Boss tells Bexhill MP ‘lack of clear strategy is having devastating impact’ on events businesses

The managing director of an events agency took the opportunity of a surprise visit by Bexhill and Battle MP Huw Merriman to voice the concerns of the entire events sector.

Monday, 28th September 2020, 1:00 pm
Michael Gietzen and Huw Merriman MP at Identity's HQ SUS-200928-123105001

Michael Gietzen, managing director of Identity, based in Westham, employs in excess of 100 people and called for the events industry to be allowed to ‘unlock’ and deliver Covid secure events.

He said: “Our sector has been one of the hardest hit. The lack of clear strategy for a return of live events is having a devastating impact on businesses, leaving many unable to plan or forecast.

“Despite contributing £70bn to the economy in 2019 alone, our sector is one of only five yet to reopen following the March lockdown.

“This contrasts with other European countries that have prioritised the events industry in their economic recovery plans. The lack of clear strategy for a return of live events is having a devastating impact on businesses.

“While there has been a lot of discussion of the impact on the sports industry, it is worrying that the events industry is seemingly being overlooked. 
“Identity circumvented a lot of devastation with a dramatic repositioning and expansion during the pandemic.

“But the industry at large, that employs 600,000 people, is made up of many areas, from agencies like us to freelancers, many of whom are struggling.

“Further financial help would be great but what we really want is to be permitted to do what we do best - deliver events that are properly and professionally organised, with rigorous safety measures in place. There are so many ways that events can run, within Covid restrictions. We need to be allowed to demonstrate this.”
Mr Merriman and Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell were visiting local businesses to gauge the impact of the pandemic upon the South East.

Mr Merriman, visiting as part of his ‘cycling constituency tour’, said: “I completely agree with Michael. Ultimately, we’ve got to let businesses follow their own regulations. They know what is good for their clients and I will be writing to the Chancellor about this.”

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