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James Heapey MP, Chair of All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, played a significant role in Lime Venue Portfolio’s latest Unique and Unusual report. In this blog he reflects on what makes a great event?

“The first insight that I had into the world of events was the massive global icon that takes place every couple of years in the heart of my constituency; Glastonbury. OK, a very good place to start, but a fitting one if we’re to understand what makes a great event, and why Britain is continually seen as ‘best practice’ in the world of global event management.

Since taking on the role of Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, my appreciation of the UK events industry has continued to grow, but my belief in it has never waned. From the outside spectacular of Glastonbury, to elite exhibitions, major set piece company conferences or small incentive programmes, the same things make each of these events.

For me great events capture the right mood, in the right place, at the right time.

It seems that the very best event organisers are given an almost psychic ability to capture the mood of a community, a company, or an organisation, and bring it together with content that inspires them. They pick their moment, and in Britain they have a veritable smorgasbord of options when it comes to meeting destinations and venues.

This is where unusual venues come into play. We should be rightly proud that an event organiser can host a business conference at a sporting stadium, a museum or a leisure attraction. It’s a brilliant way to capture the mood of a delegation, and then underline the message of the event.

For those visiting this country for events, the choice is vast; unusual venues are everywhere, each of them totally different but able to speak of their locality, and tell a tale of history, achievement, prowess, and of memories made.

We do many things incredibly well in this country, but it’s when all these elements come into play that we see true magic being created. The events industry is full of creative people, and they find amazing places to bring people together, from the classically conventional to the unique and unusual.”

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