Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, much like the UK vote for Brexit, confounded most of the official polls and left many in the UK events sector stunned and wondering if it could herald a new period of market uncertainty.
The Javits convention centre in Manhattan was subdued as plans for Hillary Clinton’s Democratic party celebrations were cancelled as the results came in overnight and supporters left the venue early.
Creative communications agency drp group’s CEO Dale Parmenter said of the Trump victory in the US: “I would be surprised if people are shocked by the result, the danger is now how the markets react and the potential effect on the UK economy, the positive effect on inbound business could be short lived if the dollar drops. What we don’t need now is more uncertainty and over reaction.”
Concerto Group chief executive Sam Gill added: “The reality of a Trump administration will be more reasoned than his electioneering rhetoric, but the real challenge will be in Europe, where this will further fuel the right wing parties in their anti-EU, nationalist sentiment.
“We need to await the global impact to assess any effect on the UK events market, but I sense that the recent increase in the 2017 growth forecast will remain secure in the medium term. On a personal level, I am disappointed that someone who is a blatant sexist can be elected leader of the free world.”
Industry guru Kevin Jackson of Experience is the Marketing agency, told CN: “We are witnessing, with Brexit, possibly the two biggest political decisions of modern times. If this shows anything it shows that we have has failed to listen to the man and woman in the street. This will force a reset and a re-evaluation. Everyone is worried about change, which is natural; truth is, with a couple of obvious exceptions it’s never as bad as people imagine.”
And Des Mclaughlin, of Mac-D Consulting, said: “Trump’s victory was not the one business was hoping for or expecting. Trump has no real track record in government and his rhetoric is worrying which means he brings uncertainty, which the markets hate. Expect the global stock markets to tumble initially on the news and a feeling of negativity to permeate throughout the business world, which is obviously not good for the events industry. On the plus side these things are rarely as bad as people predict and economies tend to settle down after a period of flux.”
Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA chair, speaking about the impact of the US presidential election, told CN: “Business travel and events will continue and I think our members learnt from Brexit that this is not the time for hasty actions in the hospitality industry. It’s a time to let the world settle down before making any decisions, although our members want stability in every aspect soon.
“Like the Referendum, the result shows us that the world is open to change and our members will be taking note of this from a business perspective.”