As per usual, Germany takes the top spot, as they have aided their meetings industry in every way possible. With direct help worth €642 million, alongside one of the biggest guarantee schemes in the history of the meetings industry, worth €2,5 billion, Germany has outclassed competitive countries. Moreover, German meeting planners have been receiving additional help to ensure workplaces and keep their companies prepared for the industry’s restart. The German government is well aware of the added value of the German meetings industry. According to the research conducted by R.I.F.E.L, the meetings industry employs 1,5 million workers and creates nearly €130 billion income, placing it in sixth place among German economic industries.
In the heart of the European meetings industry, everyone is convinced it makes sense to revive activities that will hardly survive without aid. Doubts regarding such funds occur more or less in Eastern Europe, where they bet on work-intense industries with less added value. In other places, though, they strongly believe that it is worth giving help to the industry, which next to economic effects ensures critical thinking, the development of science, dialogue and democracy. Events have always been crucial, as they ensured that society kept developing in the past. On the other hand, when there are no events, the time of darkness and stagnation arises.
In any case, the differences between the north and south, as well as west and east, are starting to show. Countries that are intentionally supporting the meetings industry will earn leading positions when the industry restarts. The Dutch are publicly announcing that this will happen in the second half of 2021. Their estimate is based on the assessment of citizen vaccination.
We have gathered actual data on the help packages of various countries of the EU. Yet, the information changes daily. Several countries have already announced their aid plans and will publish them in the following days (Estonia, Sweden, France, Slovakia). We have categorised them according to the type of help.
A. Help packages associated with the loss of income compared to 2019
B. Help packages for cancelled events
C. Guarantee schemes for event organisers
Switzerland also prepared their own guarantee scheme. We are still closely following the details, while the information regarding their aid plan will be published in the near future.
D. Special measures, partly concerning the meetings industry
KEY FINDING: THE differences between the north and south, as well as west and east, ARE STARTING TO SHOW
Sweden decided to take a similar approach to the meetings industry problem as Slovakia. In particularly tourist-dependent countries, on the other hand, such as Greece, the aid was aimed at the entire tourism sector. Greek’s tourism aid is estimated at €450 million. Hungary soon followed suit.
Find out more about the Slovenian initiative to keep the meetings industry alive at https://www.slovenia-convention.com/sl/ohranimo-slovensko-industrijo-srecanj.