Hospitality and Event Planning Industry Guide

hospitality images

Here you will find sources of information such as market research (statistics, trends and developments), key companies, trade magazines, newsletters, and Internet sources.

This guide will be useful to anyone starting a business within the Hospitality & Event planning industry and also for those wanting to further their knowledge within this area.


Start-Up Information


COBRA logo

The Cobra database contains practical fact-sheets on all aspects of starting, running and managing a small business – including information on writing business plans, marketing, company structures etc.

It also covers the practical aspects of how to start and run particular types of businesses – outlining necessary skills, regulations, licences and legislation etc. and highlights other sources of information and advice available.


Business Opportunity Profiles (BOP)

Audio-Visual Equipment Hire BOP210
Bridalwear Retailer BOP200
Children’s Entertainer BOP324
Corporate Event Organiser BOP038
Entertainment Agent BOP375
Fashion Accessories Retailer BOP109
Florist BOP055
Jeweller BOP106
Limousine and Specialist Event Vehicle Hire BOP536
Speciality Cake Maker BOP346
Wedding Favour Maker BOP509
Wedding Planner BOP444
Wedding Stationery Maker BOP476


Business Information Fact Sheets

Opening a Business Bank Account BIF043
Alcohol Licensing in England and Wales BIF437
Business Regulations when Starting Up BIF341
An Overview of Intellectual Property Rights BIF012
Checklist for Running a Business from Home BIF017
Choosing the Right Business Legal Structure BIF032


Mini Business Opportunity Profiles (Mini BOP)

Flower Confetti Producer MBP022
Dinner in the Dark Organiser MBP141


Sector Update

Food and Grocery Retail – Sector Update SEC008


UK Market Synopsis

Cleaning Services SYN067
Wedding Services SYN014


Market Research & Statistics

If you are planning on starting a business you will need to be aware of the latest trends, developments and opportunities within your industry which can all be found from market research.

Market research also covers market size and forecasts, consumer demographics and attitudes, the key players and products and will often include SWOT and PEST analysis showing areas of strength, weakness, opportunities etc.


IBISWorld logo

  • Alcoholic Beverage wholesaling in the UK – G46.342
  • Bridal Stores in the UK – UK0.015
  • Car Rental & Leasing in the UK – N77.110
  • Catering Services in the UK – I56.210
  • Florists in the UK – UK0.010
  • Flower & Plant growing in the UK – A01.190
  • Flower & Plant wholesaling in the UK – G46.220
  • Food-Service contractors in the UK – I56.290
  • Full-service Restaurants in the UK – I56.101
  • Hotels in the UK – I55.100
  • Juice, mineral water and soft drink wholesaling in the UK – G46.341
  • Photographic activities in the UK – M74.200
  • Sea & Costal Passenger water transport in the UK – H50.100
  • Watch & Jewellery wholesaling in the UK – G46.480


Mintel logo

  • Conference and Events 
  • Food & Drink retailing UK 
  • Seasonal Celebration foods
  • Specialist Food and Drink retailers 
  • MICE Worldwide
  • The Ethical Food Consumer


Local Data Online

Provides a birds-eye view of the makeup and complexity of the retail and leisure offering in a chosen location.

Review key trends over time:

  • Vacancy rates
  • Occupancy trends
  • Retail mix

Understand demand profiles through demographic data such as:

  • Employment statistics
  • Average weekly earnings
  • Crime rates
  • Unemployment
  • House prices

Also, contact details and individual reports of companies in the digital communications industry are available from our electronic sources: Market IQ.

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching NewsBank and EMIS.

You will find articles from specialist business and academic journals, as well as newspapers and magazines. You may also find market research reports and case studies. As well as profiles of leading industry figures.

You will also find articles covering recent developments, and predicting future trends in your industry.


Trade Magazines and Newsletters

Useful for gaining inside knowledge, recent trends, industry news, company profiles, reviews of new products and services. Some contain annual reviews and company contact lists.

The Caterer
Business Weekly Journal


Internet Sources

Websites containing free sources of industry statistics, information and contacts.

Alliance of Mobile and Party DJs (AMPdj)

Tel: 0333 577 2247
Where benefits include: £10m Public Liability Insurance, member discounts, free web hosting, extra client enquiries, advice and support.

Association of British Professional Conference Organisers (ABPCO) 

A Professional body for Association Conference & Event Organisations. They provide membership services to conference and event organisers, and their industry colleagues, deliver not-for-profit and association conferences, welcome students.

Association of Event Organisers 

The trade body representing companies which conceive, create, develop or manage trade and consumer events. It is run by a members elected council, specialist working groups and a fulltime secretariat.

Companies House

Tel: (030) 123 4500
Provides registration and filing services for companies and partnerships, as well as useful leaflets and information.


An online retailer of wedding-related products that also provides a list of forthcoming wedding fairs and events. 

Event organisers and suppliers. This site has listings for event organisers and suppliers across The UK.


An online resource that provides industry news and details of markets and events for food traders across the UK.

Giftware Review 

The review is a print publication aimed at buyers in the giftware industry with articles also available online.

Gifts Today 

A trade publication for the giftware industry available online or in print.

Ice the Cake 

Award winning cakes – Bedfordshire. Provides cakes for all occasions – special events, wedding, birthdays and proms.

Institute of Hospitality

Tel: (020) 8661 4900
A professional body representing managers and aspiring managers in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. It accredits professional development programmes and publishes industry reports and management guides.

National Association of DJs (NADJ)

Tel: (020) 3002 0866
A national support network of DJs and branches, sharing their experience, skills and knowledge.

National Association of Professional Wedding Services (NAPWS) 

The UK’s only national wedding association, once accepted as a member you will be added to the Wedding Association Directory.

The Autumn Fair 

An annual gift and home ware trade event held each September at the NEC, Birmingham.

The Event Hire Association (EHA)

Tel: (0121) 380 4600
A trade body representing providers of plant, tool and equipment hire in the UK and overseas. It provides training, legal help and financial advice for its members, as well as specialist support services such as safety checks.

The Event Services Association 

The official journal of TESA – the UK body representing event organisers and suppliers to the industry.

The Flowers and Plants Association 

A trade body representing firms involved in growing and selling flowers and related products.

The Food People 

An online resource that provides the latest industry news and food trend reports.

The Food Standards Agency 

An independent government department that provides information about legislation, training requirements and safety and hygiene advice.

The Giftware Association 

Represents retailers in the gift, home and fashion accessories industry.

The Nationwide Caterers Association 

Represents catering services, including fast food retailers and mobile caterers, and provides information and training. The annual fee for standard membership is £219.

The Purple Guide 

Provides information on health, safety and welfare at music and other events. There is a subscription fee £25 for 12 months access to the Purple Guide website.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) 

Provides seasonal tips and expert guides for growing flowers.

People 1st 

The sector skills council for hospitality etc. in the UK.

PRS for Music

Tel: (020) 7580 5544
A UK-based license organisation to play, perform or make available copyright music on behalf of their members and those of overseas societies, distributing the royalties to them.

Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA)

Tel: (01323) 524120
PLASA helps its members by providing solutions, guiding the industry and facilitating business growth. Their network of companies and individuals supply creative technologies and innovative services to an event, entertainment and installation industries worldwide.

Real Food Festivals 

An online resource that provides news about the regular Real Food markets and festivals taking place in London.

UK Hospitality

Tel: (020) 7404 7744
A trade body representing the hospitality sector in the UK, including bars, coffee shops, hotels and leisure venues. It campaigns on behalf of its members, publishes industry reports and provides opportunities to share best practice.

Wedding DJ Alliance (WDJA)

Tel: 0333 577 2247
Specialise in wedding disco entertainment.


Please note that every effort has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, however some recently acquired items may since have been added to the collection. Please ask for help at the enquiry desk.

Images by RebeccaWithey, bykst, Homestage under a Creative Commons license;  Anya Bell@jingle3 –