AEO - Association of event organisers

30,000 UK job losses if UK Government fails to provide a clear date for reopening of exhibitions sector

AEO

30,000 UK job losses if UK Government fails to provide a clear date for reopening of exhibitions sector

13 Jul 2020
  • 30,000 direct jobs in exhibitions sector currently at risk
  • Estimated £8bn loss to the UK economy if remaining exhibitions are cancelled in 2020, and 60% of supply chain companies will not reopen in October as furlough comes to an end
  • Sector is able to deliver safe events using ‘controlled’ environments and can play a vital role in getting the UK economy moving again

London, 13 July, 2020, The Events Industry Alliance (EIA), which represents the UK’s event organisers, venues and suppliers, is making an urgent call on the UK Government to provide clear guidance and proposals for the rapid re-opening of the UK exhibitions sector, warning of severe economic and employment consequences if action is not taken.  

Research undertaken by the EIA, with the support of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Event Supplier Services Association (ESSA), indicates without Government action to announce a ‘go-date’ for the reopening of the UK’s exhibitions sector over the coming days, the UK economy will face an £8bn direct loss and an estimated 30,000 jobs are at risk. In addition, an estimated 60% of the sector’s supply chain companies will not reopen in October as the furlough scheme comes to an end.  

COVID-19 lock down measures were relaxed across many sectors in the UK earlier in July, however, activities in exhibition and conference centres were specifically excluded with no ‘go-date’ given. As a lead time of 8-12 weeks is typically needed to re-start exhibitions, the EIA believes the failure to announce a go-date is causing a confidence crisis among the industry and its customers, with the risk of significant damage to the UK economy. The position in the UK contrasts with several other countries, including France and Germany, which have recently announced steps to reopen exhibitions.  
The exhibitions industry plays a critical role for the UK economy, generating £11bn in economic activity and supporting 114,000 jobs. The industry also creates a trading platform for 178,000 businesses, of which approximately 140,000 are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s), which have seen a significant impact on their sales by the cessation of exhibitions activity.  

The EIA has outlined how the exhibitions sector is able to resume operations safely, as unlike many other economic sectors that have seen activities relaxed, the industry delivers controlled, ‘organised gatherings’, which are able to deploy track and trace measures and undertake thorough risk assessments.  

Chris Skeith, CEO, Association of Event Organisers (AEO) said: “The exhibitions sector is a vital enabler of economic activity in almost every sector of the UK economy and failure to provide a go-live date impacts the ability of almost 180,000 businesses to recover. These businesses, including 140,000 SMEs, rely on trade shows to meet customers and make sales, to launch new products and enter new markets, and the continued closure of events will have a negative impact on employment far beyond the events sector. 
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  • "Broadway Events joined the AEO on the Enterprise Membership. We’ve already taken advantage of the many benefits including the excellent FaceTime Masterclasses and training guides for exhibitors."
    Emma Barrett
    Broadway Events
  • "We are a member of the AEO because it is a proactive association for the events industry. As an organiser it provides us with high value ideas, networking, guidance and information."
    David Harrison
    PPMA Group
  • "This year, the association has led working groups to address industry issues and put on some amazing events full of insightful content for both organisers and, through the AEOs FaceTime initiative, exhibitors. In addition, the AEO has represented the industry at a Governmental level to raise awareness of the importance of events to the UK economy."
    Paul Byrom
    Upper Street Events
  • "I genuinely believe that if you’re involved in organising events you should become a member of the AEO."
    Simon Kimble
    Clarion Events
  • "Our membership of the AEO represents real and tangible value for UBM - it provides fantastic networking opportunities, practical training for our team as well as valuable insight into the state of our industry."
    Simon Parker
    Informa Markets
  • "As an Association business, we appreciate the excellent work the secretariat of the AEO do for our community. From the events side of our business, the AEO provides an excellent return on investment, providing thought leadership, fantastic networking, brilliant awards, excellent research and FaceTime, a valuable tool to tell our markets why exhibitions and events should be an essential part of the marketing mix."
    Neil Felton
    FESPA
  • "AEO’s networking and member meetings are valuable for individuals at all levels within our organisation. The promotion of our sector to the outside world, to government, authorities and business at large is another vital aspect of the AEO’s purpose for members, many of whom, like my company, work on events throughout the world."
    Stephen Brooks
    Mack Brooks Exhibitions
  • “Knowledge is power and the AEO dinners are certainly powerful, there is always a wealth of knowledge at the table. Insightful presentations make for a constructive and extremely social way to learn from the experts who’ve done it before. I attended the Japanese evening and gained really valuable insight about the culture and how best to communicate with a local audience.”
    John Whitaker
    Vice President Marketing, Data & Digital , dmg events
  • "We have the opportunity to contribute positively to the industry as well as gaining valuable insight and advice. There’s no need to spend valuable time and money reinventing the wheel when you have so many experienced professionals in AEO membership to learn from”
    Emma Cartmell
    CHS Group
  • "JOINING THE AEO HAS BEEN FANTASTIC! Being able to gift our customers with free places at the FaceTime masterclasses, learn alongside industry peers and seek advice to common challenges is invaluable”
    Sharon Azam
    GovNet Communications
  • I just wanted to send my most sincere thanks for everything that you and the AEO team are doing to help navigate the events industry through the pandemic. The working groups and communication from the AEO have been excellent and I’m really appreciative of being part of such a wonderful organisation.
    Simon Burns
    ICHF Events
  • I think what the AEO has been doing during this tough time has been exceptional.
    Greg Cherry
    QD Events LTD
  • It is so useful to hear from your peers at this time. Please pass my thanks to Ruth and the BTIG panel
    Dan Assor
    CloserStill Media
  • Just wanted to thank you and Ruth this morning for the Zoom meeting - it was really interesting to hear how things are moving along in the virtual/hybrid meeting/exhibitions. All very new to me, so a lot to digest.
    Maureen Wright
    Optic UK
  • The session this morning was fantastic. We are right in the midst of this and the information was so useful. We can apply it immediately
    Claire Adams
    FESPA

 

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