What are your plans for Brexit? Fabrizio Della Pace, chief operating officer at Rentuu, the event equipment hire specialist, believes that thanks to technology and data, positives can be found in chaotic situations.
As I write, there’s only one thing that the events industry does know about Brexit and that’s we still don’t know exactly what is going to happen on October 31.
There are less than six weeks to go until the UK leaves the European Union (UN) and whilst the UK Government has published its assessment of the possible side effects of a no-deal Brexit on the UK — a document called Official Sensitive, which has been drawn up as part of Operation Yellowhammer — it remains for UK businesses to ready themselves and manage the fallout as best they can, should chaos ensue.
But there is one vital thing that the events industry needs to remember — we’re leaving the EU, not Europe, and so our relationships with European businesses and organisations have never been so important.
The Port of Dover has gone to great lengths to reassure UK companies that trade will flow freely and that the Dover Straits route will continue to be the most efficient way for trade between the UK, Ireland and Europe. A traffic management plan called Operation Brock has been put in place and to ensure more lorries are ready for customs, the Government has automatically enrolled thousands of companies into a new customs system.
The Government hopes that such announcements will go some way to calm UK businesses that need to cross the Channel quickly and efficiently. So, what logistical contingencies do you have in place? If it is going to take longer to get event equipment into Europe then what are you going to do?
It would be stupid of me to say that planning is key; that kind of statement is a no brainer. But I would be interested to hear exactly how event businesses have planned for what we are certain will be an uncertain few weeks and months.
If you are a UK company delivering events in Europe, can you guarantee supply of kit? Or, are you lucky to have friends in Europe? Because now’s the time to add them to your Christmas card list.
On the flipside, Cuckooz, a serviced apartment provider, did some research into how affordable London is as a result of weaker sterling. Basically, the Brexit-bashed pound means that the cost of business travel has tumbled for foreign visitors so it’s much, much cheaper for event organisers to bring European delegates over to the UK for an event or conference.
For example, in June 2016, the average hotel room would have cost 183 Euro per night. Today a weaker pound means that this cost is just 166 Euro per night — that’s a 9.2 per cent saving, with prices dropping all the time.
So whilst our EU departure has more drama than an episode of Coronation Street, delegates visiting the capital from EU member states will save on accommodation. The weak pound may encourage more European businesses to bring their business to the UK. So ask yourself this — are you in a position to capitalise on that? What could you be doing to make your business more attractive to European events professionals and is your little black book of event equipment suppliers full to bursting?
Whilst I appreciate that now is an unsettling time to be in business, with a whole bunch of unknowns, partnerships are absolutely paramount and savvy events professionals will utilise all the tools and resources they can to be prepared.
Rentuu has a global supplier network, which enables event suppliers to cross-hire kit and equipment from other local high-quality suppliers.
Also, since July 2019, Rentuu has increased the number of European suppliers on its platform by more than 340 per cent. That’s because Rentuu serves the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands. It means that event organisers can fill in the free to use Request for Proposals form online, call on a European network of suppliers and organise an event knowing that their events are in safe hands.
Deal or no-deal, I think that is a pretty cool tool to have at your disposal so I urge event organisers to try it now for free.