A happy New Year from me and a happy New Year from her! In a packed programme for 2019, we intend to continue to support our experience economy companies in our target markets of China, Hong Kong, the USA and the Arabian Peninsula, to look in more depth at the European market and to explore the rapidly growing area of retail/experience/entertainment.
As with all government departments, our plans and ambitions are dependent upon our budget settlement, and, in the current climate, we cannot take anything for granted. But if all goes well, our plans for the year include DIT supported groups at Asian Attractions, Euro Attractions and IAAPA, plus our usual high profile presence at the Museums and Heritage Show. We will be working with our colleagues at Experienceuk to create a UK buzz at Euro Attractions and to have a strong UK presence at the International Council of Shopping Centres conference in Barcelona in April - a first foray in to the world of experiential retail.
On the museums front, we are planning a "meet the Brits" event at the American Alliance of Museums conference in New Orleans in May - we are seeing a growing interest in the US museum market and, if you haven't already seen it, please get hold of a copy of MuseumInsider's brilliant research book, sponsored by us and obtainable through the experienceuk site.
And speaking of brilliant research, our friends at MuseumInsider are working on a European version, which we plan to launch alongside the MHS show in May. If this produces the same exciting evidence as the US project, we will be seeking to ramp up our activity and engagement with European museum/ gallery hotspots.
The increasing convergence of retail/experience and branding has led to us to take an interest in the Brand Licensing Europe and USA shows. We are looking at options for helping to raise the profile of UK brand experiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
Many of you will already be involved with Expo 2020 in Dubai. The launch, in November, of Es Devlin's design for the UK pavilion, has started a process of looking for brilliant UK creative content to showcase throughout the span of the Expo. We will be working with our Expo planning team to ensure that our experience driven companies have every opportunity to be part of what will be a stunning show.
And speaking of major events, Rozmin and I are working with our design sector colleagues in London and Hong Kong to help create a memorable UK presence at December's Business of Design Week trade show and conference, where, this year, the UK is the partner country. Leading members of the UK's design world - including Sir John Sorrell, Thomas Heatherwick and Es Devlin - have signed up to be part of the DIT delegation. If you are interested in knowing more, please get in touch with me.
Finally, we want to wish you all a successful and profitable 2019. We all know that the future is unpredictable and this year in particular has extra uncertainties. But, at the risk of sounding mawkish, we take confidence from the creativity, business acumen and stunning array of products and services that we see day in, day out, from our experienceuk members. This will always be in demand, and we intend to make sure that the market out there knows what you can do.
Richard Parry, Experience Economy Lead
Department for International Trade