Events Industry Alliance publishes research into the economic impact of British exhibitions

Pooja Sharma
3 Min Read

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) has published the latest Economic Impact Study to quantify the economic significance of exhibitions in the UK.

The EIA works on behalf of the Association of Event Organizers (AEO), the Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) to support the events industry through parliamentary meetings, presenting policy questions and delivering research.

Rachel Parker, director of AEV and EIA, underlined the importance of the research, saying: “The EIA’s main aim is to work with government to effectively represent the interests of business events in Britain. The results of the economic impact study will greatly support our case. It is invaluable to us and the sector.”

This report, the fourth of its kind, was first compiled in 2005 by KPMG and updated in 2011 by Oxford Economics (OE) using the same metrics and indicators.

Since then, OE has developed comprehensive global country-level models and integrated data from the EIA’s 2019 Size and Scale Index of Events (SASiE) report. This inclusion ensures that OE is working with a more reliable source of exhibition numbers. The model has been further refined for this year’s report.

Chris Skeith, CEO, AEO and EIA Director, commented: “The new report, again produced in partnership with UFI and compiled by OE, demonstrates the scale of the exhibition sector’s influence. It provides a clear snapshot of the trade fair industry statistics and direct expenditure, an analysis of the economic impact and the methods used to calculate it.”

The report shows that the UK exhibition industry generates £9.4 billion in trade and attracts 6.1 million visitors to Britain. It provides a comprehensive overview of expenditure and impact, distinguishing between direct, indirect and induced effects.

Skeith added: “Pre-pandemic the industry sent £11 billion of trade to UK businesses and while we are not quite back to those levels yet, we are making significant progress. The events industry has proven its resilience and enduring presence, accounting for almost £5 billion of GDP, which is not far off the 2019 report.”

Andrew Harrison, Director of ESSA and EIA concluded: “Organisers, venues and suppliers collectively serve approximately 123,000 exhibitors and generate 99,000 jobs. The report clearly shows the strength of the events industry. We see the opportunities to drive incremental and significant economic growth and are ready to seize them.”

The report can be downloaded free of charge from the EIA website –

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