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Planners fear Brexit will make job harder, research finds

One third of planners think Brexit will make their job harder, according to research by BDRC Continental

Pictured: frequent corporate event planners are the most pessimistic for Brexit, with 28 per cent fearing they will organise fewer events as a result

One third of planners think Brexit will make their job harder, according to hospitality market research specialist BDRC Continental.

The findings in the current issue of M&IT come after BDRC Continental polled its event planner panel of corporate, association and social/personal organisers.

Overall, more than a third of event planners think that Britain leaving the EU will make their job harder, while only 11 per cent think it will be made easier. Event planners that organise more than 21 events per year have the worst outlook, with 52 per cent saying that their job will made more difficult by a Brexit. Social event organisers have a slightly more balanced view, but still a quarter feel that a Brexit would have a negative impact on their professional life.

One in five event planners think that Brexit will have a negative impact on the volume of events they organise. Frequent corporate planners (21+ events per year) are again the most pessimistic, as 28 per cent think they will organise fewer events if Britain leaves the EU.

Negative outlook on event volumes in the event of leaving is much more pronounced among UK-based event planners than those based abroad. One in five UK planners think they will organise fewer events if we leave the EU, compared to just 14 per cent of those on the panel based overseas.

UK-based event planners are more likely to have an opinion on how Brexit would impact their event volumes. Only 11 per cent say they ‘don’t know’ what the effect will be, compared to 25 per cent of those based abroad. 

Event planners in the North are the most negative about their prospects following Brexit, with more than one in three forecasting a downturn in volume in the event of a leave vote. One in five planners in London, Central and the South East foresee a negative impact on balance, while the Midlands, South West and Wales are more optimistic, with just 13 per cent predicting a post-Brexit slump.

Overall, one in ten planners’ organisations have paused event decisions pending the outcome of the referendum. Among the most frequent corporate planners that rises to 15 per cent, indicating that although it’s “business as usual” for the majority, the referendum is nonetheless causing a notable level of uncertainty.

UK businesses are also affected by the reaction of companies on the continent. They too are pausing event-related decisions pending the referendum outcome, which is having adverse effects on UK event planners.

As one respondent notes: “The issue for us is that the companies commissioning our services are mostly based on the continent. Whatever we think, it's their views that are key and at the moment they're pausing commissioning some work until the matter is settled.”

Event planners on both sides of the debate feel that the British electorate is not sufficiently informed to take part in the referendum. Some even question the validity of holding a referendum at all and think the government should take responsibility for the decision.

One respondent says the vote “should never have been put to the electorate”, saying: “The facts are complicated and leave too much room for ill-informed debate. The great British public is not qualified to decide on an issue of this kind - it should be left to the government of the day.”

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