onsidering that the heart of the meeting and event industry pumps by
bringing people together, one may instinctively presume its U.K. members
are primarily anti-Brexit—and that
does appear to be the case—but 51. 9
percent of U.K. voters opted to leave
the European Union, and there are reasons to believe that a Brexit will create
additional meetings and events as well
as unique business opportunities.
Regardless, it’s a politically charged topic that’s sparked
a panoply of emotion—fear, security, xenophobia, independence, hate, justice, greed. In polite company, one is to never
talk about religion or politics, right? The rationale for this is
eloquently described by author and researcher Shawn Endre-
Csen: “We are enjoined against talking about politics or religion with casual acquaintances because they stir strong emotions and opinions; an established, strong, committed friendship can bear such disagreements, a new one often won’t. It was never really about etiquette, that is, about not offending oth- ers; it might have had that as a pleasant side effect, but the point was to allow you to build friendships and working rela- tionships instead of scorching them in their infancy.” Despite that adage, I’ve been involved in or stumbled
across countless political or religious discussions with meeting and event professionals and have found this industry to
be, for the most part, populated with people that are wont to
share personal opinions and beliefs.
Within days of the vote, I spoke with MPI member leaders
in the U.K., seeking personal and professional observations
and prognostications related to Brexit.
&THE Shock THE Opportunity
DISCUSSIONS WITH MPI LEADERS AND MEMBERS REGARDING THE IMPACTS, BOTH
REALIZED AND POTENTIAL, OF THE U.K.’S VOTE TO LEAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION.
B Y MICHAEL PINCHERA