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Three quarters of event organisers feel that bank lending policies to SMEs have made business and industry growth either slightly more difficult or very difficult. However, there are ways around this as only three percent feel that there is nothing that service and venue providers can do to help, according to new findings released today.
The Event Business Survey, carried out by IET Venues, the award-winning family of venues across the UK including Glasgow, Birmingham and London, reveals that the bank lending policies and public sector cuts have had a major effect on business in general and the events industry specifically. 64 per cent of respondents either agree or strongly agree that lending policies to SMEs has had a negative knock-on effect into the events industry, while public sector cuts have had an even more detrimental effect, with only 12 per cent claiming that these have had no effect.
The research does reveal however, that despite challenging times with the economy, there are ways that venue and service providers can help companies fend off the negative cuts, with 45 per cent of respondents feeling that lowering prices is the way to help organisations struggling with budgets.
Cutting prices is the obvious option, but there are a number of other ways suggested that venue and service providers can be of assistance, with 42 per cent saying that offering a better range of services would help and 31 per cent citing providing better measurement of ROI as important. In addition, 14 per cent feel that investing in facilities can combat the cuts and lending policies and 12 per cent suggested absorbing tax increases.
“Public sector cuts and banks stringent lending policies are putting a big strain on a number of industries and difficult times are unavoidable,” says Lucy Wright, Sales and Development Manager, IET London: Savoy Place. “As a result venues and service providers should be doing all they can to help struggling businesses and to bring growth back. Not necessarily by just cutting prices, but also by extending services, measurement of ROI and investment where possible.”
IET Venues has taken a number of actions throughout the last year to meet customers cost requirements while still providing the highest level of service to both organisers and attendees. This has included venue refurbishments, reducing rates to absorb the VAT increase, developing all new all-inclusive and bespoke packages focusing on value for each customer and providing virtual 360 venue tours online.
The Event Business Survey surveyed 130 event organisers in March 2011.