the UK
  • Government Advocacy to support the UK’s business events industry and adding value to your events by working with HM Government

Funding applications are open for the financial year 2021/22, up to 31 March 2022, and VisitBritain has said it will welcome applications from organisations including but not limited to event organisers, convention bureau or destination management organisations, and universities or associations.

Proposals are accepted for support of up to £20,000 per event or bid. However, support can be requested beyond this amount but must be supported by a strong business case. VisitBritain said that in “exceptional circumstances”, they may consider proposals requiring less than £5,000.

Read more here.

Bid Enhancement and Support 

Financial support is available up to the value of £20,000 to support cities in bidding for international business events. Funding granted will assist in bid costs for an international business event that is not currently held in the UK, to help boost the potential of winning it for the UK.

Exceptional proposals, backed by a strong business case, requiring more than £20,000 per bid, may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Funds could be used to support indicative activities as communications and digital activity,

media/social media activity in support of the bid, sales and marketing activity, translation costs, and live or virtual site inspections.

Apply here.

International Delegate Growth 

Financial support is available to recurring business events that are held in the UK, up to the value of £20,000 gross per event. Funds would be to support the growth, development and internationalisation of business events, growing its economic benefits through additional international visitor spend, and also through encouraging greater international trade and investment potential for the UK. 

Funds could be used to support and international delegate marketing campaign through digital or trade media channels, communications and digital activity, PR, activations in markets to drive conversion or attract more delegate to the business event, attraction of high-profile speakers and targeted international delegates acquisition.

Apply here.  

Government Advocacy 

VisitBritain works with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and other cross-government partners to offer Government Advocacy to UK organisations. VisitBritain will make requests to the relevant Government departments that could aid the winning of international business events to the UK, or to grow the international profile of existing UK business events.

Government Advocacy support can take many forms, such as letters or videos of support from ministerial or senior government, a welcome video from ministerial or senior government figures in support of the upcoming the event, welcoming attendees or delivering a keynote speech.

Apply here.