Speaking at the ICC in Birmingham, Lord Jones, a former trade minister, said: "The twenty-first century is going to have a new norm like no other. If the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries belonged to the UK, and if the twentieth belonged to the US – the twenty-first belongs to Asia and Brazil.
"In 2010, David Cameron said that the events industry is fundamental to the rebuilding and rebalancing of our economy. It contributes £115bn and employs 2.6m people. Not may sectors create growth like the UK events industry."
In the panel session that followed, Smyle’s managing director, Rick Stainton, said: "We know what our customers want because we ask them. And I don’t think that everyone does that. The recession created a change – it changed what customer the wanted.
"Before, a lot of organisations were not strategic with their event spend and it wasn’t recorded or monitored. If you are not recording those changes, you are going to miss a trick."
Summer Eventia 2013 runs until 2 July at the ICC Birmingham. This year’s event has seen an increase in buyers, although a drop in delegates overall from 170 in 2012 to 160 this year.
An evening reception was held at a secret location last night, which was revealed as Fazeley Studios.