The events industry is one of the biggest and most diverse sectors to operate in, both within the UK and on a global scale. Large-scale events such as festivals, concerts and exhibitions, all the way down to smaller events like personal parties and seminars all fit under the extremely broad scope of the industry.

Despite recent global events, the events industry continues to thrive each year, successfully growing and influencing many lives and businesses around the world.

Open 3 side, large exhibition stand for Jiminny by Quadrant2Design

The industry as a whole can often be forgotten, or overshadowed by the specific sectors within it but continues to offer a substantial contribution to the global economy. It creates millions of jobs, whilst also providing experiences which simply cannot be found elsewhere. Let’s dive into the global and UK events industry key statistics in 2022:

Key Global Statistics

  • In 2021, the global events industry was valued at £800 billion.
  • Corporate events and seminars hold the majority share of 27.7% of the industry.
  • Sponsorship is the largest revenue source in the industry, holding a share of 46%.
  • The CAGR is valued at 11.2% from 2021 to 2028.
  • By 2028, the market is expected to climb tenfold, reaching heights of over £2 trillion.

Large exhibition stand for XMA, including edge-lit acrylic displays.

Key UK Statistics

  • The UK event industry is estimated to be worth £42 billion.
  • In 2018, over 5 million business professionals visited the UK for an event, generating spending of £3.5 billion.
  • The UK event industry provides an estimated 775,000 jobs to the economy. It is reported that 126,000 jobs were lost to the recent global pandemic, COVID-19.
  • There are over 10,000 venues to choose from in the UK.
  • The most valuable sector of the UK event industry is conferences and meetings, prized at £20 billion.
  • 85 million people attend events each year in the UK.
  • 35% of the UK visitor economy is accounted for by events.
  • London is regarded as the number one city to host events, with iconic venues such as Olympia and the ExCeL both being located in the capital.
  • The business sector of the industry is expected to be worth £27.6 billion by 2026.
  • Over £1 billion of new infrastructure investment is being stimulated by events.

White and blue exhibition stand with custom branded countertops. Produced by Quadrant2Design

The scope of the events industry

The term ‘events industry’ covers a lot more ground than one might think, but other than the classic: festivals, live music and trade shows, what else is categorised as an event?

The term event can include

  • Corporate events
  • Conferences
  • Exhibitions and trade shows
  • Concerts & music events
  • Celebrity & private parties
  • Sports
  • Charities
  • Weddings
  • Fashion events
  • Seminars
  • Workshops

White and pink exhibition stand design 3m x 3m. 2 Open sides corner stand with lighting, photo-floor, tv, showcases display, counter etc

The events industry includes an impressive list of sectors under just one name. Without realising, the industry impacts everyone’s day-to-day lives, providing significant experiences all year round.

The recent global pandemic damaged the events industry considerably and all the sectors within it. This was very problematic, as the industry is so heavily reliant on face-to-face encounters and gathering in large groups.

Over a third of businesses reported losses between £1m and £5m as a result of the pandemic. At the end of the furlough scheme, events businesses anticipated making 38% more employees (lots of those currently on furlough) redundant.

The implementation of virtual events grew exponentially within sectors like seminars, conferences, meetings and corporate events, but for exhibitions, music festivals, fashion shows and other events that rely heavily on in-person interactions, the use of virtual events was more of a temporary solution that failed to maintain the same level of enthusiasm post-pandemic.

How many people work in the events industry?

From the present day’s events industry key statistics, we have concluded the contributions of the sector to the economy are worth billions of pounds. Yet profits and revenues aside, the industry’s employment rates are equally remarkable.

Large exhibition stand design blue and white with four open sides and photo-floor. 15m x 8m size.

Currently, 775,000 people are employed in the UK event industry. Without planners, marketers and designers; events of any scale simply cannot operate. These jobs require many employable skills that can be applied to a wide number of alternative sectors.

For example, some occupations included within the industry are:

These are only a few of many, many job roles the events industry creates. The variety provides fantastic opportunities for new graduates, and for anyone looking for a career change, no matter their stage in life.

sponge UK exhibition stand, 6x6 island, 5m tall, blue and red, with banner

Event industry supply chain

With any industry, supply must be in place to meet demand. The list could be endless with the number of products, services and materials needed to pull off events of any scale.

Although we consider ourselves exhibition stand design experts here at Quadrant2Design, an actual trade show requires hundreds and hundreds of supplies to create a seamlessly run event.

The vast majority of the industry, like many, is contained within the supply chain, so the businesses you do see running an event are just the tip of the iceberg supported by a huge supply chain.

For example, here at Quadrant2Design, we have supplied custommodular stands to hundreds of different industries over the past 23 years. Yet, visitors at trade shows would have no knowledge about who built the stands around them, and may not even give it a thought.

Large colourful Exhibition stand design for Performance MasterBatches. Produced by Quadrant2Design.

 Summary of the Events Industry Key statistics

After discussing the events industry key statistics and drivers, it is clear that its impact on both the global economy and the livelihood of employees, event watchers, and attendees is massive.

Looking back at the global pandemic, COVID-19, the events industry was met with two things. One, it was shut down for the best part of 18 months, with thousands of jobs lost and companies within the industries going under. Two, however, the pandemic did make people realise just how integral live events are to people, allowing them to share a common passion or idea in one place annually or bi-annually.

With the current projections, the industry growth rates are through the roof, with events quickly ascending to an all-time high. The benefits of not only more in-person experiences but the opportunities for businesses, jobs, the economy and much more all prevail from one giant, successful event industry.

If you are in the market for a custom hire exhibition stand or want to find out more information about the solution, please email us at or call 01202 723 500.