The period of instability likely to accompany a Brexit has been flagged up as an issue for many planners. "The problem is that we just have no idea what will happen afterwards, and the pro-Brexit campaigners haven't been clear enough about the outcome," said Simon Hughes, vice chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP).
While London is the epicentre of the instability fears, other regions are also in the dark about the future of the UK if the public opts to leave the EU.
"Given that Manchester is currently at the centre of the Northern Power House revolution, an exit from the Eurozone would provide massively increased uncertainty across numerous areas – but also opportunities," said Andy Orr, managing director of Manchester venue EventCity.
"The breakdown of single markets, the spreading of wealth and opportunities nationwide, the economy of both the Eurozone and the UK in the event of an exit – it is difficult to predict the actual outcome. When experts are massively divided, it usually means they don’t know."
Although some turbulence is to be expected if the UK votes to exit, not all agencies believe it will kick-start a major crisis. "There will be an unsettled period, but you could compare that to a recession, which actually did good as well as harm. It shook up a complacent market with dated buying practices and budgets and little ROI analysis attached to them," explained Rick Stainton, managing director of Smyle.
However, while Stainton believes there's potential for a shake-up, it may not be enough to sway his decision. "The UK events industry has huge interdependence on the EU in terms of trade, travel and talent - is it worth trying to unravel that for a possible but unqualified longer-term gain?"
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