The British trade-show and exhibition industry has warned that unless the government allows events to schedule firm dates, the economy will lose 30,000 jobs and as much as £8 billion this year.
About 70 percent of shows scheduled earlier this year were rescheduled into the fall but the Boris Johnson administration has not yet said whether or when events will be allowed to take place.
Operators will need up to 12 weeks of advance notice to get the events up and running, according to the Association of Events Organisers (AEO).
Without a start date, the nearly 180,000 businesses that rely on trade shows to generate sales “will have no orders to look forward to,” said Chris Skeith, AEO chief executive. “The industry is devastated. With activity peaking in autumn and spring, many companies have had no revenues since late last year.”
For lack of a guaranteed start date, the Southampton International Boat Show and the Autumn Fair gift and homeware exhibition, which both were scheduled for September, have been scrapped for this year.
“About 80 percent of the 450 exhibitors at the Southampton International Boat Show are small and medium sized businesses, many of which generate 70 percent of their annual sales during that one event,” Skeith said.
Germany and France are allowing trade shows and similar events to begin again on 1 September.
“In many other countries there is complete clarity, but at the moment there is a lack of transparency in the U.K.,” he added. “An event doesn’t just happen in a week or two. We plan months in advance.”
TREND FORECAST: Virtually absent the mainstream media news are the lockdown implications on conventions and trade shows and related businesses, professions, and industries.
The International Association of Exhibitions and Events forecasts that in the U.S., some 439 exhibitions and events have been canceled this year, while another 230 are being postponed until later this year.

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