Events Industry Board Holds Online Leaders Panel with Tourism Minister

Over twenty CEOs from many of the UK’s leading destinations, event venues and creative agencies met online last week as part of the UK Events Industry Board’s Leaders Panel to discuss the government’s support for the UK’s £70bn business events sector with Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, Nigel Huddleston MP.

The Minister asked attendees for their thoughts and comments and said that he would raise their concerns and recommendations wherever possible. The group discussed the government’s economic measures and whether they were providing enough support for the entire events industry, what other challenges the industry was facing and what further support is needed from government.

While members of the panel warmly welcomed the recent economic measures from the government, there were a number of concerns regarding cash flow and additional flexibility on its Job Retention Scheme to include eligibility for event venues and event agencies.

The Minister acknowledged that many businesses and individuals in the events industry were struggling because of COVID-19. He noted that he was grateful to the many organisations helping amidst the crisis, in particular the ExCel Centre, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and the Scottish Events Campus (SEC), which had become, or offered to become, temporary hospitals to support the NHS.

Members shared the following recommendations with the Minister:

The Minister actively encouraged members to continue to communicate their concerns and recommendations through industry trade bodies and noted his intention to host another panel with the advisory panel in the coming weeks.