Hospitality and Event Planning Industry Guide

Flowers, cake and table setting

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
accessible via electronic databases
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 

Small Business Help Books 

This is a collection of books with practical information aimed at those starting and running a business; the collection is located in the Business & IP Centre.

A Practical Guide to Event Promotion by Nigel Jackson, Kate Angliss [1 Online resource and SBH.BT.1]

Become an Event Planner: how to begin your event planning career: the complete step-by-step guide with ‘secrets to success’ by Alessandra Bird [SBH.BT.7]

Event Planning: learn how to start event planning business – planning, promoting and running a successful event business by Margaret Brown [SBH.BT.28]

Event planning and Management by Ruth Dawson & David Bassett (published by Kogan Page Ltd.) [SBH.BT.27 and 1 online resource] 
A practical handbook for PR and events professionals. 

How to run and grow your own business by Kevin Duncan (published by Teach Yourself, 2016) [SBH. 1 Online resource and SBH.STAR.51]
20 ways to manage your business.

Running a Successful Photography Business by Lisa Pritchard [SBH.BT.163]
A handbook for freelance photographers looking to stand out from the crowd and stay profitable. 

Freelancers will learn how to target their marketing more effectively and expand client list, manage complex pricing and shoot production; learn how to handle copyright and other legal issues.

Start Your Own Transportation Service by Cheryl Kimball [SBH.BT.113]
Learn how to create a revenue stream by thinking outside the traditional transportation box; features information how to start businesses in the areas of ridesharing, executive car service, special events, medical transport and pedicab/party services.

Starting a Business from Home by Colin Barrow (3rd Edition) [SBH.BT.160]
A guide to planning and running a home start-up, reaching a market and creating a profit.

The Practical Guide to Organising Events by Philip Berners [SBH.BT161]
A short, accessible and practical guide on how to successfully plan and organise a variety if event types in a wide range of contexts. The content is structured around the key stages of event management: pre-event, on-site and post-event; offering practical insight and guidance throughout the whole process.

Wedding Photography Kickstart by Peter Wright and Liliana Wright [SBH.BT.156]
Learn about branding, identifying and targeting an ideal client demographic, making connections at bridal shows, creating successful workflow with vendors to boost referrals. Learn how to avoid photographic mistakes, tips on navigating and surviving the ever-changing wedding industry.

Working with Venues for Events: A Practical Guide by Emma Nolan [SBH.BT.165]
A book for aspiring event managers, providing both a theoretical and practical guide to selecting and working with venues. Explores the different types of venues available to event managers, such as, historical buildings and theatres to sporting and academic venues, analysing the specific characteristics, benefits and drawbacks. Key aspects of venue management including staffing, marketing, legislation, production, scheduling and administration. Sustainability, ethics and technology are also integrated throughout, plus industry examples of different venue types and events from around the world.

Request from British Library’s online catalogue – Explore the British Library

Miziker’s Complete Event Planners Handbook by Ron Miziker [YKL.2015.a.16495]
A guide-book to planning and executing special events for professionals and beginners alike; designed to be a quick reference ensuring an educational or entertaining event comes together on time and within budget. Includes information about layout, techniques, terminology, protocol, quantities, or procedures; key information is presented in charts or diagrams, a wide variety of special events are included.

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

Please note that some articles about hospitality and events planning are available on the Business News & Journals databases: Business & Industry (Gale), Business Source Complete (EBSCO) and ABI have global information. 

Printed & Online Market Research Reports

Items are on the open access shelves in the Reading Rooms, please ask for help in finding these. 

UK hospitality black book by London: Henley Media Group, 2011. [(B)MKT 647.94068] 
A database for the UK hospitality industry that includes directories of equipment and supplies; a comprehensive volume of references for hospitality professionals in every sector of the industry; information on venues and services for corporate and social events in and around London. 

Business News & Journals

In order to find the latest news on your topic it is always worth searching Factiva, Business Source Complete 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. Ordered via Explore the British Library (please ask for help).

The Caterer (P) 647.950941-E (1) Business Weekly Journal, items 2015 onwards available for reading room only (last two years).

Event – Bus (P) AB 44-E (5), this magazine includes reports on brand experience with case studies, advice and special reports, Sector Insight and the Event 100 Club. 


Contain lists of companies and industry contacts. Some have annual industry reviews, and specialist articles.

Global Event Planner 2017 [(B) DIR 658.456 BUS], this directory offers a snapshot of approximately 20 countries from a conference and event perspective. It details contemporary event space available worldwide (Haymarket Brand Media). (blue & green) [(B) DIR 674.969102541 Bus], the technical and specialist guide to venues in the British Isles.

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 or check the online catalogue Explore the British Library for more details.

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