Eventia bemoans government's failure to clarify events framework

Eventia has tentatively welcomed prime minister David Cameron's vocal support for the events industry, but described the lack of clarity over public sector event procurement as "shocking".

Eventia bemoans government failure to clarify creative services framework
Eventia bemoans government failure to clarify creative services framework

The COI’s dismantlement in March 2012 means that its creative services framework – a roster of preferred suppliers from which event agencies are selected – will become obsolete.

Last month, COI director of live events Simon Hughes said he hoped that clarification of the framework would be reached in mid-November.

But Eventia chairman Rob Allen cited a letter sent this month to all COI framework suppliers and bemoaned a continuing lack of clarity.

The letter read: "A new procurement category team will be created in government procurement service to ensure that the communications spend and activity is well coordinated and executed, and existing COI frameworks will be transferred to the category team...

"Over time, and as frameworks expire, the team will develop a new set of contracts. Suppliers will be informed of new trading arrangements for essential government marketing and advertising as they are put in place. We hope you will participate in the new contracts and help us deliver truly effective government communications in the future."

In response, Allen said: "The notion that a newly created category team will be able to re-create the in-depth industry knowledge and expertise that COI have developed across so many key communication disciplines is hard to believe…

"This lack of clarity not only impacts on our production agency membership, but extends across the supply chain, from logistics services, venues and technical suppliers."

Last week, Britain for Events campaign co-ordinator and Business Visits & Events Partnership chairman Michael Hirst  welcomed the government's support for the UK events industry.

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