A recent round-table where industry leaders covered topics including Brexit, immigration, terror, infrastructure and economics, it is understood that the biggest concern of event organizers is not Brexit but security.
Hosted by Searcys, representatives from agencies, DMCs, venues and DMOs gathered at the Gherkin for the discussion facilitated by Paul Kennedy MBE.
The discussion took place prior to the recent terrorist incidents in London. However, security was already considered the number one concern for event organisers by those around the table. “Much of our discussion reflected the need to support organisers as they focus on safety at their events, the safety of our own venues and cities and the need to continue meeting in the face of adversity.”
Takeaways from the roundtable included:
- Security is the number one concern for most event organisers, far outweighing the potential ramifications on an unknown Brexit negotiation.
- Personal safety is frequently the most important decision when deciding on a destination, making the threat of terror attacks a greater issue than Brexit.
- Venues able to demonstrate high security are considered more desirable by bookers.
- Whist there was a period of concern in the run up to the 2016 referendum, fears settled down soon after the vote and business returned to normal.
- Brexit offers opportunities through improved exchange rates and the fact businesses are opening satellite offices in Europe.
- The most immediate concern is the impact on the UK’s European workforce, making a workable visa system a priority.
- There is a perception that UK travel is difficult, compounded by the fact that major capital projects (HS2, Crossrail etc) take too long to complete.