In this unprecedented period of uncertainty that has seen numerous government ministers resign, the appointment of Theresa May as PM could steady the industry, says the Meetings Industry Association (MIA).
After a chaotic few weeks following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, the events industry is still up in the air as to what Brexit could mean for business.
After Brexit-driven enquiries decline and recruitment freezes, MIA’s chief executive Jane Longhurst believes the economic outlook will not only steady, but confidence will return.
Following the Brexit vote, 92 per cent of MIA members said enquiries have either stood still or declined and only eight per cent have witnessed an increase.
More than two-thirds of respondents (68 per cent) felt there will be a slowdown in capital investment by corporates and overseas investors and have starting implementing a range of diversification and cost-savings strategies to soften the impact.
One in five (20 per cent) have ceased both project capital expenditure and stopped recruitment as part of their cost-saving measures.
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, says:
“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.
“However, as an industry I think in the short-term we will continue to experience a period of uncertainty with businesses being nervous. 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.
“The mia is immediately increasing its range of events and business initiatives to ensure all members are best equipped to maximise business opportunities and minimise the potential impact of BREXIT.”
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