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Almost half of corporates put events on hold pending EU vote, poll finds

Story Events predicts booking surge next week after 45 per cent of organisers delay decisions

Pictured: Sarah Kay, Story Events MD

Event organisers are bracing for a surge in contract sign-offs and enquiries next week once the EU referendum takes place, with 45 per cent of organisers saying it had delayed client decisions.

Story Events says its pipeline of contracts yet to be signed is 200 per cent bigger than the same time last year, citing uncertainty around the EU referendum is the cause, and is expecting a cascade of follow-ups next week.

The agency's venue finding branch, Venue Search London, ran a poll among 141 event organisers asking whether they were experiencing delays with senior management approving event spend in the lead-up to the EU referendum. Almost half (45 per cent) said they were experiencing delays.

Story Events MD Sarah Kay said: "We started to notice in the last three months that our pipeline was incredibly huge. People seem reluctant to sign. It's about 200 per cent bigger than this time last year; it's never been so big.

"I've had a few clients say to us we're not booking until we know the outcome of the referendum. It's frustrating for us within the events industry that people are waiting before they sign because there are situations where clients could lose dates or entertainment acts."

Kay said the majority of the team would be on call next week to handle what she expected to be an influx of enquiries.

"I anticipate next week being very busy with enquiries, I definitely think we'll see an influx. The majority of our system is automated so we can send out requests to venues very quickly, and we'll be using that side of the business so we can get our enquiries out quickly. We'll definitely be going hell for leather and hopefull securing as many dates as possible."

A number of corporates responded to Story Events' poll including Microsoft and ITV, with agencies from the likes of Concerto Group and Eventa.

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