BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Industry Forum proposes greater collaboration over event qualifications and professional framework

At a Forum held by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) on 28 October at the University of Westminster, 36 event industry representatives, including leading academics, voted in favour of greater understanding and coordination of industry qualifications and routes to professionalism as a first step in bringing the Industry’s diverse skills and professional development requirements together.

Organised by BVEP Vice Chair, Caroline Jackson, and Rachel Ley, Head of EVCOM’s Professional Development Committee, the Forum examined the feasibility of harmonising and validating continued professional development (CPD) and entry qualifications for people working within an industry that spans the Olympic Games and Glastonbury Festival, via corporate events, exhibitions and brand activations.

Its conclusion was that there existed much strength within the event workforce and that more should be done to centrally map and promote the many courses and certifications already being offered by the industry’s dedicated trade and professional bodies and existing education providers, especially the University degree courses.

More co-ordinated effort could be put into raising the profile of the professional activities and conduct that has made the industry so successful on the world stage. The aim would be to ensure that the events industry was perceived as a rewarding profession.

BVEP Chair Michael Hirst said:

“This is a welcome next step to bring together all the bodies that run training and skill programmes to map what is available and work towards a more coordinated and comprehensive programme for the Industry. The Events Industry is a hugely diverse sector, which makes it unrealistic to try to follow models set by professions such as accountancy and law. What is needed is a sound understanding of how career advancement can be best delivered and the agreement to bring together the Industry’s organisations who provide training and skills development is an excellent first step.”

Led by facilitator Chris Elmitt of Crystal Interactive, the Forum challenged participants to look for ways to meet the professional development needs, both of industry newcomers – with and without Events Management degrees – and those with five-to-ten years’ experience.

Among the models proposed was a council of representatives from existing trade and professional bodies, which would define levels of achievement rising from Entry to Fellowship status. Alternatively, a formal, funded organisation devising a set of standards that would form the basis for accredited qualifications.

Caroline Jackson said:

“We should treat this as an evolutionary process. The outcomes from the Forum will inform my wider review of how best to take forward the professionalism agenda which I hope to report back to the BVEP in the late Spring of next year”.

The immediate actions agreed at the Forum include an audit of courses and qualifications available both nationally and internationally. A dedicated portal on the BVEP website will be created to publicise these, alongside university courses and the soon-to-be-launched Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme.

Rachel Ley said: “I’m confident that this is the right stepping stone for now. We have a deliverable action plan and an opportunity for academia and industry to continue to work together in raising the profile of events industry professionalism both here in the UK and around the world. Let’s not forget that today’s students are tomorrow’s clients.”


For more information contact Ken Kelling 01892 619100 / 07941 218915 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Robert Wright 01892 619100 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to editors

About Business Visits & Events Partnership
The Business Visits & Events Partnership is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.

The BVEP exists to:

  • garner the cohesive opinion of these stakeholders and to collectively influence and develop policies, practices and strategies that support and generate growth in the sector
  • raise sector awareness through clear communications of the social and economic benefits of the business visits and events sector.

The Partnership seeks to provide a cohesive point of view for the entire business visits and events sector. The BVEP works with prominent sector leaders including its partners, government departments and agencies to influence and develop policies and practices favourable to the growth of business events, and trade and creative enterprise through business visits and events.

It has the support of the leading trade and professional organisations and government agencies with a shared interest in the economic benefit and growth of conferences, meetings, exhibitions, trade fairs, incentive travel, corporate hospitality, ceremonies, as well as other business, sporting, cultural and festival events.