Reacting to the General Election result, Dale Parmenter, group CEO at Worcestershire-based communications and creative agency drp, said: “Given the election result this morning, it was the worst possible result and just adds to the instability and uncertainty.
“Politicians need to stop their petty squabbling, get real and realise that the only source of income for the UK to pay for social care, education and alike comes from business and trade.
“They need to protect and look after important sectors like ours, which pumps billions of pounds into the economy and employs vast numbers of people. My hope is we don’t see a further drop in confidence, adding to a slowing down of our sector.
“Above all, there must be clarity regarding how the government will handle the impending Brexit negotiations. We need to maintain ‘business as usual’ and ensure that we do not hyper-inflate this morning’s results.”
Chairman of industry association the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) took a more sanguine view: “The priority for any new government will be protecting and growing the economy and business. The events sector has a major role to play in this. Whoever is in power, there’s no reason why the good work of the Events Industry Board should not continue by advising government on the ways in which the value and volume of events held in Britain can be expanded. “Industry representation through the BVEP will continue to focus on post-Brexit growth opportunities. We hope James Heappey will resume his role in the All Party Parliamentary Group for Events and Nick de Bois will continue to lead the Events Industry Board.”
MD of logistics company Andrew Baxter, said he thought a hung parliament signalled “Brexit chaos”.
“This result is a disaster. Theresa May’s position now looks very vulnerable indeed and I expect she will go in the near future – maybe as soon as in the next week – because she will struggle to have the authority to lead the party through the coming period,” said Baxter.
“This will be worsened by people blaming her for putting the party and country in this position by calling the election. I suspect that there will be another general election within the next year.
“I doubt the Conservatives will be able to push through Brexit without a majority so, therefore, the nature of Brexit – or in fact whether it happens at all – will depend, if I’m right, upon the result of the next election.
“The upshot of this election in my opinion is total instability and a very unclear picture for the future of the UK.”
Corporate Events’s sales and marketing director Tristan Norman added: “Regardless of last night’s result, and Brexit for that matter, the UK remains one of the top global business destinations of which events form a central pillar.
“I think we echo the sentiment of all businesses that work a lot in both the UK and Europe, regardless of their industry. We hope the upcoming negotiations with the European Union end with the best possible result for both sides to ensure a conducive business environment for the future. So, despite the current political uncertainty this General Election has caused, for us it really is business as usual and we have to ensure we focus on continuing to deliver world class events for our clients.”
Jane Longhurst, chief executive, Meetings Industry Association (mia), said: “Following last night’s election, it is inevitable to expect some volatility in the markets and further uncertainty for business in the UK. The hope for stability might have eluded us temporarily but during this period of uncertainty we need to keep focused on business and growth for the year ahead.
“Our message over the past 12 months has been consistent: Don’t stop. Don’t wait. What is certain is that to gain confidence in the UK we must continue to be resourceful, to strive to develop and to work together. We are of course effected on the decisions from the election and any future government steer will have an impact on the strength of our business and potential opportunities, but this is not a time to pause.
“We’ve seen some outstanding results from some of our members who have deflected some of the downturn by identifying emerging markets, investing in their staff and developing their marketing. We should learn from those beacons in the industry and listen to their advice. Our advice now is to find ways to work together, to learn from examples and to seek new opportunities to boost business. This is a time to capitalise on the existing strengths and voice that the industry has.
“The mia will be striving to provide the catalyst for continued learning, best practice and innovation and whether you are a member or not, the mia is here for the industry and to provide the relevant resources to support you.”