Andrew Harrison, Director of ESSA, dispels the myths around the perceived complexities of working abroad for the UK events industry.

Brexit may seem like a long time ago, but for those in the UK events industry, its ramifications when it comes to working abroad are still being felt.

The withdrawal from the EU naturally brought about a lot of change which impacted the processes required for the UK events industry to continue to legally work in the EU.

The main difficulty many workers find is not in understanding the information, but in sourcing it in the first place, leading to a lack of clarity and confidence when it comes to taking their skills and expertise abroad. The UK government has been slow to provide clear and concise guidance, leaving many UK workers confused and believing that working abroad is far more complicated than it actually is, and therefore not worth the effort.

It’s why a big part of our work at ESSA has been helping companies identify, access and understand the information they need to successfully work abroad to restore trust and confidence both in themselves and in the wider market.

We launched our in-depth working abroad resource for our 300+ members which comprises hundreds of hours of research and information gathering in partnership with visa consultancies, country consulates as well as using our vast member network. Our efforts have always been to provide a breakdown for a specific country’s requirements for working abroad from an events supplier perspective.

However, we still need the government’s support to help further simplify the process. The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) - comprising ESSA, Association of Event Organisers (AEO) and Association of Event Venues (AEV) - has been lobbying the UK government to secure greater clarity on the issue – it’s one of the key areas of our manifesto.

We don't want Europe or the rest of the world to get the impression that the UK is shut for business. However, with the right support, we can empower UK event professionals to continue to do so with ease and ensure the UK’s expertise remains an invaluable contribution to global events.

Published in the July issues of Hospitality & Events North Magazine 


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The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is a trade body representing the very best contractors and suppliers of goods and services to the UK’s thriving events industry.

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