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Ministerial foreword, Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething MS

In the decade since the introduction of the first major events strategy for Wales in 2010 we worked with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a varied annual portfolio of cultural and sporting events and, more recently, entered the business events market for the first time. We have worked with local and international event owners, utilised our top-class venues and natural landscapes and worked with local authorities and communities across Wales to support events that deliver economic benefits, showcase our nation, raise our profile, and helped us deliver Welsh Government priorities. We have increased our event-hosting capacity and capability and developed Wales’ reputation as a world-class events nation, able to compete effectively with the best in the world.

We began work on developing a new strategy in 2019 just before COVID-19 hit. The impact of the pandemic cannot be underestimated, the events sector was one of the first to close and last to open and the importance of events to the visitor economy and the well-being of the nation was recognised by the support that we provided to the sector under the Cultural Recovery Fund and the close, open and robust engagement we had with stakeholders during the pandemic. That level of engagement and vital cooperative working between the sector and Government was one of the few positives that came from the pandemic. In developing this new events strategy there was huge consensus that cooperative joint working should continue and that is the key underlying theme of the strategy. It is a joint, industry and government strategy and as we take the next step, and develop an implementation plan for the strategy, we will do so in partnership with the industry.

The strategy is aimed at ensuring we expand the contribution that events already make to the seven goals of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act , and builds upon our successes, learns from our challenges and looks to future opportunities. I thank those who have contributed to its development and commend our new National Event Strategy as we look forward to another ambitious decade for the Welsh Events sector. 

Industry foreword

The event sector makes a significant contribution to the Welsh economy, culture and language and cross cuts the wider visitor economy comprising tourism leisure and hospitality. As we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic we can reflect positively on the successful partnership that has grown between our sector and Welsh Government, which includes consultation with 60 sector stakeholders as part of this strategy.

We also acknowledge and appreciate the financial support from Government which has been critical for the survival of many stakeholders.

This industry wide strategy comes at a critical time of recovery, as the sector faces continued challenges including supply chain gaps, skill shortages, increasing costs and more recently the cost of living. We look forward to working closely with the Welsh Government to create a system that supports our industry, our stakeholders, our attendees, and the whole of Wales at such an important time.

Whilst the Welsh Government, through Event Wales will retain a critical role in delivering against this strategy, we acknowledge our own role as stakeholders and industry professionals in owning and delivering this strategy. The Event Wales Industry Advisory Group is committed to working with Event Wales to determine how we can take this strategy forward for the benefit of our industry and Wales.

Steve Hughson, Chair of Cultural Events Sector Group

Jill Manley, Chair of Business Events Sector Group

Matt Newman, Chair of Sports Events Sector Group

The vision for Wales

Wales stages outstanding events that support the well-being of its people, place, and the planet.

Mission statement

A connected events industry delivering, securing, supporting, and sustaining a balanced portfolio of events across Wales, which make measurable contributions to the seven well-being goals.


Since the launch of “A Major Event Strategy for Wales” in 2010, in the years that have followed, strong progress has been made in highlighting the economic and international profile benefits that events bring to Wales. This has been demonstrated with Welsh Government investing in and learning from events across the business, cultural and sports sectors with international and indigenous events across Wales such as the NATO summit, WOMEX , FOCUS Wales, Tafwyl, Dylan Thomas and Dahl centenary festivals, Green Man, UEFA Champions League Final, Cardiff (and World) half marathons and many others helping Wales deliver on its ambition in the events strategy to “stand out amongst the global crowd”.

Perhaps most importantly, at an industry level, the capability and capacity of those who work with and for events in Wales have continued to develop and events have consistently demonstrated their contribution to the economic prosperity of Wales as well as to our international profile.

There has also been investment in facilities such as the new International Convention Centre Wales and the remodelled Venue Cymru, which encouraged us to enter the business events market for the first time, securing events such as the International Golf Travel Market, the first time it has been held in the UK.

There is the newly opened Swansea Arena and the forthcoming Cardiff Arena to enhance the offering for event owners alongside established facilities such as the Principality Stadium, the Royal Welsh Showground and of course our natural landscapes which continue to provide a wonderful natural stage for so many events.

We now need to revisit our intentions for events delivery and take the next step forward to achieve the best for the events industry, for Wales and for its people. We are fully aware that the scale, complexity, and competitive nature of the events industry has continued to grow and is now more fully understood both in Wales and internationally. The events industry in Wales includes the private sector, public sector, third sector, facility managers, local government, Welsh Government (Event Wales, formerly the Major Events Unit), local event organisers, international event owners, accommodation and hospitality providers, wider supply chain, regulatory bodies, and other stakeholders. If the industry is to flourish, those within this eco-system must be aware of each other and the needs of the events industry as a whole. A connected industry will achieve better outcomes for all.

The wider context has also changed significantly, and in particular, the global drive to develop a more sustainable events industry, and this is reflected at a national level. During the last decade, Wales enacted its world leading Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol, Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 (“the Well-being Act”). This Act aims to improve “the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales” through the achievement of seven well-being goals. Many events already support the achievement of these goals for Wales and the economic and profile outcomes have been quantified and reported. Consciously focusing on these goals, and specifically measuring how events are supporting their achievement, will offer a clearer strategic alignment for stakeholders to justify and strengthen the support they offer events. For example, events are clearly aligned with desired outcomes for other strategies that have the Well-Being of Future Generations at their core such as the Healthy Weight: Healthy Wales Strategy, a long-term plan to prevent and reduce obesity in Wales. For this reason, while the economic return and commercial success generated by events remain a key priority, the common purpose of the other well-being priorities is also reflected throughout this strategy.

COVID-19 hit events as hard, if not harder, than any other sector and the industry is still feeling the impacts on every aspect of event development and delivery. We have long known that events can change how the world sees Wales and how we see the world, bring economic and community benefits, sharpen the focus on environmental sustainability, grow sports and arts participation, offer soft power opportunities and much more. Events can have a global reach and contribute to our goal to attract more people to Wales as well as encourage more young people to feel positive about planning their future here. These objectives are more important than ever as we strive for a more prosperous, equal, and greener Wales and, as set out in the Programme for Government, to help our tourism, arts and sports sectors recover from the experience of the pandemic. This strategy, therefore, also has a recurring theme of supporting an enduring industry through connection and collaboration.

This strategy was developed with significant consultation with many and varied parties within the events eco-system and taking account of an independent review of major events conducted prior to the strategy development. Those conversations informed both the core areas of focus and the subsequent recommended actions set out in the strategy. These recommended actions are not exhaustive and will need to be continually reviewed for relevance over the life of the strategy. The next steps towards the wider realisation of the strategy will be the development of an implementation plan for Event Wales while wider industry partners are encouraged to consider this strategy in their planning in order to support the delivery of the strategy.

Representative from the business events sector:

"Wales is …. doing big things and has the potential to keep on doing great things now that we are more confident and outward-looking.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"I don't think the system needs a dramatic handbrake turn, we are at a key point in the development for the long term. Look at the big picture, set the right strategy and focus on what's best for Wales.

Strategic approach

Our strategy is based around 3 key themes:

  1. Align the industry: To be resilient and prosperous the industry will develop a strong voice that ensures all stakeholders are aligned and working in collaboration towards common outcomes.
  2. Authenticity: Events in Wales will have a distinct ‘Welshness’ regardless of size, scale, or location. This will include the Welsh language, reflect the Cymru Wales Brand, and the Well-being Act criteria.
  3. All of Wales: Our industry will maximise existing assets, spread its events across Wales and across the year and aim to achieve equality, diversity, and inclusion.

When an events industry is in the early stages of development, delivering events of scale and quantity can be the key objective, not least as it helps build the capacity and capability of the sector to allow for future growth. Wales has confidently passed this point. None of these high-level themes listed above represent new activity in Wales, however it is the highlighting of them as key strategic threads that is designed to accelerate progress. We can now be more targeted in why we choose the events we do, and what we intend to achieve through them. Alignment under the common purpose of one industry strategy will help us to take these next steps.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"Wales …… can distinguish itself through its thoughts, deeds, and actions."

1. Align the industry

Industry alignment is made up of two parts. One aspect of alignment is having a clear and widely understood strategic intent so that everyone in the industry has shared top level ambitions which support targeted and proactive planning. The second aspect of alignment is bringing together events partners to work for and with each other and to evidence the benefits of the events sector.

Aligned thinking for proactive planning

Creating enduring, innovative and fit-for-purpose events takes more than one individual or even one entity.  Shared understanding across the industry as to which events are good for Wales will support the creation of stronger, bolder, and enduring ideas.

The starting point for what is “good for Wales” is the Well-being Act. While developed to inform public sector policy, long-term and positive change under the seven-pillars framework of the Act will give Welsh people the best quality of life, which is important for all in the industry. It is also that same public sector which is a core funder of events in Wales.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Well-being act and policies such as “Our Net Zero Wales Plan and “Beyond Recycling Strategy” set out how we can all work towards a more sustainable Wales and help meet the ambition to make a circular economy a reality through keeping resources in use for as long as possible so that Wales uses its fair share of resources, producing zero waste and net zero carbon emissions by 2050. To achieve this, we need to accelerate actions to increase resource efficiency. Proactively planning events through a circular economy approach will ensure unnecessary waste is prevented and products are re-used.

The recommended actions for proactive, sustainable, planning are:

  • continued support for a long-term, rather than year-by-year, approach to events development, allowing some certainty to those within the industry to include wider benefits and legacy at design stage, to plan for growth, and roll it out
  • identifying events with the appetite and potential to grow, building and supporting them strategically over time
  • consciously focusing on events which support a greater seasonal and/or geographical spread of visitation, such as business events and mass participation events
  • curating events or programmes of events as was successfully achieved, for example, around the themes of Dylan Thomas and Roald Dahl centenaries
  • encouraging and supporting the aligned development of local government events strategies
  • considering resources used in events, for example where materials are from and what they are made from.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"There is a great history of progressive thinking in Wales.

Representative from the business events sector:

"The size of Wales makes it a brilliant opportunity for government and industry to work together to be productive. Everyone wants to move on and make positive moves, working together will help shape policy and nurture this sector, infrastructure and more.

An aligned and integrated industry

Alignment, integration and unity will support the event industry’s ability to be competitive, increase our commercial returns, achieve more through the events we deliver, support a stronger and more enduring industry. This in turn will evidence our value as an industry to the wider public sector and the people of Wales.

The recommended actions for alignment and integration are:

  • continuing and regular convening of a representative events industry group as a cooperative forum.  This forum should be structured to meet the needs of the industry, for knowledge sharing, and accountability to deliver this strategy. It should be led by the industry, have an independent Chair, and include ongoing consultation with sector sub-groups
  • establishing roadshows and regular meetings across Wales that allow the industry to interact and learn from each other; also link to networks across the wider UK and internationally to bring in ideas, best practice, and contacts
  • supporting events to collaborate on delivery, and align for tourism purposes, to enhance each other’s events e.g., considering aligned business event opportunities alongside larger cultural or sporting events as part of a wider programme
  • adopting a more collaborative approach to targeting and securing events, capturing a wider industry view as part of the process and ensuring the support for and benefits of events are widely known
  • ensuring that, where there is the potential for funding from more than one source e.g., Arts Council of Wales and Event Wales, there are clear channels of communication and the best possible alignment to avoid duplication and maximise opportunities.

How this integration may be achieved is further developed in the section below on Roles.

Representative from the sport events sector:

"Why and how are we going to win events? Not just being reactive and horizon scanning for what's out there but being proactive in identifying and going after what is good for Wales.

2. Authenticity

Events which are “good for Wales” will reflect and celebrate those things which are authentically Welsh in all aspects, from identification of events through to delivery and evaluation. This authenticity can be either traditional or contemporary and will support the strong national brand which promotes Wales internationally.

The recommended actions for encouraging authenticity are:

  • ensuring Welsh culture and language will be represented at events in Wales, helping to tell the stories of Wales to residents and visitors alike at a level that is appropriate for the nature of the event being delivered
  • having events clearly contributing to the achievement of as many of the seven well-being goals for Wales as possible
  • continuing to identify, nurture and support homegrown events with the capacity for growth
  • delivering a greater sense of ‘Welshness’ for events through, for example, landscape, coastline, history, culture, food, and music
  • focusing on celebrated Welsh icons to develop strong event propositions
  • building the capability of the events industry and the strength of the supply chain in Wales, to encourage procurement that nurtures resilient local supply chains, on the premise that we should have the ability and knowledge to deliver an authentically Welsh experience
  • supporting regional economic development by encouraging shorter supply chains and a more local and regional focus on sourcing materials
  • supporting aspirations to make Wales a healthier nation, for example through the promotion of healthier foods at events or supporting increased physical activity
  • identifying and celebrating events which have local appeal and community ownership, including volunteer support
  • identifying and highlighting to event owners what makes the event experience different in Wales, and regarding unique natural assets
  • using the authentic narrative of the events portfolio as a point of difference for Wales’ international brand.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"The events industry is a perfect platform for the expression of a national identity and a nation’s values.

3. All of Wales

This strategic pillar is to ensure that we maximise the geographical and seasonal spread of events across Wales. We want to encourage visitors to come to every corner of our country all year round.

The recommended actions are:

  • to analyse the spread of existing and future portfolio events supported by Event Wales to ensure event support is distributed across the whole country, including those areas which may benefit from event-driven domestic tourism as well as international visits
  • a conscious focus on ensuring events cover a wide variety of genres to appeal to as many people as possible. A balanced portfolio will consider age, region, ethnicity, religion, cost to attend and so on to ensure the events on offer are widely inclusive and accessible
  • identifying events which can be hosted in the traditional tourism ‘off season’ and those with the greatest capacity for growth
  • working with host communities for events to achieve buy-in and additionality. Telling the stories of all events and the local benefits, beyond just economic, will support this
  • linking with partners that may assist by reaching into different communities e.g., creating greater links between business events and tertiary providers for both content and capability
  • ensuring event content is promoted to an audience outside Wales to drive visits and a positive international profile.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"Great things can be achieved... and the ongoing effect is tenfold. We just have to commit to the vision, believe in what we are doing and give it a chance to succeed.

Strong foundations

Implementation of this strategy requires strong foundations, built upon 3 pillars:

  1. People: Developing skills, training, and continuing professional development for those in the industry and those with career paths in Wales
  2. Place: Using the assets Wales has in the best possible way, as well as looking to future needs
  3. Planet: Considering long term environmental sustainability and supporting events to measure and reduce their footprint

1. People

Alignment of the events industry brings together stakeholders across all agencies, businesses, and organisations, but it is a foundation of capable people within those entities that will strengthen the future of the industry. A strong industry will create job opportunities while looking after those people will help retain many of them in Wales and support fair work and a stronger, fairer, greener Wales.

The recommended actions for an industry-led programme for the development of people within the sector are:

  • supporting the growth of skills, knowledge, and capability specific to the events industry through conferences, webinars, and knowledge sharing including systematic opportunities for upskilling by leading experts both locally and internationally
  • tapping into the work of other bodies, such as the education sector and training providers, to offer a coordinated programme of more generic skills development e.g., accessibility, health and safety, sustainability and cultural diversity
  • working with Careers Wales to create a pipeline of young people into the industry including events to attract school leavers and graduates to replace many people lost to the industry over the COVID-19 pandemic, including use of their all-age job vacancy tool
  • seeking cross-industry led mentoring, placements, and observer tours for organisers to learn from each other
  • work with the Regional Skills Partnerships across Wales to identify and address skills gaps and take forward action with industry Identifying areas where specific skills may be needed, such as business events and e-events, and new proposals to fill these gaps
  • promoting the available guidance to support the use of the Welsh language at events
  • promoting the available guidance and training to support individual upskilling in the sustainable delivery of events, including how an event’s environmental impact can be measured and reduced
  • finding ways to communicate with, coordinate and develop volunteers beyond event-by-event training
  • encouraging businesses within the events industry to support their people to upskill.

2. Place

The use of existing assets makes delivery of events easier and more cost effective, as does a strong network of wider public amenities which are required to support event delivery. This foundation would ensure existing and future assets are optimised as much as possible for the event industry.

The recommended actions for optimising assets within Wales are:

  • conducting a full audit of event-specific assets within Wales, available to both the Welsh event industry and its prospective clients (such as professional conference organisers for business events) and ensuring this is undertaken on a local authority basis to develop local ownership and strategic thinking around events
  • identifying and promoting natural assets, such as coastlines and landscape, which help define Wales and can be built into event delivery and promotion
  • ensuring events identified for growth are fit-for-purpose to each region, including scale and supporting infrastructure
  • setting up a referral system which supports venues to work together wherever possible, so that if one venue isn’t suitable another more appropriate option is suggested, utilising assets as much as possible
  • identifying the inhibitors to events growth such as accommodation, public transport, Wi-Fi, electric charging for cars, and advocate for (and use events to support the business case for) key developments that would enable a step-change in the industry.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"Make amazing things happen in unusual and unlikely places.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"The presence of cultural activities year around is important for well-being and a reason for people to live and stay in small, rural areas, including getting young people to stay, developing the health and wealth of local areas.

3. Planet

Caring for the natural environment has to be a priority for us all. Events held in Wales should aspire to meet the highest possible environmental sustainability standards. Wales has a significant opportunity to be a world leader in this aspect of event delivery.

As indicated above, developing a circular economy is a key step towards achieving our Well-being goal to be ‘A globally responsible Wales’. It keeps resources and materials in use for as long as possible and avoids all waste as opposed to the inherent ‘linear economy’ where goods are made, used and then disposed of. Moving to a circular economy is key to the delivery of desired environmental outcomes as it can significantly reduce carbon emissions and over-exploitation of natural resources as well as helping to reverse the decline in biodiversity. Crucially it can also improve economic and social outcomes for events. Economically, through taking a circular approach which shortens supply chains and benefits local communities and supports local buy-in, it can improve efficiency, create employment, and increase competitiveness. In terms of social benefits, shortening supply chains and reducing emissions will reduce the health impacts of events on local communities caused by pollution.

The recommended actions are:

  • developing and sharing a standardised methodology, where possible in line with existing indicators and measures, for events of all sizes to measure their environmental footprint
  • measuring the environmental impact of the wider events portfolio, and demonstrating how this impact is reducing over time
  • development of an environmental toolkit to facilitate sharing of knowledge across event sectors to be more efficient and make sure that learning from best practice is widespread
  • educating and supporting individual events organisers to be champions and share working examples of environmental best practice
  • encouraging sustainable tourism, persuading people to make fewer trips but to stay longer, with event attendees encouraged to actively seek tourism extenders
  • encouraging a circular economy approach through reduction and re-use and considering the use of materials and resources, which are made from remanufactured, refurbished and recycled materials or come from low carbon and sustainable materials like wood.

Representative from the music events sector:

"Wales being at the forefront of thinking (about) how the future looks and our responsibilities politically and sustainability-wise are profoundly important for the country and the planet. Therefore, it defines our nation.

The mechanics

The mechanics of how these are achieved is by clarifying:

  1. Roles: for all organisations and agencies, both public and private
  2. Research and evaluation: with measures to align with the Well-being Act and eventIMPACTS objectives
  3. Reviews: reviews of the strategy, regularly held, to ensure it stays relevant.

Roles: working together for Wales to deliver the strategy

Understanding the role each party plays in supporting the delivery of events is good for organisers, attendees and wider stakeholders as well as providing clarity around expectations, responsibilities, and accountability.

A connected and collaborative industry, focused on shared objectives, will strengthen both the individual and the whole.

The events industry in its entirety is needed to contribute to event development, growth, and attraction, and to deliver events in a way that enhances Wales and its reputation. Everyone from the smallest supplier to the largest venues and events are all part of a wide sector: building capability and providing a steady stream of work to keep the machine running, which then underpins the delivery of all events, large or small, indigenous, or international. Understanding where stakeholders fit, regardless of size or tier, creates buy-in and operational efficiencies.

Across the industry, this can include, for example:

  • bodies to support securing events supporting delivery and achieving legacy outcomes, including Wales, UK and international rights holders for sport, business and cultural events and governing bodies; UK Sport; Sport Wales; tertiary institutions; cultural agencies, Business Visits and Events Partnership, VisitBritain International Congress, and Conventions Associations
  • agencies for both leveraging and delivering on areas of strategic alignment, such as the Arts Council of Wales; Creative Wales, economic fora; professional, voluntary and community arts organisations; Regional Tourism Organisations
  • commercial entities, such as venue owners, suppliers and operators, event owners and organisers predominantly in Wales but also across the UK and internationally
  • regulatory bodies and those which support operational delivery, such as safety and advisory groups, local authorities, national park authorities, Natural Resources Wales, Welsh Language Commissioner, Future Generations Commissioner, accessibility support agencies
  • transport, hospitality, and accommodation providers, which are vital to the delivery of events and core to the consideration of each event’s overall viability
  • blue light services: our emergency services play a key role in supporting the planning and delivery of events, particularly the safety and wellbeing of all attendees
  • security agencies such as UK government counterparts, the National Cyber Security Centre and Tarian (the cyber-crime unit of the police in Wales).

The role of the private sector

Consultation undertaken with the private sector in the development of this strategy showed a clear preference for an industry-wide strategy, and not just a strategy to cover Welsh Government aspects of supporting events hosted in Wales. An industry-wide strategy requires industry-wide buy-in and taking some responsibility to support its implementation if it is to succeed.

Capacity is a challenge across the sector, especially post-Brexit and post-Covid, so while it may not be possible for every business within the private sector to be directly involved, it is possible for every part of the events industry to ensure its views are captured with the right representation in key fora, such as the representative events industry group.

Participating in networking and information-sharing benefits both those who receive and those who share their insights.

Most critically, it is the private sector which is at the forefront of events delivery, and the development of new product and therefore can most directly realise the delivery aims of this strategy, with Wales recognised as an outstanding host of environmentally sustainable events that deliver enduring benefits to Wales and the well-being of all its people.

The role of local government

All events require local authority buy-in, however local authorities are varied in capacity and propensity to support events. As an example, not all local authorities have events strategies. Therefore, there is a wide variety in terms of resource, strategy, and capability across the authorities. Notwithstanding that, every local authority plays a role in supporting the operational delivery of events, from licensing through to waste management, and they are the representatives of their people and organisations within that region.

Equally important, under this strategy, is an alignment of intent and purpose from funding through to leverage of locally delivered and run events. Local government support, with fit-for-purpose funding criteria, including budget relieving Value In Kind, can reflect the aspirations of equality, diversity and inclusion, and the overarching seven pillars under the Well-being Act.

Local authorities should also strategise around events to understand the types of events which are suitable for their areas and will drive the type of short and long-term impacts they seek. As an important example, venues, products, and experiences could and should be aligned to the Local Authority Destination Management and Marketing Plans.

The role of Welsh Government (Event Wales and beyond)

Event Wales, although not an events delivery agency itself, holds the core responsibility within Welsh Government to lead the implementation of this strategy, achieved by connecting the industry and bringing all parties together. As noted above, an implementation plan will need to be developed and agreed, in conjunction with the industry to support this, particularly the prioritisation of the resources available. Event Wales will not only perform a leadership role in the strategy but will continue to provide funding support for events.

Funding is clearly an important part of how Event Wales supports the industry. It is recommended that funding is structured to achieve the following:

  • support the delivery of targeted events through clearly sign-posted and targeted criteria-based applications, assessment, and grant support, targeting funding to ensure delivery against the seven well-being goals, while still being flexible enough to accommodate ‘outside the box’ and innovative events
  • ensure that the benefits of events, particularly the economic return on investment and international profile, are retained and built upon alongside a range of wider impacts
  • support a balanced Welsh events portfolio and greater investment in events within Wales that can grow, as well as events which offset seasonality and fit in the diverse regions of Wales
  • enduring support for events which are identified as continuing to deliver priority outcomes to provide greater certainty, and the ability to retain resource and capability
  • funding support for innovative environmental solutions for the development of the sector
  • funding support to help grow sector capability
  • a continued and specific focus on business events to build on the progress made since work began in 2018. That progress was interrupted by COVID-19 and therefore dedicated resource will be applied to continue to build capacity in the short-term in order to determine the potential long-term return on investment taking account of the extent of industry engagement.

In addition, it is recommended that the role of Event Wales also includes: 

  • facilitating regular connection with the wider events industry to secure, deliver and leverage events, working with and through a representative events industry group
  • working with local and regional entities to identify events with growth potential, and wherever possible helping to achieve this growth
  • leading the proactive identification of bid opportunities and the right international events to secure for Wales, backed up by strong relationships with major events owners, facility programmers, influencers, and stakeholders
  • exploring wider collaboration opportunities with the UK and devolved governments to host major events.
  • providing guidance and KPIs for events to deliver against (and identify and measure) the Well-being Act, using events industry experts to help do that
  • supporting delivery against the circular economy, including increasing recycling rates, encouraging re-use and reducing unnecessary packaging
  • coordinating the ongoing capability and capacity development within the industry outlined in this strategy
  • connecting events with relevant leveraging agencies to maximise the benefits for Wales
  • supporting the case for ongoing investment in events, primarily within the Welsh Government but also across the wider events eco-system
  • promoting a healthier Wales for our future generations.

Research and evaluation

Research and evaluation are critical to understanding progress within the industry and what it is achieving both for itself and for Wales. This in turn is important to strengthen the case for future investment. 

Wherever possible the evaluation of outcomes that events deliver will align with existing measures and outcomes already in use in Wales, therefore the backbone of these measures, as for the strategy, will be the national indicators in the Well-being Act. With visitation, international profile and cultural content all key for the events industry, alignment with Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020 to 2025, the international strategy for Wales and the Public Diplomacy and Soft Power 2020 to 2025 action plan and its targets to use events for soft power purposes, and the emerging Welsh Cultural Strategy is also important. Specified event targets can also align with the eventIMPACTS standards and utilise international criteria, for example, the common indicators for measuring the impact of events for event stakeholders established by the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.

Except for the constant themes of people, place and planet, and ensuring alignment with the Well-being Act, the table below is indicative. As part of the implementation plan measures which are both realistic and relevant are to be further developed by Event Wales and the proposed events industry group. Individual event measurement will in turn contribute to Event Wales’ collation of an industry-wide story, evidencing the delivery of this strategy and the portfolio-wide benefits which events are generating for people, place and planet.

Representative from the arts and culture sector:

"It's much easier in a small country to make a big impact and bring people along."

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015


Impact area


Example national indicator alignment

Example event specific measure

Healthier Events provide a high-profile platform to communicate positive messages and give people real life experiences to encourage and support improved mental and physical health. For example, mass-participation sporting events can help to raise public awareness of the importance of regular exercise.

35: Percentage of people attending or participating in arts, culture or heritage activities at least three times a year

38: Percentage of people participating in sporting activities three or more times a week

29: Mental well-being

Number of people participating in a sporting or cultural activity through events

Percentage of visitors who say experiences at events have had a positive effect on their feelings of well-being (resulting in a positive action)

More equal Successful events can help people and communities to achieve their full potential through accessibility and inclusive innovations - including outreach programmes targeted at hard to reach and minority groups.

17: Pay difference for gender, disability and ethnicity

16: Percentage pf people in employment, who are on permanent contracts (or on temporary contracts and not seeking permanent employment) and who earn at lest the real Living Wage

26: Percentage of people satisfied with local area as a place to live

Number of Equality policies in place and implemented

Number of outreach and community activities linked to an event

Number of FTE jobs created or supported by an event

Number of events signed up to the Code of Practice Ethical Employment in Supply Chains

Cohesive communities Successful events engage communities through; local voluntary action, participation, the live spectator experience and media platforms.

28: Percentage of people who volunteer

27: Percentage of people agreeing that they belong to the area; that people from different backgrounds get on well together; and that people treat each other with respect

Number of local volunteers

Number of local visitors to an event

Number of local outreach and community activities linked to an event
Vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language Events showcase and strengthen Wales’ unique cultural identity and heritage; are a catalyst for cultural innovation and expression and provide valuable opportunities for its leading artists and athletes to display their talents on the world stage.

35: Percentage of people participating in arts, culture or heritage activities at least three times a year

36: Percentage of people who speak Welsh every day and can speak more than just a few words of Welsh

37: Number of people who can speak Welsh

38: Percentage of people participating in sporting activities three or more times a week

Number of people participating in arts, culture, or heritage activities through events

Promotion and use of Welsh language at events

Number of Welsh language policies in place



Events can stimulate new enterprise and business growth, creating quality, long–term jobs.

They showcase and promote tourism in key markets, and support diversification of the rural economy.

As a dynamic, knowledge-based and creative sector, it requires high quality skills including project management, finance, marketing, media and communications, all skills which support a modern, creative economy.

09: Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked (relative to UK average)

16: Percentage pf people in employment, who are on permanent contracts (or on temporary contracts and not seeking permanent employment) and who earn at least the real Living Wage

17: Pay difference for gender, disability and ethnicity

21 and 22: Percentage of people in education, employment or training, measured for different age groups

Number of skills training opportunities offered within the event industry

GVA generated by an event as calculated by

Number of people employed in the event industry (FTE equivalent)

Number of (FTE) jobs created or supported by events

Percentage of adults employed in the event industry who report satisfactory or high levels of job satisfaction



Events can be exemplars of how to maintain and enhance the natural environment. 

A highly visible platform, events can raise awareness of alternative options, and encourage a change in practices, which ultimate support economic, social and ecological resilience. 

Examples would include the use of renewable energy, integrated transport, waste recycling and the procurement of local goods and services.

11: Percentage of businesses which are innovation active

12: Capacity (in MW) of renewable energy equipment installed

15: Amount of waste generated that is not recycled, per person

Innovative event business case studies captured and shared

Waste to landfill measured per event

Number of sustainable event management plans in place

Percentage and value of events contracts awarded to companies signed up to the Code of Practice Ethical Employment in Supply Chains
Globally responsible Well-delivered events can improve not only aspects of well-being for Wales but, in the case of international events, provide a template which can be shared with the world. This builds the international reputation and profile of Wales as a prosperous, progressive, and outward-looking nation.

12: Capacity (in MW) of renewable energy equipment installed

48: Percentage of journeys by walking, cycling or public transport

Percentage of events with policies in place, and implemented, to reduce emissions

Percentage of events using renewable energy

Percentage of events encouraging or offering active and sustainable transport options 

Priorities for the Visitor Economy 2020 to 2025

Tourism measures Events drive visitation but can also be used to target specific types of visitors, support a spread of visitation across Wales and at different times of year. Events also generate international profile, which in turn supports positioning Wales as a destination to inspire future visitation.

Value and volume of overnight domestic GB trips

Value and volume of domestic GB tourism day visits

Value and volume of international visits

The number of new visitors to Wales

Brand awareness and interest to visit

Seasonal spread of visitors and spend

Value and volume of visitors attracted to Wales, by event

The number of event attendees for which this is their first visit

International media coverage generated specifically by events in markets of interest

Proportion of events delivered in the tourism off-season


Lead in times for events means that there are significant commitments already in place for 2023 and beyond. In that context and given the rate of change at home and abroad, no strategy can stand still. Therefore, this strategy, and the related implementation plans, should be revisited every two years, from the end of 2024. The review should be undertaken by a representative event industry group as a sense-check to ensure the priorities identified within it are still where the greatest need lies, and that the recommended actions remain valid and fit-for-purpose to meet those priorities.

Most notably, the review should consider any shift in priorities due to:

  • changes in the national indicators for the seven well-being goals which events can support
  • new facilities or capabilities in Wales to provide enhanced hosting opportunities
  • changes in budget at a local government and Welsh Government level
  • opportunities or challenges identified by the wider industry, including the critical supply chain
  • levels of industry engagement both in terms of helping deliver the strategy generally and in taking forward the business events and skills agendas specifically
  • new trends, technological advances or innovations developed for event delivery (particularly post-pandemic) such as digitalisation, hybrid event delivery, gaming, and e-sport
  • an outcomes-based assessment of the efficacy of a targeted focus on business events within Event Wales
  • global occurrences that significantly impact Wales e.g. pandemics, global unrest.

What will success look like?

By 2030, if this strategy is successful, we should see evident change in the event portfolio, the event industry more broadly, and for Wales. This would include:    

  • an industry which is connected and collaborative, resilient and cohesive
  • a portfolio of events that strongly reflect the Welsh people and Wales as a nation    
  • a portfolio for all Wales, spread across seasons, genres, and with broad appeal for all
  • a portfolio of events where the outcomes achieved for Wales are measured and shared
  • an industry where people have opportunity to develop new skills
  • an industry where the strengths of assets are known and optimised
  • an industry which is a leader in sustainability and is recognised as being globally responsible
  • a strategy delivered across the industry, where the distinct roles of all parties are understood and brought together under a representative events industry body
  • a strategy which remains a live document and reflects the changing needs of Wales and the event industry as it continues to develop.