AEO - Association of event organisers

EIA welcomes the Chancellor’s focus on supporting jobs and businesses but seeks clarity


EIA welcomes the Chancellor’s focus on supporting jobs and businesses but seeks clarity

04 Mar 2021

EIA welcomes the Chancellor’s focus on supporting jobs and businesses but seeks urgent clarity and action on specific measures to support the still-closed exhibitions sector

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) represents the UK’s event organisers, venues, and suppliers - a sector that prior to the Covid-19 pandemic was generating £11bn in economic activity and supporting 114,000 jobs - has today issued its preliminary response to the Chancellor’s 2021 budget announcement.

The EIA welcomes the Chancellor’s statement that he intends to help businesses and individuals through the challenging months ahead. However, it is essential that all measures announced yesterday that give support to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses are also extended to those in the exhibitions and events sector, given the identical nationwide restrictions to their activities they are facing.

Specific measures announced, such as the extension of the furlough scheme until September, will bring relief to our members who are still facing a national shutdown due to national Covid19 restrictions and face additional unique challenges to resuming operations once restrictions are eased.

We will study the budget proposals in full, but we are seeking urgent clarity as to whether exhibitions and events companies, along with the freelancers who are a vital part of the industry’s ecosystem, will be eligible for inclusion in the various business support measures announced yesterday.

However, even if all the business support measures announced are extended to the exhibitions and events sector, it still is not enough to maintain a viable industry over the coming months.

If the exhibitions and events sector is to avoid catastrophic job losses and business failure rates over the coming months, it needs further time-limited targeted government support and a clear roadmap to reopening to allow it to plan for the resumption of activities when the time is right.

We have previously called for, and are still urgently seeking, the introduction of a government backed insurance indemnity scheme to enable activities to resume once restrictions are lifted. In addition, the sector requires the publication of a sector-specific path to resuming activities within the government’s wider reopening roadmap.

The UK exhibitions industry is a hugely viable sector and simply requires support to survive until the time is right to resume events, at which point we can return to our role of driving growth in the wider economy. The sector is also a vital contributor to the UK’s economic competitiveness, and acts as the UK’s shop window to the world, enabling companies from a wide range of sectors to meet prospective customers, generating sales, and driving UK exports.

While some of the measures announced yesterday are welcome, this budget by itself does not give the exhibitions and events industry the support it needs to survive.

  • "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
  • "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
  • The AEO provides an opportunity to make a difference, to work with other companies for the good of the industry as a whole, but beyond that, it provides it’s members with valuable insight and tangible benefits to grow your business, upskill and engage your teams. For those reasons, our membership is in indelible ink on the each annual budget. In short, if you aren’t a member, you are missing out.
    Ed Tranter
    73 Media




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