The Institute of Event Management has been launched, providing the UK meetings and events industry with a body for professional development.
The organisation was incorporated last week and has been endorsed by John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism & Heritage.
In a letter to Susan Spibey, the Institute’s planning board chair, Penrose wrote: “Business Tourism contributes £36bn a year and plays a vital role in the UK’s economy. Nevertheless, I want us to capture an even higher share of the international market. To do this we need to capitalise on the professionalism of our business tourism offer. The government supports the aims of any organisation which seeks to raise the skills base.”
Spibey, who has many years experience as a professional congress organiser with such bodies as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the United Nations, added: “The legal entity is the critical thing and allows us to move forward with funding applications and development of accreditation processes. The website domain is secured and we hope in the next few months to be able to start populating the site with information. I’m speaking to the highest levels of government, which has just as much to gain by improving education and setting up accreditation as the events industry does. Currently, the UK has 40-plus universities with event industry qualifications without there being any continuing education.”
She added: “The institute will offer resources to the whole plethora of the event industry, for different levels and different sectors. We’re also going out into the industry to see what is needed as far as further education is concerned. The Olympics demonstrated the UK’s ability in the industry, and now we need the accreditation and recognition to help capture increased business."
The Institute is planning to finalise its website and begin signing up qualified professionals to educational courses by the end of the year.
Pictured: Susan Spibey