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Event industry leaders gather for Government advisory panel

The Events Industry Board recently hosted the first of its biannual 'Events Industry Senior Leaders Advisory Panel' meetings.

The roundtable welcomed representatives from the UK government and the EIB, discussing a shared vision of how to maintain the UK as a leading country to host business events, congresses and conferences.

The panel comprised senior leaders from UK venues, production companies and creative industries. Its results will help guide Ministers and Officials with guidance and feedback when creating policies around events.

Michael Hirst OBE, chair of the EIB and Lord Ashton of Hyde, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport, were both in attendance.

The first roundtable focused on opportunities and challenges to competitiveness, including conference centre capacity and investment, transportation, connectivity and skills.

Michael Hirst commented: "With the very welcome news of the Government’s Tourism Sector Deal and a new UK Government’s International Business Events Action Plan for the UK, it’s more important than ever that we seek as wide a range of views as possible about the way ahead.

"The next few years are a crucial time for the events industry - business events have never been so high on the Government’s agenda as they are now. Collaboration between event businesses, the EIB and other government Departments is essential if we are to optimise opportunities and grow the value and volume of business events held in Britain."

The full list of panel attendees can be found below:


- Lord Ashton of Hyde, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (Chair)
- Michael Hirst OBE, Events Industry Board (Chair)
- Conrad Bird, Department for International Trade
- Peter Duthie, Scottish Events Campus
- Ian Edwards, ICC Wales
- Simon Kimble, Clarion Events
- Kerrin MacPhie, VisitBritain
- Nigel Nathan, Olympia
- Sheila Pardoe, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- Dale Parmenter, DRP Group
- Jeremy Rees, ExCel London
- Mark Shashoua, ITE Group
- Giles Smith, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- Laura Stocken, Private Office for the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism
- Mark Taylor, QEII
- Catherine Toolan, ICC Belfast
- Michael Wyrley-Birch, TRO Group