126,000 Event Jobs Gone According to the Meetings Industry Association

28th Aug, 2020

"The business meeting and events sector has been completely knocked off of its feet and decimated by the impacts of COVID-19." This is the latest conclusion from the Meetings Industry Association, according to the UK Venue Survey, presented on August 18, 2020. 

Huge financial losses, largely not covered by insurance, have been borne by the industry, and although events are now allowed for up to 30 people at COVID-Secure venues, the first signs of recovery continue to be rather tenuous. The message of this survey in light of the findings is quite clear: government intervention in the UK is urgently needed, due to various evidenes such as the termination of many venues' furlough schemes and the difficulty of resuming business to pre-COVID levels.

MIA estimates there has been 126,000 total job losses to date, with catering, front-of-house and events/account managers being the roles most severely affected. Over a third of venues (34%) are reporting values between €1,000,000 and €5,600,000 for lost business as a result of COVID-19, with the average venue reporting this figure at €2,690,000. And the impact has gone much further than just the venues. Almost half (47%) have had to reduce, or request more flexible terms with their suppliers, while 7% are having to already source new ones because their regular pre-COVID-19 suppliers are no longer in operation.

Both short and long-term business enquiries continue to remain well below pre-COVID levels. A decline in consumer confidence has seen a decrease in Q3 2020 enquiries for 97% of venues compared to the previous year. On average, enquiries have decreased by a significant 78%, with 94% of venues also seeing a similar decline in Q4 2020, averaging a 75% decrease. Furthermore, with quarantine measures in place that are subject to change, it is unsurprising that very few international enquiries are being reported.
While business meetings of up to 30 are permitted, the majority of venues currently remain closed. Most are planning to reopen in late Q3 and Q4 – with just 15% opting to wait until 2021. Yet, the sector is ready and feeling confident that having meticulously planned, it can reopen and operate safely to support the economy.
The findings show how the sector has quickly responded by adapting its offering – achieving accreditations and investing a median of €8,400 in safety measures that largely go above and beyond the government’s requirements – to ensure venues are COVID-secure. 

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