Event venues association says face-to-face meetings "vital" to co-operation

The chairman of the Events Industry Association has called upon the government to make strategic use of live events and UK function venues to ensure that “vital” debate and communication among stakeholders takes place following the spending review.

As reported by Meet Pie, Mark Saxby, chair of the EIA, has spoken out following the comprehensive spending review and the revealed cuts to public sector spending. These cuts include a restructuring of the Central Office of Information, the Whitehall department for government communications and campaigns, a major client of meeting venues and the wider event sector.

“The government is clearly going to make what are going to be painful cuts in the public sector,” said Mr Saxby. “What it must recognise is that there will never be a more important time for it to communicate with departmental staff and the public at large.”

“If it wants to bring all these stakeholders along with it, explain its strategy and its future plans, it must remember the need for live events and face-to-face meetings to engage with them throughout all stages of the process.”

Mr Saxby called for the government to use live events at conference centres and event spaces as “a strategic communications tool” and to “recognise their effectiveness in this respect and invest accordingly.”

The importance of face-to-face meetings in establishing trust and communication has been reinforced over the past month by several pieces of research. For example Computer Weekly reports that 80% of businesses surveyed by Forrester Research said that face-to-face meetings were extremely important to their firm, whilst The Telegraph reported that a British study by Direct Line found that over a third of people were more likely to be sincere and honest when speaking in the flesh.