AEV

EIA warns of 30,000 job losses if government fails to act

News

EIA warns of 30,000 job losses if government fails to act

13 Jul 2020

30,000 UK job losses if UK Government fails to provide a clear date for reopening of exhibitions sector from COVID-19 lockdown

  • 30,000 direct jobs in exhibitions sector currently at risk
  • Estimated £8bn loss to the UK economy if remaining exhibitions are cancelled in 2020, and 60% of supply chain companies will not reopen in October as furlough comes to an end
  • Sector is able to deliver safe events using ‘controlled’ environments and can play a vital role in getting the UK economy moving again

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA), which represents the UK’s event organisers, venues and suppliers, is making an urgent call on the UK Government to provide clear guidance and proposals for the rapid re-opening of the UK exhibitions sector, warning of severe economic and employment consequences if action is not taken.

Research undertaken by the EIA, with the support of the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Event Supplier Services Association (ESSA), indicates without Government action to announce a ‘go-date’ for the reopening of the UK’s exhibitions sector over the coming days, the UK economy will face an £8bn direct loss and an estimated 30,000 jobs are at risk. In addition, an estimated 60% of the sector’s supply chain companies will not reopen in October as the furlough scheme comes to an end.

COVID-19 lock down measures were relaxed across many sectors in the UK earlier in July, however, activities in exhibition and conference centres were specifically excluded with no ‘go-date’ given. As a lead time of 8-12 weeks is typically needed to re-start exhibitions, the EIA believes the failure to announce a go-date is causing a confidence crisis among the industry and its customers, with the risk of significant damage to the UK economy. The position in the UK contrasts with several other countries, including France and Germany, which have recently announced steps to reopen exhibitions.

The exhibitions industry plays a critical role for the UK economy, generating £11bn in economic activity and supporting 114,000 jobs. The industry also creates a trading platform for 178,000 businesses, of which approximately 140,000 are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s), which have seen a significant impact on their sales by the cessation of exhibitions activity.

The EIA has outlined how the exhibitions sector is able to resume operations safely, as unlike many other economic sectors that have seen activities relaxed, the industry delivers controlled, ‘organised gatherings’, which are able to deploy track and trace measures and undertake thorough risk assessments.

Chris Skeith, CEO, Association of Event Organisers (AEO) said: “The exhibitions sector is a vital enabler of economic activity in almost every sector of the UK economy and failure to provide a go-live date impacts the ability of almost 180,000 businesses to recover. These businesses, including 140,000 SMEs, rely on trade shows to meet customers and make sales, to launch new products and enter new markets, and the continued closure of events will have a negative impact on employment far beyond the events sector.

As a sector, the safety of our customers and communities is of utmost importance and we are confident that by operating controlled events and deploying track and trace technology, we will be able to resume operations safely and at much lower risk than other sectors that have recently restarted.

We hope to work with the Government to find a solution, however we need an opening date as a matter of utmost urgency in order to rebuild our industry and reignite the UK economy.”

 
Loading

Testimonials

  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great catering...is essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval