The Events industry Board (EIB), an industry-led body for the UK event industry, has said it is continuing to press for more support from the government as measures for the longer-term recovery of the industry were reviewed at the last meeting, it has been revealed.
While welcoming the extension to the UK furlough scheme, members urged the government to extend the it further and offer help to many of the industry’s smaller businesses that were struggling to access government programmes.
More recognition was sought for the Industry in the recovery planning process. Concerns were also expressed about the financial viability of reopening with social distancing measures in place
Board members raised the issue that consumer confidence is low, in terms of organising future events and sentiments about attending them. Members said clear government messaging was needed to state when organised events could resume and to reassure the public and consumers that organised gatherings were safe to attend. Without a start date and government reassurance, the UK risked losing its market share to international destinations, the Board heard.
Recommendations were made for Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to pursue an ambitious Spending Review proposal which could better support the UK events industry to compete internationally. This should include key officials and ministers raising the profile of the industry across government.
The Board also suggested that the government consider which government-led events it could organise as a way to encourage event activity to begin. It also asked for domestic, as well as international markets, to be considered when developing any potential support packages, including the potential for a fund to help Destination Management Organisations and Convention Bureaus sell in-market.
Michael Hirst, Chair of the Events Industry Board, said: “This was another productive meeting of the Board with Department Officials. Members were able to put forward constructive perspectives on what additional immediate support was needed and what measures need to be put in place for the longer-term recovery of the Industry.”
Pictured: International Confex, 25 February 2020, image by Aniseed Photo