Theresa May could steady the events industry, says MIA

Theresa May's appointment as PM could steady the industry after Brexit-driven enquiries decline and recruitment freezes, says the Meetings Industry Association (MIA).

Theresa May could steady the events industry, says MIA (© policy exchange)
Theresa May could steady the events industry, says MIA (© policy exchange)

After a chaotic and tumultuous few weeks following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, MIA’s chief executive Jane Longhurst believes the economic outlook will steady and confidence will return once Theresa May takes over as Prime Minister.

In the days after the Brexit vote, 92% of MIA members said enquiries have either stood still or declined. As a result, 20% of respondents said they have stopped recruiting new talent in a bid to freeze spending.


See also:

State of the Industry 2016: Brexit - the MDs lowdown

Brexit reaction: Event planners outline pros and cons of leave vote 

London & Partners says London will remain a strong destination, post Brexit


In addition to this, more than two-thirds (68%) of members felt there will be a slowdown in capital investment by corporates and overseas investors and, as a result, have started implementing a range of diversification and cost-saving strategies to soften the impact.

"A real sense of low confidence"

Longhurst says that a lack of a contingency plan for a 'leave' result has caused confidence in the market to nosedive. "We know from our own EU debate in May that the majority of the sector were voting to remain in the European Union, so were shocked by the eventual outcome.

"Talking to our members there is currently a real sense of low confidence – particularly because no contingency plans were put in place for a leave result. Hopefully now Theresa May’s appointment will have a steadying effect and the markets will improve."

A freeze on spend

According to MIA’s member survey, 54% of respondents are looking at ways to diversify their business in order to optimise revenue and profit where possible, while 50% have frozen non-essential spend.

More than half (55%) of respondents believe the current economic uncertainty will have an impact on the sector’s cost margins and feel pressure will now be placed on them.

"As an industry I think in the short term we will continue to experience a period of uncertainty with businesses being nervous," Longhurst adds. "Yet, the exit is expected to take two years plus and we are in real danger of talking ourselves into another recession.

"Instead, we need to be championing greater incentives for international corporations to hold meetings and conferences in the UK and wider initiatives to ensure freedom of movement and trade within the European Union remains."

More:

Events industry reaction as Britain votes to leave EU

EU leave vote could lead to events industry staff shortage

Brexit: 45% of event planners would vote to leave the EU

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