According to a recent online survey carried out by the BVEP (Business Visits and Events Partnership) and EIF (Events Industry Forum), some 60% of the UK’s event industry’s supplier base is facing collapse within three months, unless event businesses receive further support from the Government. 6% of those businesses say they are unlikely to survive until the end of April!
The survey was coordinated by the Production Services Association (PSA) between 3-7th April, 2020, and in all 1,490 businesses took part in the survey from across all sectors of the UK events industry. The BVEP and EIF will be using these survey results to push for further governmental support, which is more clearly defined, and doesn’t leave anyone out.
There are hundreds of thousands of people working across the events industry (115,000 are estimated to work in the conference, exhibitions and indoor events sectors, 600,000 in the outdoor event industry), many of whom are freelance or self-employed and suffering because of cancelled work, especially over the summer.
Within the business events sector, 74% of all conferences and exhibitions have been postponed to the last quarter of 2020 and the remainder cancelled altogether.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer recently indicated that event organisers and their vital supply networks (including staging, lighting, exhibitions stands etc) would be supported by business grants labelled for the leisure and hospitality sector. However, the survey reveals that most who have applied have been turned down by local authorities who are running the scheme. And only 1% of respondents have been successful in applying for the Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
“We urgently need the Government to confirm to local authorities that all event organisers and suppliers to our industry are eligible for the hospitality and leisure grants – that will give an immediate lifeline for many. While it is starting to be recognised by some in Government circles that the event industry will be a key player in helping to kick-start the economy again, many will need on-going support until they can get back on their feet. For this they will need further grants and better access to loans without having to give onerous personal guarantees,” says Jim Winship, Secretary of the Events Industry Forum.
Michael Hirst OBE, Chairman of the Business Visits and Events Partnership continues, “The UK has some of the best companies and contractors in the world supplying the needs of its events industry – an industry which will revitalise the Nation’s economy and communities when the crisis is over. This survey clearly indicates that the UK is in danger of losing its capacity and expertise to stage world-class events. Hopefully its findings will underline the desperate need to provide more support to sustain the Industry’s suppliers and contractors until they can start operating again”.
The full survey results can be viewed here: https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/news/bvep-press-releases/790-a-report-into-the-prospects-for-the-events-industry-supply-chain-during-the-covid-19-industry-shutdown