simon baxter publicity photo

Hardly a day goes by without a heated discussion on the news regarding Brexit and our future trading with the rest of the world. Whether you see our exit from the EU as a positive, or view it as Britain turning its back on a market place, one thing is certain – we, in the events industry, will have a part to play!

The UK-based events industry promotes business globally through the hundreds of international events held here, and the great work we all do promoting UK brands overseas. Brexit offers a fabulous opportunity for all of us as stakeholders, to work together and ensure that every event is as successful as it can be for delegates and exhibitors alike. Whether you are involved as a venue, an organiser, a design agency, a stand builder or as one of the hundreds of other suppliers that make up our industry, everyone has a responsibility to make every event work for our customers.

I believe that part of this responsibility is to offer good value (I don’t mean cheap!), so that everyone who visits a show can walk away at its conclusion feeling that it was worth the investment of time and money to attend; that they have shaken hands with people they will do business with and that they will re-attend and promote the event in the future.

With the current climate, it has never felt more appropriate to be completely honest with our customers; to tell them what they can expect: how much it will cost, what they should expect and to be realistic with the charges involved in running these events.

Recently I have seen a trend where costs that used to be charged to exhibitors by the organisers are being charged in other ways to try and keep the cost of space down. For example: advertising space is sometimes charged to stand builders as ‘permission to rig’ or organisers sometimes sell large spaces and then charge the stand builders for additional build and pull out days, something that used to be included in the stand space costs.

Of course we all understand that the industry has to cover these costs to remain sustainable, and we do try to explain to our customers in a positive way that these are all essential requirements. After all, we don’t want to pitch our clients in a battle between the various sectors of our industry when we are all working to promote the UK as a great place to do business!

I am pleased to say that our associations talk to each other – venues (AEV) organisers (AEO) and stand design and build suppliers (ESSA) have an open dialogue on such matters, discuss and promote us jointly and allow us to have these discussions in a forum that helps all parties understands and work together.

It has never felt like a more important time for everyone involved to work together to promote and ensure that the UK Events Industry supports our economy!

Simon Baxter is the managing director of  Dijon Designs.

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