Election result welcomed by events industry

The surprise majority win for the Conservatives in yesterday's election is being welcomed by many within the events industry.

Industry professionals are positive about the result; hoping for a consistent approach to the plans already laid out for the events industry by the coalition government and relieved that a majority government will reduce uncertainty in the economy.

In March, the Department of Culture Media and Sport published its events blueprint, which consists of a new Business Visits & Events Board to help represent the sector within government; a greater involvement for events within the Britain is Great campaign and initiatives to attract more business events to the UK.

James Morgan, affiliate chair for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the International Special Events Society (ISES), commented: “The coalition was very sympathetic and pretty proactive as far as the events industry is concerned. If you look at the DCMS triennial review of Visit Britain and Visit England there we see government support for the events industry. There we see the industry being seen as a valuable UK export.

“I’m hoping that the enthusiasm continues. Events has been given a much higher profile, which is good for business in terms of attractive business events tourism to the UK as well as exporting British expertise in event production around the world.

“What the government did before the election was a wish list, which could have all changed at the next triennial review under a different government.”

Marco Forgione, EVCOM CEO also welcomed the news, stating: “It’s great news that we have a stable government, that’s hugely positive. We need a clear focus on growing business opportunities, and the creative communications sector has a key role to play. We look to the government to carry out the commitment to the sector.”

Rick Stainton, managing director of Smyle said: "I stayed up all night watching the election and enjoyed the drama. I am very relieved we have avoided weeks of haggling over who our government will be and the uncertainty that brings. It will have a less dramatic impact on banks and the utility companies who are already feeling more bullish this morning. Clients who have been feeling tentative will now have the confidence to release more funds under a one-party government. Hopefully there will be more support for small businesses now the banks can relax."

It wasn't all welcome news, however, as Nick de Bois, industry champion and founder of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) inquiry for the events industry, lost his parliamentary seat.

The Conservative candidate was defeated in his Enfield North constituency by the previous incumbent, Labour’s Joan Ryan.

During his time in Westminster, De Bois urged the events sector to have greater relationships with government, and also encouraged the industry to back BVEP’s manifesto for the UK meetings and events industry, Events Can Win For Britain.

Michael Hirst, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) spoke about De Bois' contribution: “On behalf of all of our partners and everyone within the UK events industry we would like to put on record our sincere thanks to Nick de Bois for the hard work, endeavour, but also the positive impact he has had on our industry.

"From his chairing of the All Party Parliamentary Group, to the Inquiry he led into our international competitiveness, Nick has been a supporter in UKTI (UK Trade and Investment), DCMS (Department of Culture media and Sport) and Treasury of everything we have tried to achieve for the industry. He is a great loss, but his legacy is one of a stronger, better represented and more respected UK events industry.”

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