BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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EIF - Supply chain support sadly side-lined

Outdoor events contribute over £30 billion in Gross Added Value to the UK economy and generate considerable commercial value to others in the communities where they take place. The Southampton Boat Show, for example, generates over £30 million in sales annually for local businesses in Hampshire.

EIF have put to Government arguments for supporting the outdoor event industry and particularly the supply chains that enable it to operate. Sadly, Government have rejected this industry’s appeals. They have supported many other sectors of the economy but not event suppliers.

Jim Winship, Secretary of EIF said, “The conclusion one reaches is that while supporting front line businesses is popular politics as it is understood by the public, supply chains are hidden and, therefore, expendable. Yet, as every military strategist knows, unless supply chains are maintained one stands little chance of winning a war”.

The events industry of course welcomes the VAT cut to 5% for tickets sales and the extension in the furlough scheme but despite repeatedly highlighting the need to support our supply chains through this pandemic crisis, the Government has persistently ignored them. Our industry faces coming out of lockdown with the frontline event businesses inadequately supported which will severely hamper their ability to operate.

It has also been reported that with some local authorities getting cold feet about events taking place and commercial insurers refusing to cover cancellations related in any way to the pandemic, events face a perfect storm. At a time when outdoor events could be making a major contribution to kick starting the economy, once again the season is looking less likely to get going until late summer at best and only then if insurance is in place.

Steve Heap, Chair of EIF said, “After a whole year of campaigns, lobbying of Government and working hard to try and hold out valuable industry together we are disappointed Government does not yet see the clear tax advantage of supporting an industry that provides employment for some 589,000 people in the UK.

“Outdoor event organisers are used to risk, are creative and resilient, we just need Government to recognise this, and we will play our part in getting the UK back on its feet”.

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The Events Industry Forum (EIF) provides an informal meeting point for trade bodies and similar organisations in the outdoor events industry. The group usually meets twice a year to share information and discuss issues of common interest. Currently 26 organisations support the EIF. The Forum, under EIF Limited, also publishes the Purple Guide on a non-for-profit basis.

Member Organisations:
Association of Circus Proprietors
Association of Festival Organisers
Association of Independent Festivals
Association of Show and Agricultural Organisations
Association of Stage Pyrotechnics
British Air Display Association
British Arts Festivals Association
British Pyrotechnists Association
Business Visits and Events Partnership
Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity
Event Hire Association
Event Supplier and Services Association
Institution of Occupational Safety & Health
Local Authority Event Organisers’ Group
Made Up Textiles Association
Major Events International
National Outdoor Events Association
Nationwide Caterers’ Association
National Police Chief’s Council
National Traction Engine Trust
Outdoor Arts UK
Production Services Association
Portable Sanitation Europe
Professional Lighting & Sound Association
Rugby Football Union
The Concert Promoters Association
The Event Services Association
The National Centre for Resilience Learning and Development (EPC)
The Showmen’s Guild of GB
The UK Crowd Management Association