BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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Message from Steve Heap, Chair of the EIF.

Covid Crisis! Who would have thought that when we heard of those first few infections in China around a year ago, we would be here contemplating whether a 2021 season would happen, having already lost the whole of 2020?

You will know from EIF website, from the press, radio, television and the endless streams of online meetings that EIF Board have been working hard throughout the year to fight our corner for outdoor events. For your companies, for your staff, for your industry.

No one is looking for medals, it is what we do, but rest assured that we are doing it. The Events Industry Forum is represented heavily in government circles and thanks to a large amount of lobbying, pushing and shoving we are now a highly respected industry within events. The Prime Minister referred to us in parliament, various ministers from DCMS often refer to festivals, shows, outdoor events and at civil servant level we have regular meetings with DCMS and more recently have pushed open the door of Treasury. We are hoping that although we have lost once again the early part of the events season, we can rescue something to stage perhaps in July, August, September, October of 2021. This could well be all socially distanced, it will be smaller and it will bring its own new problems, but we are a resilient industry who know all about customer care and risk assessments. We can get the show on the road as soon as we have government permission to get moving.

There has no doubt been losses within your associations and organisations financially, in staff and employability and perhaps sadly, also in health. You certainly have my sympathy. This has been the darkest time for events for many years, but we will find our way out of it. The tunnel has been long, and the light is still perhaps some way in the distance, but it is actually there.

What we need from you is information, stories, evidence of everything you are doing, be it good news or bad news. We need a real picture of how our industry is faring so that we can inform the decision makers of what is possible and what is not. We need them to cut the speculation and start to give us honest facts that we can work with as we so often do. You can drop a line to Jim (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or attend one of the members online meetings, of which there will be more soon (see https://www.eventsindustryforum.co.uk/).

I wish you well with your 2021 planning and indeed the longer-term future and look forward to meeting again with you all at The Showman’s Show, The Event Production Show, Event Buyers Live and the many other outdoor events that we stage with our collective skills.