Industry Leaders Warn 75% of Event Businesses Could Fail Before February
Over 525,000 jobs are at risk in the UK’s £84 billion events and experiences industry and three out of four companies could fail to survive beyond next February, the government has been warned. As the UK national lockdown was announced, the Events Industry Board trade body laid bare research to ministers on the impact faced by around 774,000 sector professionals.
The findings included:
- 77% of events and exhibition businesses have paused trading completely at some point since lockdown.
- Businesses experienced an average 89.5% year on year fall in revenue in August.
- Four out of 10 firms have between 75% and 100% of staff on furlough and the end of the scheme on 2nd December is likely to lead to 170,000 immediate job losses.
- 80% of events and exhibition firms were ineligible for the grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses based on rateable value and only 27% were able to access The Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
- 44% of events and exhibitions companies do not believe they have the financial resilience to survive until the end of November, rising to 76% by the end of February 2021.
The enforced restrictions on the UK’s events industry contrasts with the approach in other developed nations where business events have been allowed to go ahead, resulting in the significant loss of business to international competitors. Since March, 845 major exhibitions have been cancelled, amounting to £8.6bn of lost economic impact. With no road map in place for events to resume, it is forecast the UK will lose £31bn in visitor spend if business events do not resume before the middle of 2021.