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Unravelling the Impact of Brexit on the Events Industry | A Personal Analysis

Event designs by Mike Bell
Mike Bell 3D Event Design - Automotive

Brexit marked a historic turning point that has left an indelible imprint across various sectors. Among the industries finding themselves at the crossroads of change is the events industry, which is now grappling with a new reality shaped by unprecedented challenges and potential opportunities.

Putting Covid and lockdown damaging impacts aside, in this blog I'll reflect on the events & show industry in a post-Brexit landscape.

What does this new reality mean for event organizers, participants, and the industry at large? How has Brexit affected the industry's operational costs, regulatory compliance, and talent mobility? Is the industry's supply chain as robust and efficient as it was pre-Brexit? And more importantly, how is the industry transforming these challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation?

The answers to these questions are complex, requiring a delve into the intricate tapestry of changes weaved by Brexit. As I unravel these threads, we are led to an understanding of the transformative impact Brexit has had on the events industry, shedding light on the industry's resilience, adaptability, and its march towards a future defined by innovation and growth.

The Immediate Aftermath: Brexit's Shockwaves in the Events Sector

The Brexit referendum's immediate fallout sent profound shockwaves through the events industry, causing unprecedented disruptions. As the UK sought to redefine its relationship with the EU, a plethora of operational complexities surfaced:

  • Financial Impact: The abrupt shift in economic policies led to an increase in operational costs, impacting the financial feasibility of many events. New import tariffs and stricter regulations forced event organizers to reassess their budget allocations.

  • Consumer Sentiment: The economic uncertainty stemming from Brexit resulted in a cautious consumer approach, leading to a decrease in ticket sales and a subsequent drop in event participation.

Negotiating the Regulatory Maze Post-Brexit

Brexit has ushered in a new era of regulations that event organizers are now required to navigate. With the UK's departure from the EU's single market, the industry has faced several regulatory hurdles:

  • Complex Customs Procedures: Event organizers now have to contend with intricate customs processes and additional paperwork, adding to the administrative burden.

  • Compliance Requirements: Ensuring adherence to these new regulations requires additional resources, affecting the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of event planning.

Talent Mobility in the New Brexit Reality

The events industry has always thrived on its diverse and global talent pool. However, Brexit's impact on the free movement of people has created significant barriers to international talent:

  • Limited Availability: The new immigration policies have restricted access to skilled personnel for event production, affecting everyone from performers and speakers to technical staff.

  • Diversity Impact: The reduced ease of movement has also affected the diversity of attendees at events, leading to a less vibrant and inclusive atmosphere.

The Brexit Effect on Supply Chain

The supply chain within the events industry has also felt Brexit's disruptive influence. Importing equipment and materials from the EU has become more complex, leading to:

  • Increased Costs: The new customs procedures have led to increased costs in the procurement process.

  • Delays: These disruptions have resulted in delays in delivery, making it challenging for event organizers to deliver high-quality experiences within the stipulated timelines and budgets.

The 'Sunny Uplands': Unveiling Opportunities Amidst Challenges

Despite the daunting challenges, Brexit has also revealed (NOT TO ALL) a short list of untapped opportunities within the events industry. A renewed focus on local talent and resources has the potential to create a unique platform that showcases the best of British culture and innovation. The accelerated shift towards virtual and hybrid events, in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has served to mitigate some of Brexit's impacts. Despite the geographical and regulatory barriers, the industry has found limited ways to continue engaging global audiences.

Envisioning the Future of the Events Industry Post-Brexit

The full impact of Brexit on the events industry remains an evolving narrative. However, it is evident that the industry's landscape has been transformed dramatically. To thrive in this new reality, the industry must embrace adaptability and innovation, with a focus on leveraging opportunities, harnessing new technologies, and nurturing local talent, while navigating the regulatory maze.

The future of the events industry post-Brexit can be envisioned through several key aspects:

  • Regulatory Adaptation: Businesses will need to comprehend the new regulatory environment fully and adapt accordingly. This includes understanding the implications of new customs procedures, import tariffs, and immigration policies. Over time, the industry will find efficient ways to streamline these processes and lessen their impact on operational costs.

  • Local Resource Utilization: The industry now has an opportunity to pivot towards more localized solutions. This includes tapping into local talent pools, using local suppliers, and promoting the richness of British culture. By doing so, the events industry can support local communities and economies, while still providing captivating experiences for attendees.

  • Technological Advancements: The challenges posed by Brexit have ignited a spark of innovation within the industry. Adopting new technologies has accelerated, with virtual and hybrid events becoming increasingly popular. This trend has allowed event organizers to reach global audiences, despite physical and regulatory barriers, and is expected to continue shaping the industry's future.

  • Resilience Building: The events industry has always been characterized by its resilience, and Brexit has further tested this trait. As businesses learn to navigate this new landscape, they will build stronger resilience, equipping them to weather future challenges and uncertainties.


Brexit has indeed left an indelible mark on the events industry, presenting formidable challenges that have forced the industry to adapt and evolve. This period of transformation may bring with it opportunities for growth and innovation, but not those 'sunny uplands' of the politically motivated that we have endured for so long.

As we move forward, the industry's resilience, creativity, and adaptability will continue to shine, demonstrating that even amidst uncertainty and change, there is always potential for growth and success, no matter what political shenanigans occur.



Mike Bell [ ] is a freelance 3D designer based in the UK who specializes in creating high-quality 3D models, animations, and visualizations for a wide range of clients across various industries. With over 40 years of experience in the field, from making the shows happen on-site to winning the pitches in offices, Mike has developed a reputation for delivering exceptional quality work and providing excellent customer service to his clients. He is highly skilled in using a range of software programs to create visually stunning and engaging content for live events, exhibitions, and experiential projects. In addition to his technical skills, Mike is also adept at working collaboratively with clients to understand their needs and create customized solutions that meet their unique requirements.

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