December 6, 2023

Events business unprepared for no-deal Brexit

Half of the UK's event and hospitality businesses admit to having made little or no preparation for a 'no-deal' Brexit.

In a survey conducted by trade association the HBAA marking three years since the referendum, businesses appear to be more pessimistic about their prospects while the ongoing uncertainty about the UK’s exit from the EU continues.

When asked whether Brexit has had a noticeable impact on their business as a whole, only 15.6% this year say it has had none – a significant shift from a year ago when 57.7% reported no impact.

Recruitment was the biggest concern, with 18.7% of respondents saying Brexit had hit the hiring and availability of staff. That figure has leapt from just 2.3% in 2017.

Correspondingly, 19.3%of HBAA members have now changed their recruitment policies since the decision to leave the EU, up from 13.7 %a year ago. Meanwhile, 25% said they would change policies in the next two years, an increase from 19.2% in 2018.

Angie Mason, HBAA Chairwoman, says; “Most organisations are trying to focus on ‘business as usual’ as it is virtually impossible to prepare for every eventuality while the uncertainty continues. But it is proving difficult.

“Whatever the outcome, the need for immediate and long-term action to address recruitment issues is clear. A key element of the solution is the next generation, encouraging them to join the industry and helping them to build satisfying careers in it.”

Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence suggested a fall in the value of sterling had helped UK venues initially, others said businesses was now depressed because of the uncertainty.