‘Let’s meet out to help out’ says Michael Begley, MD of Venue Directory

Following Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, Michael Begley, managing director of is calling for a similar government boost for the events industry.

“All sides of the industry – corporates, agencies and venues – need to unite to drive it, because the Government is unlikely to back it,” Begley said.

Michael Begley

“Just as British high streets have received a major boost from the launch of the government-backed discount dining scheme the business events sector now needs a sales incentive scheme to generate momentum and confidence in the industry,”

Begley added that as many people have felt confident enough to go to restaurants and bars again, people should be confident to start meeting again.

However, to inspire greater confidence in meeting face-to-face again, Begley suggested that more collaboration between buyers and suppliers is needed.

“We want all parties to work together – corporates, agents and venues – to drive activity and confidence in the sector. Between next month and the end of the year, I would suggest corporates need to commit to booking their next meeting or event and put down a deposit with the venue to demonstrate their commitment.

“If they can do this, then the venue can pass on 50 per cent of the commission to the booking agent immediately after the booking is confirmed and the deposit paid.”

The initiative will strive to generate momentum to keep the sector moving forward and growing in what is a tough trading period and will boost the cash flow of agencies.

Begley also suggested that to further boost confidence and minimise risk, the corporates who are booking venues should be able to receive a refund up to 14 days prior to arrival if they choose not to hold their event. “Many businesses in the travel and hotel sector are already doing this to encourage bookings,” added Begley.