Nick de Bois urges industry to get involved in parliamentary inquiry

Conservative
MP Nick de Bois has urged meetings and events industry leaders to unite and
make written representations to the new All Party Parliamentary Group
(APPG) UK Events Industry Inquiry into the industry’s competitiveness.

Speaking
to an invited audience of International Confex Black Tier members and
the media yesterday at Excel London (20 March), he said the goal of the inquiry was
not for Government to tell the industry what it should do and make
prescription, but, “an opportunity for the industry to share its
evidence and show how it should go forward”.

“The inquiry will explode myths and decide if anecdotal evidence matches the hard evidence,” de Bois added.

Initially,
written submissions addressing a range of questions are invited, with
de Bois promising that the inquiry would then call selected
representatives to give oral evidence. He anticipated results would then
be put before Government by the autumn.

Written evidence, no more than four double sided sheets of A4, should be sent to appg@britainforevents.co.uk by 19 April 2013.

Britain for Events is acting as the Secretariat for the inquiry.

CN
asked de Bois why the APPG had not managed to make more progress
already, lobbying the Government on the question of streamlining the
bureaucratic visa regime for some overseas delegates, most notably those
from China.

The MP admitted there was already evidence to
suggest that Schengen visa countries were at an advantage in terms of
attracting Chinese business travellers but urged the UK meetings and
events industry to put hard evidence before the inquiry.

“You have to make the case. But there could be an interim recommendation on the visa question,” he said.

De
Bois also added that unless there was industry momentum on a range of
issues “we won’t get anywhere”. Now was the time to seize the initiative
and help activate changes.

De Bois believed there were “easy
wins’ and foresaw a hitlist of recommendations being drawn up as a
result of the inquiry, including the issue of international subvention
funding.

The APPG, De Bois told CN, now numbered 42 members.

Speaking
on the second day of International Confex, the MP described the show as
“historic” for the UK events industry and believed it would still be
around in in another 30 years, continuing to evolve.

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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