How Will Brexit Affect The Marketing & Exhibition Industry?

When the British public voted for Brexit on 23rd June 2016 some feared it would be the start of a slippery slope for the British Economy. However, despite an initial dip in the value of the pound the impacts haven’t been as negative as some might expect. So what do the next 2 years and beyond hold in store for the industry?


Uncertainty is the main issue facing the industry and the economy overall. No one really knows what will happen in a post-Brexit Britain. 8 months on from the initial vote it hasn’t become much clearer. With words such as hard, soft, red, white and blue being bandied around the majority of people have been left feeling nothing but confused.

So asking the question ‘how will Brexit affect the marketing and exhibition industry’ is a tough one to answer. All we really know is, when Britain leaves the single market we will have to renegotiate all of our international deals, for better or worse.

Brexit & Marketing

The marketing industry itself appears to be seeing Brexit as a new challenge. The IPA has stated that ‘the result is an opportunity for marketers to up the creativity levels and prove their worth globally.’ Many marketing departments have increased budgets up until the end of 2016 and the industry is continuing to invest in new ideas.

Brexit is likely to have some impact on the number of European partners who choose to work with British-based companies. European partners may choose to work with companies still part of the single market to avoid added bureaucracy and taxes which may be incurred. However, the fall in the value of the pound means that British marketing agencies are more affordable to international businesses. So, we could see a rise in the number of businesses using British marketing agencies. Marketing and digital marketing, in particular, is in a unique position to be very easily exported.

Marketing agencies should see this and make use of the opportunity by seeking international business. The possibility of new trade deals with America is also a bonus. The success of Donald Trump has shocked the world but both he and his commerce secretary have links to Britain. Trump has called the UK ‘a very special Ally’ in a recent tweet about his meeting with Teresa May. He has also often indicated he would happy to work with the UK post-Brexit.

Business from clients in Europe may see a downturn. Those marketing agencies who work closely with European organizations will have to look elsewhere for new business. But with new international opportunities, this shouldn’t be a problem for any marketing department worth its salt. After all the name of the game is developing new ways to attract customers!

Brexit & Exhibitions

The exhibition and events industry relies heavily on the free movement of both people and products. Renegotiating deals on freedom of movement within Europe will be key to future of the exhibition industry in the UK. Partly to create ease of travel for delegates attending events and exhibitions. But also to ensure recruitment within the hospitality and services industry is not impacted by the fall in European workers. Chairman of EVCOM, Steve Garvey stated: “In particular we believe it is vital to continue to allow the free movement of people, capital, goods and services between the UK and the rest of Europe”.

It is also key that venues and services providers consider how to continue to attract new business. This must come from quality and innovation which the UK is well known for. Venues must be competitive in an ever more global market. Employment expectations within the industry are positive. A survey by marketing week shows that 29.5% of professionals felt that employment within the industry would be higher in the coming year.

With new potential markets to attract and more international competition, it seems only natural that Brexit would be a positive for the Marketing & Exhibition Industry. At this point, we can only speculate and the future is still uncertain but with an industry so focused on innovation and creativity there is no reason why Brexit need be negative. The only way is up!

Author: Chanel Serena Morales: Marketing Coordinator

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