Brexit: what does the future hold for our business?

It’s the topic that has been on everyone’s mind since 23 June… What will become of our trading relationship with the United Kingdom after this Brexit voted for in the referendum? And more specifically, what does the future hold for our business?

I’m not going to attempt a geopolitical analysis since others would do that far better than I, but I will give an overview of the current situation.

To date, based on the statistics for 2013-2015, we can establish the following facts:

  • Depending on the year, with almost 60,000 professionals (representing approximately 9% of the total international visitors), the UK ranks between first and second in number of visitors at international trade shows in France.
  • It is in the top five exhibiting countries (third or fourth depending on the year), with almost 3,000 exhibitors a year (8% of the total international exhibitors and rising). The UK ranks fourth (behind the Netherlands, Italy and Austria) in visitor numbers at German trade shows, more than twice as many as those attending exhibitions in France, representing considerable scope for growth. It ranks third in exhibitor numbers, so there is significant potential for growth there also. More broadly, in the MICE sector, the UK ranks third in attendance at international conferences in France.

Contrary to popular belief, there are few UK trade shows that attract a large number of international visitors: there is the Farnborough Air Show of course and the London Wine Fair but, generally speaking, UK trade shows tend to target the local market. A few highly specialised exhibitions exist, in the high tech and fashion sectors for example, but they do not have the same international impact as French or German trade shows, and are not a gateway to the home export market…

Promosalons opened its first office in London in 1967. With the same level of professionalism, the same rigorous approach and the same passion, we will continue to support, inform and convince the British public, while keeping a close eye on the consequences of Brexit – which are real but as yet unclear.

And, as the Queen said in her recent speech to the Scottish Parliament: “Stay calm and collected”!