Editor's Blog

Why we need to persist with government
Theresa May kicked off the year with a Cabinet reshuffle and beyond all the big name moves and sackings was one shift that went by virtually unnoticed - tourism minister John Glen was appointed economic secretary to the treasury and city minister.

However, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed on behalf of the events industry, as during his brief tenure as tourism minister Glen made very positive noises about helping the industry work with government to win business.

I attended the reception at Westminster in November ahead of the Business of Events Leadership Forum at the QEII Centre, where Glen was joined by senior members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events, government officials and senior members from across the UK events industry.

Speaking at that event, Glen said: “I’m giving a firm commitment that if there’s anything I can do to get my colleagues to help you win business I will do. 

“It’s really important we get together in tourism and business events to work out where the opportunities lie and where we can grow the market in a critical time for this country.”

Fine, encouraging words, I’m sure you’ll agree. But now that he’s gone, where does that leave us?

He’s been replaced as tourism minister by Michael Ellis (pictured), who no doubt will be a perfectly competent replacement.

However, it is frustrating that having worked with Glen for the last six months to convince him of the value of events to the country, the industry now has to start the whole process again with another minister.

Nonetheless, the industry must remember that working with government is a painfully slow process, dust itself off and carry on getting its foot in the door with ministers. Persistence is the key. We'll get there in the end.

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  • Michael Hirst 23/01/2018 Of: Business Visits and Events Partnership

    Yes, indeed, we had developed a very purposeful relationship with the former Minister. However it's good to have someone who now understands the industry in the Treasury. Industry representatives have already been in touch with the new Minister who has indicated his keenness to continue to develop a positive agenda for the industry. This includes supporting the work of the Events Industry Board. We maintain our strong relationships with Officials at both DCMS and the Department of International Trade and are hopeful that the momentum towards increasing the industry's international competitiveness will continue uninterrupted.