New SIC codes for the Events sector: Update yours now!

30 August 2022

One of the (many) reasons that many parts of the industry have been excluded from support during the pandemic, by Governments is because we have never used consistent SIC Codes, which are used by governments to determine economic activities and industry value. From a statistics point of view, the industry is “invisible”. This is because there is a lack of relevant SIC codes for us to use and we had not realised the importance of these codes for governments analysing businesses and industries.

#WeMakeEvents, PLASA and the BVEP, along with others from the EU and USA, are campaigning for some changes to these codes to make them more relevant. However, that is going to take between three to five years as they are agreed internationally.

You can use more than one SIC code, and so we are suggesting that you continue to use those codes that you may have used before, for example manufacturing, or transport and that you include one of the SIC codes listed below, to acknoweldge your contribution to the Live Events sector.

We hope that all companies involved in events will support this and use these codes to help create the data and visibility to demonstrate how financially significant this industry is.


Suggested SIC codes to use

56210 – Currently classified as: Event catering activities.

This class includes the provision of food services based on contractual arrangements with the customer, at the location specified by the customer, for a specific event. Find out more about 56210

68202 – Currently classified as: Letting and operating of conference and exhibition centres.

Find out more about 68202

82301 – Currently classified as: Activities of exhibition and fair organisers.

This subclass includes the organisation, promotion and/or management of events, such as business and trade shows and conventions, whether or not including the management and provision of the staff to operate the facilities in which these events take place. Find out more about 82301

82302 – Currently classified as: Activities of conference organisers.

This subclass includes the organisation of conferences and meetings, whether or not including the management and provision of the staff to operate the facilities in which these events take place. Find out more about 82302

90020 – Currently classified as: Support activities to performing arts

This subclass includes support activities to performing arts for production of live theatrical presentations, concerts and opera or dance productions and other stage productions; activities of directors, producers, stage-set designers and builders, scene shifters, lighting engineers etc. and activities of producers or entrepreneurs of arts live events with support activities to performances or without facilities. Find out more about 90020



Frequently asked questions about SIC codes

What’s the issue and why is it important?

During the pandemic, our industry’s collective global and national financial value and contribution were not identifiable by governments, this led to an underestimation of the collective worth and therefore financial support allocated to individuals and companies in the events industry.

PLASA, #WeMakeEvents and the BVEP want to encourage everyone to take action and use specific SIC codes that will help raise a spike in demonstrating our true combined value and contribution to worldwide economies, before the next revision of these codes in around four to five years time.

This will then demonstrate that our industry is a good investment to governments and hopefully encourage more support in general for our industry.

Who does this impact?

Everyone that works in the global events and entertainment industry.

What are SIC codes?

Standard Industry Classification Codes (SIC) are requested and analysed by governments to determine the economic value of industries.

When do companies declare which SIC code they are using?

Most SIC codes are added at the point when companies submit their end-of-year returns. In many cases, the same generic category code is used by accountants, such as manufacturers, suppliers etc.  These generic codes are not specific to events and therefore don’t contribute towards the perceived economic value of our industry.

Which codes should they use?

We have isolated some specific codes that although not perfect, could be used to start to create a spike needed to demonstrate our worth. The most suitable for those working in the supply chain is: 90020 – currently classified as: Support activities to performing arts

What can I do ?

Spread the word! Ask your accountant, or take action yourself and add one of the suggested codes to your confirmation statement (annual return). The good news is you don’t have to wait until your annual return is ready,  you can do this now and you can add more than one code,  so if you have used a generic one in the past, you can continue to do so alongside our suggested codes.

Who should take action?

Company owners, financial and managing directors, and company accountants.

Any questions, please get in touch via