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James Heappey joins mia better business debate

Association to host closed roundtable debate on EU with APPG for Events chair and MP James Heappey

Pictured: James Heappey

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) is to host a closed roundtable debate with All Party Parliamentary Group for Events chair James Heappey as part of its campaign to champion a better way for business. 

During the debate on Tuesday 11 October in Westminster, the panel will be discussing ways to encourage greater incentives for international corporations to hold meetings and conferences in the UK and highlighting the importance of ensuring freedom of movement and trade within the European Union remains.

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “We’re delighted that James Heappey and leading industry figures will be joining the latest high-profile mia event.

“We know from our recent poll that the sector is feeling a little more optimistic about the referendum result now we have a greater degree of clarity about the timetable we are following. 

“However, Theresa May has confirmed that the UK won’t trigger Article 50 and begin its formal Brexit negotiation process until next year. Therefore, it’s imperative that we champion initiatives to ensure the UK remains competitive within global markets and to help ensure all members are best equipped to maximise business opportunities and minimise any potential negative impact of Brexit.”

The debate topics were raised as being of utmost importance in a recent mia members poll. While 43% of respondents in the September survey said they were now feeling more optimistic about the EU referendum’s impact on the sector, over half were still feeling either unsure or not positive about Brexit. 

There also still appears to be a freeze on non-essential spend by more than 60 per cent of members, with 44 per cent implementing a number of cost-saving initiatives.  More than one third are also experiencing recruitment freezes as well as holds on pay reviews and bonus payments, while a quarter are looking at ways to diversify. 

Following his appearance at the mia’s EU debate in May, Heappey, the MP for Wells and chair of the APPG for Events, will be joined by Mark Chambers, mia chairman and group MD of Eden Hotel Collection;  Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia; Jonathan Morris, commercial director of The King’s Fund; Tracy Halliwell, director of business tourism & major events at London & Partners; Alan Newton, chief operating officer of Eventopedia; Diane Waldron, sales & marketing director of the QEII Centre and Dale Parmenter, group CEO of drp.

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