The reshuffle of the Cabinet “presents a real challenge for the events industry when it comes to getting the right messages across to key government ministers and departments,” according to industry association Eventia.
Eventia Chairman Simon Hughes said: "Maria Miller coming into post at the Department for Culture Media and Sport is an unknown quantity. What is known is that she now has two roles to fulfil and a plan to reduce the DCMS by 50 per cent. The announcement that John Penrose is stepping down as Tourism Minister because of his worries over the lack of resources only serves to underline this problem.
“John proved to be a strong advocate for tourism, but it appears now that the Olympic legacy priorities for a much reduced department will be sport and culture related. Our industry needs to find a better home now when it comes to engaging the government with the economic growth potential that we represent on behalf of our members."
Hughes added that losing Jeremy Hunt to Health was another blow: “I'm not convinced that losing the understanding and insight that his role in the Olympic Games gave him into the dynamic world of staging major events will be a good thing for the industry as a whole."
He did, however, highlight some positive developments: "Paul Deighton (ex CEO of LOCOG) being given a role in the Treasury must be good news, as his experience and understanding of what this industry can deliver is in many ways unique. Some of the other appointments at a lower ministerial level in Business, Innovation and Skills also give us new people to talk to who seem to be focused on business growth opportunities."
Hughes also told Meetpie.com that Eventia’s offers to assist with the government’s strategy for event procurement had not been taken up: “We've heard nothing of any real interest from Government Procurement Service since we offered to help them. Given the success of the summer it would be helpful if they were a bit more pro-active on such genuine offers of support.”
Pictured: Simon Hughes