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Reduced budgets top industry group’s Brexit fears

EWL Club members say they expect reduced budgets and delayed decision-making, with events to Europe also a concern

47 per cent of EWL Club members highlighted reduced budgets and delayed decision-making in the wake of the Brexit vote

Almost half of members of the EWL Club expect event budget reductions and delayed decision-making in the immediate wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.

The club, formed of in-house and agency planners, plus representatives from the supply side of the sector, polled its membership following the referendum result and 47 per cent of respondents said they expect a fall in budget and that event decisions had been put on hold in the immediate aftermath.

EWL Club director Helen Moon said: “Most respondents indicated a slowdown of the market and the UK economy, with some experiencing cancellations, but also booking confirmations being paused in anticipation of a reduction in rates. There was also mention of recruitment freezes and a need to instil confidence with European team members that they are valued and welcome.”

A reduction of the number of European events heading to the UK once Brexit is completed in 2018 was also a top concern among 35 per cent of members, says Moon. “Many respondents indicated they felt that more events would switch to mainland Europe, there would be a loss of talent, more complicated rules in regards to setting up events outside of the UK, and head offices relocating to mainland Europe, taking their events with them.

“One member even stated they were considering moving their event operations to Europe following the larger corporates to whichever European city emerges as the next hub.  On a positive note there was mention of optimism in regards to the Chinese market and an increase in event and accommodation enquiries for the UK since the referendum result.”

The EWL Club – originally the Eventprofs Who Lunch Club – was founded in 2015 in London, and after membership numbers passed 250, formed branches in the Midlands and the North of England.

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