Eventia chairman Rob Allen has penned an open letter to the events industry criticising the government’s ‘half-hearted support’ for live events, citing recent event WorldSkills London 2011 as a ‘missed opportunity’ for attending politicians, including PM David Cameron. Allen told meetpie.com: “Politicians may be saying all the right things about events but here was this very large, successful event and there didn’t seem to be much in the way of noise to support it”.
Allen writes: “Eventia has renewed its call for the government to get behind the growth generation involved in the live event industry, citing the half-hearted support for WorldSkills London 2011 as an example of yet another missed opportunity.
Here was a massive four-day event that filled ExCeL with young people from all over the world competing to be the best in their chosen skills. With over 200,000 visitors from around the UK sharing in the competitions, meeting employers and having the chance to try new things out for themselves, you’d have thought that they could have really got behind the event. After all, it was the biggest in the 60 year history of the competition and London delivered it brilliantly.
Both the deputy prime minister and prime minister attended WorldSkills London 2011, yet for some bizarre reason neither brought the considerable press relations operations that they have to hand to promote the benefits of this fantastic event. If you want a good news story then what better than seeing inspired young people working hard at developing skills and representing their countries in a top-flight competition?
WorldSkills London 2011 had it all – diversity, engaged and committed young people demonstrating an appetite for hard work, wonderful careers advice opportunities and hands on experience in many different disciplines. Our future growth is all about nurturing and supporting young talent. Just turning up and looking interested for a few hours is not the kind of commitment the event or indeed the broader event industry needs at the moment.
Almost a year ago we raised a similar point when commenting on the possible impact of the comprehensive spending review. Compare and contrast the carefully orchestrated media handling around Cameron’s immigration speech with his flying visit to WorldSkills London 2011 at ExCeL. From the very start of the planning process the coalition didn’t seem to understand that London had won a competition to hold this event, didn’t understand that we have top class companies that can deliver events on this scale or world class venues that can host such events. They need to get behind this industry and value the massive creative and economic impact that live events deliver on a daily basis across the UK."
Pictured: Rob Allen