The chief executive officer of the AEO, Chris Skeith has said he hopes new prime minister Liz Truss will bring “an opportunity to re-enforce the economic benefits of events.”
OBE Skeith, who is also chair of BVEP said he hoped a cap on energy prices for businesses would be imminent, as Exhibition News launched a campaign to call for better support for the industry under the new premiership.
Skeith told EN: “Any change represents an opportunity, as both leadership contenders have had to fight and win the confidence of the Conservative party and in turn, win public opinion. I very much hope the promises made to support individuals and businesses, will seek to address the many challenges we face as an industry, as a country and as individuals.
“Clearly, the cost of living crisis, and the cost of energy (particularly as there is no cap for business), are a huge concern for us and our customers, but the promise of support and an emergency budget in a few weeks brings some hope.
“New faces in the cabinet again bring opportunity to re-enforce the economic benefits of events to not only the local economy but also the markets and supply chains that the trade and consumer exhibitions serve. As with any new face leading a government department, they turn to the officials who are more aware of the positive impact that the events industry can make to global Britain.”
Some small businesses are seeing increases of 500% on existing energy bills of £140,000, which is unsustainable, the Meetings Industry Association has reported.
Exhibition News editorial director Martin Fullard called for the events industry to make their voices heard, for fears of being cast aside in favour of other sectors.
He said: “Prime minister Truss enters 10 Downing Street with a lot to worry about, and the future of the once-£84bn events industry must be on her agenda.
“Every event business owner must now write to their MPs with evidence of the increase in their energy bills, and as a sector we should not shy away from contacting national and regional media to share the story. Find your MP here.
“If the industry does not learn the lessons of the pandemic, then history is doomed to be repeated.
“The campaign is now underway.”