The year has flown by! Newark’s first show was early February and now the second show in Lady Eastwood Centre is three weeks away. The show is right on target, with 70 exhibiting community bookings. The growing number recognises the Well Being Brand’s quality and reputation.
Last week’s Staffordshire Show was undoubtedly affected by the weather, as were many other events. But as one can see from the reviews, most attending community enjoyed the event. There is little we can do about the weather and the hot summer days are here to stay. I have already agreed with Holly, the events manager at Staffordshire Show Ground, that we will air condition the Member’s Pavilion for the following August Show. So no matter what the weather next year’s August offers, Visitors and exhibitors are assured of a ‘cool’ environment.
I know an inevitable learning curve is unavoidable to make a new show work. I do not now think we can book a venue and make the event sing. Lincoln has taken six years to bring it back to its capacity. I predict we will have at least 110 exhibitors standing at the event in November, and as already mentioned, Newark is 70 exhibitors, and Newcastle is nearly 70 exhibitors. So, there seems no reason not to expect Stafford will follow suit, I know it is a long haul, but success can only come after work and dedication.
Ian and I have a difficult decision to make with the eight shows on our event calendar and the number of exhibitors now booking, and we have to consider the future with care. Eight shows will mean our sales turnover will get us close to the VAT threshold. If we add two more events to the calendar, we will definitely exceed the threshold. Here are the numbers from the HMCR website outlined in red.
General description of the measure
The VAT registration and deregistration thresholds will not change for two years from 1 April 2022.
The taxable turnover threshold, which determines whether a person must be registered for VAT, will remain at £85,000 until 31 March 2024.
The taxable turnover threshold, which determines whether a person may apply for deregistration, will remain at £83,000 until 31 March 2024.
So, if we add two more events, then there has to be an additional 20% added to the stand fees. Our present stand fees could easily weather the extra 20% when compared to similar types of events. However, we are unsure about the rise in inflation and its effect on our community members. I do not consider this an issue for visitors as most people can afford the entry fees and travel expenses. It is the additional tax levy which is the issue. For every £1000 spent each year by an exhibitor, there would be an extra £200 to pay in VAT. No problem for the few VAT registered as they can claim the payment in the VAT return. But possibly too much for others already finding the growing expenses difficult.
Considering this situation, we have decided not to take on more venues for 2023 and beyond. Besides this, we have decided to cap the number of stands at each event, and we may introduce a concession stand for new exhibitors who commit to booking for all shows. This is to bring new people into the events. We may also consider changing prices to keep within the VAT threshold.
We have chosen to stay with eight events. The reason is clearly defined as VAT registration. We could change or review our policy in 2024. The mould is set. Eight shows, capped numbers, and the focus on the highest quality of exhibitors and promotion.
Have a great week
Lizian Events Ltd
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A wise and pragmatic post.
I think that the future offers halos and hurdles. We are experiencing a perfect storm at the moment. The aftershocks of Covid are still being felt ( reduced train travel and licensed trade traffic ( on and off sales down 15%) amongst them)but will ease in time, the aftershocks of Brexit in the shape of increased costs will be with us for years, increased energy prices are here to stay, increased cost of living will ease in time, but not for a year or so.
Yet Coldplay and the Rolling Stones have sold over a million concert tickets in the Uk at over £100 a ticket, Bruce Springsteen has sold out next years shows at over £150 ( and more) a ticket and the music festival scene has been a huge success this summer. There is money out there for the right events.
History tells us that in recessionary times the top end of the market still does well, the bottom end regroups in the survival of the fittest. Bentley motor cars will still sell, but Aldi will prosper at the expense of Waitrose.
Your key sentence was the last one.” the focus on the highest quality of exhibitors and promotion.” Are we putting on a show which is worth attending? How do we reach the people who are NOT coming to the shows?
I am confident that lizian will manage the VAT question successfully. However a 20% increase would be swallowed if matched by a 20% increase in visitor numbers, spend and profit. Footfall, and bottom line sanity, not top line vanity are where the answers lie.
the above comment was from me, gary longden, it was not intended to be anonymous!