A further 40% believed a 'leave' vote would be better, while 8% are still undecided. While a previous C&IT poll showed a shift towards the leave vote, with 45% of event planners believing a leave vote was the best option and 15% undecided, the remain camp has since gained momentum.
Meanwhile, C&IT’s State of the Industry survey 2016 showed that 20% of event planners felt that the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum was the greatest threat to the industry.
Mark Baker, head of research at agency Teamspirit, said that in addition to the loss of jobs across all industries, the wider economy would be hit. "The financial services industry, a crucial engine of the UK economy, and a major exporter, depends for its success on the EU rules that allow firms to market their services across Europe under the UK’s financial regulations. Expect a deafening popping of Champagne corks in Paris and Frankfurt if the UK votes to leave the EU. They will slam the door in the face of UK firms wanting to access European customers."
At a recent EventHuddle debate at The Meetings Show, which was chaired by The Experience is the Marketing’s Kevin Jackson, staff shortages were highlighted as a major cause for concern if Britain votes to leave the EU. Simon Hughes, managing partner at MCHA, said: "Over 800,000 Polish nationals live in the UK and around 100,000 of them work in the hospitality sector, in the venues and hotels that service our events and look after our delegates and guests. If we leave the EU and they’re not as welcome here, who is going to step into all of those jobs?"
Another panellist, Former MP and chair of the government events board, Nick de Bois, said the EU was undemocratic and that should be a key focus for the debate. "My argument is that the decision on the referendum should not be on whose politics you like better, it’s that elected officials should be making the decisions, so if you don’t like them you can vote out the government and get a new one. The EU is self appointing and we don’t have the right to remove them." He added that while the uncertainty surrounding a Brexit may have a negative impact, there were far bigger uncertainties in the market at the moment than the EU vote, such as China’s economy.
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