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‘No forced closure’ of events after Queen’s death

Officials have issued guidance for organisers after the UK entered a period of national mourning to mark the Queen’s death.

Eventprofs have been told they will not be forced to cancel or delay shows, but they may consider doing so depending on the nature of their business.

This week we have also seen Lisa Hannant announced as the new CEO of Clarion Events.

She highlighted how the company had seen significant growth in its digital offerings since the return to live.

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Read on for your full event industry news roundup.

Organisers ‘may consider postponements’ after Queen’s death

Organisers face “no obligation” to cancel shows after the Queen’s death but should “consider” changes, according to the UK Government.

Her Majesty passed away on Thursday aged 96 at Balmoral, Scotland, marking the end of a 70-year reign as head of state.

The UK entered a period of national mourning after the death with organisers being told to “consider” closing or postponing events, although there will be no forced changes.

A Government spokesman said: “There is no obligation on organisations to suspend business during the national mourning period.

“Depending on the nature and location of their business and the tone of planned events, some businesses may wish to consider closing or postponing events, especially on the day of the State Funeral, however this is at the discretion of individual businesses.

“Public services will continue as usual, although there may be some changes to service availability. Further guidance on any potential considerations relating to the day of the State Funeral will be issued if needed.”

The Queen’s funeral is due to take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am on Monday September 19 September, Buckingham Palace has said.

King Charles has since announced the occasion will made a bank holiday, which may cause concerns for organisers having to deal with last minute changes.

DWTC and dmg events partnership hungry for growth

Dubai World Trade Centre has teamed up with dmg events to create a new portfolio of global shows for the food and hospitality sectors.

The signing of a joint venture agreement sees the creation of KAOUN International with the aim of building on past DWTC events to bring these industries to new markets.

Its first international market expansion sees the launch of the Saudi Food and Beverage Show and the SaudiFood Manufacturing Show in Riyadh next June.

Trixie LohMirmand, CEO of KAOUN International, said: “Developing new markets and providing access for our global food and beverage business community to emerging growth markets is our collective focus.

“Working together, dmg and KAOUN International will leverage our existing complementary experience, networks and brands to create a synergistic portfolio of food, hotel and hospitality events that offer far greater opportunities within targeted geographies.”

Matt Denton, president of dmg, said: “The dmg and KAOUN International partnership combines market leading food and beverage industry events with international infrastructure and an existing hotel and hospitality portfolio.

“Having grown our regional and international operations significantly in recent years, dmg clearly shares KAOUN International’s view of high-growth opportunities in the region.”

Lisa Hannant becomes new Clarion CEO

Clarion Events has appointed Lisa Hannant as its new chief executive officer.

Lisa joined Clarion in 2008 before stepping onto the board as group managing director in 2013, with responsibility for driving international expansion. 

The organiser has grown significantly since that time in key US, European and Asian markets.

She takes over from Russell Wilcox, who moves to the position of executive chairman.

Lisa said: “The return to live events over the past year has gone well, with many of our events back to 2019 levels.

“We’re seeing significant growth with digital and organic launches across the business, not to mention some important acquisitions that are contributing significantly.

“We’ve spent the last two years really focusing on creating a customer-centric way of working across the organisation.

“This work continues and is an essential part of what, I hope, Clarion will stand for in the future.

“If we can build the highest levels of customer value and satisfaction, then we will have an incredibly strong and resilient business.”

Hyve board member steps down after GMG move

A Hyve board member has stood down after being appointed CEO of the Guardian Media Group.

The organiser announced that Anna Bateson, non-executive director, tendered her resignation which would be effective from Friday.

A process is now underway to fill the post and Hyve with further information expected in due course.

Richard Last, chairman of the group, said: “On behalf of the board, I would like to extend my gratitude to Anna for her contribution to Hyve since her appointment earlier this year.

“While we are disappointed not to have benefited from her valuable experience and insights for longer, we are extremely supportive of her new appointment and look forward to witnessing her success at GMG.”

Anna joined the board on March 2022 and is chair of the ESG committee as well as a member of the remuneration and audit committees. Jo Rabbett, the group’s chief of staff, will act as interim chair of the ESG committee.

The appointment of Anna as GMG chief executive was revealed by the media group last month.

Informa buys back €200m of Eurobonds

Informa has bought back €200 million worth of Eurobonds due to mature in July next year.

The successful tender offer was the maximum aggregate principal amount available from the €650m total.

Completion of the first £400m of its GAP II share buyback programme was also confirmed, with  around 70m bought through Merrill Lynch International since it started in February.

Stephen Carter, group CEO, said: ”We are reducing gross debt while strengthening our balance sheet and that combined with our robust operating performance and cash generation, provides flexibility for further shareholder returns, reinvestment and expansion.”

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