Exhibitions + Congress
Home / UK Events Industry / Exhibitions + Congress
Sector at a Glance
Contributes circa £11 billion to the UK economy.
Supporting an estimated 180,000 businesses.
1100 UK exhibitions attracting circa 9 million visitors per year.
Sector Overview

Exhibitions + Congress

Trade exhibitions are aimed primarily at those working within a particular trade sector and its peripherals. Visitors to trade exhibitions are usually required to establish their trade credentials and buying power.

Trade exhibitions are quite diverse within their industry sector, with B2B services and equipment as the core focus, often in the IT/Telco sectors, alongside more specialist congress events which primarily support the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors.

Consumer shows (also referred to as public) are primarily organized to attract the consumer or general public and usually charge for admission. These are strongly orientated to the leisure, lifestyle, wedding and homeware sectors.

The business events sector contributes circa £11 billion to the UK economy. Trade and consumer exhibitions support an estimated 180,000 businesses. The main UK exhibition venues host 1100+ p.a. attracting circa 9 million visitors. Venues, organisers and suppliers including AV, exhibition design and construction companies all work together to deliver exhibitions.

Sector News
VisitScotland Business Events has introduced its inaugural publication, Journey to Change magazine. Tailored for international trade shows attended by VisitScotland and its Scottish partners, the digital magazine highlights Scotland’s strengths for hosting business events.
B Green
With so many event companies attaining B Corp status, we explore what the certification means and why your business should consider it. In recent years the event industry, like many other industries, has undergone a significant shift towards sustainability and corporate responsibility. With growing environmental concerns and increasing consumer demand for ethical business practices, event companies are seeking ways to align their operations with values that prioritise people and the planet. One powerful tool gaining traction in this movement is B Corp certification, which has gained enough traction that even big name brands such as Innocent drinks, The Body Shop, and Jamie Oliver are adopting it.
In The Bag
Virtual delegate goodie bags can tick many boxes for event planners as we move towards a sustainable future. Audience engagement is a top priority for successful events, with accessibility and sustainability always a consideration. Virtual goody bags can deliver all three for busy event professionals. A modern, sustainable twist on the traditional delegate bag, the bag is designed to be tailored and branded for any event and allows event organisers to share sponsors’ and exhibitors’ promotional goodies including product discounts, vouchers, competition prizes, exclusive content, and digital downloads.
On the Move
Portable catering is the way to go for flexibility and convenience for your delegates. Buzzibarista is a barista-standard coffee shop with a difference. Owned by Simon and Pamela Lea this portable catering company runs out of their electric Volkswagen ID Buzz. Taking their EV everywhere from venues UK-wide to the middle of vast open fields, catering for all kinds of events from conferences to team away days – their mobile business model displays how portable catering can secure a high-quality, flexible, and considerate service for your delegates no matter the location
Latest Sector Research
Sector Events Calendar
July 24
Inspirational Venue Roadshow: The Bull
The second Inspirational Venue Roadshow in our Summer Series 2024 will take place at The Bull A peaceful 4-star hotel in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire with beautiful landscaped gardens and an award-winning restaurant and bar. Opened in 1688 as a coaching inn, the picturesque hotel combines warm British hospitality with modern comforts. The Bull offers 147 peaceful bedrooms and suites. Several are spacious enough for families of four, and many have beautiful views over the gardens or Gerrards Cross common. The Bull can host from two to 220 guests. Four flexible event suites can divide into 13 separate, soundproof venues to meet your needs. Landscaped gardens are the perfect backdrop for photos, receptions, barbecues and team-building activities. Just a direct train to London Marylebone in 20 minutes or catch a 20-minute cab ride to Heathrow Airport. The M40, M25, M1 and M4 are close, as are attractions such as Windsor Castle […]
September 24
The world of live entertainment technology will once again convene at Olympia London from 1-3 September for PLASA Show 2024, to connect 200+ exhibitors with 5,000+ visitors from all corners of the live sector. PLASA Show will feature cutting-edge technologies from across the stage and studio lighting sectors. Many of the notable brands have featured in major events such as the Coronation Concert, Glastonbury Festival and Eurovision in the UK, to the World Cup in Qatar and the Superbowl in the US. In addition to the plethora of brands and new products, the three-day event will host 70+ keynote talks and interactive panel sessions. Across four dedicated theatre spaces, visitors will hear thought-leaders and technical experts discuss the most talked-about industry issues. Furthermore, PLASA Show offers plenty of practical training sessions and immersive demonstrations. These offer golden opportunities for visitors to get hands-on with – and up close to – […]
September 24
Inspirational Venue Roadshow: Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village & Spaces at The Spine
The final Inspirational Venue Roadshow in our Summer Series 2024 will take place at Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village Brand-new stylish hotel offers a variety of sophisticated meeting rooms, a 53sqm gym and both casual all-day dining options including a ground floor coffee shop and a contemporary restaurant and bar. Spaces at The Spine offers a range of dynamic spaces for conferences, workshops, dining and more. Located inside The Spine building in Liverpool’s Knowledge Quarter, the venue can accommodate virtual and hybrid events showcasing the best-in-class building connectivity and agile audio-visual systems to create bespoke events time and time again Located in the City’s dynamic Knowledge Quarter, just minutes away from multiple University Campuses with the vibrant City Centre just 15 minutes walk. Great transport links including Lime Street Station and Edge Hill Overground within walking distance. Prime location with a direct connect next door to RCP Spaces at The Spine, […]
Business + Brand Experiences
Outdoor Events + Festivals
Get Involved

The event industry’s reliance on data to help it plan for the future, increase its resilience, manage risk and justify investment decisions, is growing year on year.

The engagement and access that The Power of Events (UK) has across all 7 sectors of the industry, enables data gathering and in-depth research projects to be delivered confidently and consistently. This will be primarily facilitated through the new insight app to be launched on 28th Sep 2023.

By bringing the industry and university partners together, research projects will be designed to deliver real benefits to the industry in terms of trend analysis, insights and performance improvements.

Our Supporters
Drawn from across the seven core sectors the Power of Events (UK) supporters are committed to showcasing the UK Event Industry.
Our Partners
The Power of Events (UK) partners are collaborating to share research, data and insights for the benefit of the whole UK Events Industry.