26% of events businesses say that they are going to have to make staff redundancies once the furlough scheme ends, according to the Event Pay Check 2020 – Employer’s Survey, carried out by ESP Recruitment in association with Access’ sister publications Conference News and Exhibition News.

Venues admit that they will have to make redundancies regardless of the circumstances, with 18% admitting that they will need to cut staffing after the furlough scheme ends, with 31% saying are waiting to see what the economic landscape looks like. 6% of venues say they will make cuts when the government stops paying furlough, while 18% say they are not planning any redundancies.

Event management companies are also facing tough decisions, with 31% confirming that they will need to make further redundancies when the furlough scheme ends, with a further 37% saying they are waiting to see. 17% say they have no plans for staff cuts. The numbers are mirrored by suppliers and production agencies.

The numbers add weight to the argument raised by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), which has asked the government to extend protected measures such as the furlough scheme to ensure events businesses have the time and capacity to rebuild.

Commenting on the findings, Liz Sinclair, director of ESP Recruitment, and who carried out the research, said: “It is a shame that such a vibrant industry is likely to lose some brilliant and creative individuals to other industries if the government doesn’t offer further measures to keep staff furloughed until events return.

“When the industry does pick up, employers will still have the staff they have nurtured and trained, and who know their products inside-out, so the industry can pick up where it left off.”

Sinclair noted that it would be a mistake for the government to ignore the events industry. She added: “It would be short-sighted of the government not to assist, as not only is this a great industry in itself, employing a lot of people, it also brings a lot of business to the UK and enables other industries to do more business too.

“It would be madness not to support it further, or not to make some changes to the current rules to facilitate events taking place again this year.”