Despite public sector squeeze, SME’s embrace events

The government is “overdoing” public sector cuts, claims business economist Dominic Swords.

According to Conference & Incentive Travel, Swords told delegates at the Summer Eventia event that a strong focus on private sector, profit-driven growth will resonate throughout the events industry.

The news came as part of his session which, according to Event Magazine, was titled ”Economic prospects and the recovery request – imperatives for the UK events and business tourism industries.”

Claiming that the squeeze on the public sector is bigger than that required to deal with the deficit, Swords said: “It will fundamentally shift growth drivers away from the public sector to the private sector. But SMEs are winners. Firms with flexible mindsets will realise where the growth is happening and be quick to move.”

“SMEs will really rule the roost over the next seven years,” he said.

The news comes after Conference & Incentive Travel reported that industry figures have warned the budget could signal austere times for conference venues. In fact, Motivcom group executive director Nigel Cooper said that the announced cuts in public spending could be worse than the recession for event spaces.

However, BI’s operations director Rachel Stevens told the magazine in a previously published article: “On the bright side, while event spending is still low compared to 2007 levels, our industry has worked very hard to prove the value of face-to-face communication and so consequently I don’t anticipate the brakes will be applied as hard as they were a couple of years ago.”