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How To Navigate Your Event Strategy Through Brexit and COVID-19

Whether you work in sales, marketing or finance, it’s crucial to appreciate that it’s perfectly possible to navigate Brexit and Covid-19 with confidence and speed.

From B2B product launches to employee engagement campaigns, EMS has provided some of the world’s most trusted brands with flexible roadshow solutions since 2000. Like most other businesses, COVID-19 and Brexit have been two of our biggest challenges to date, but we’ve worked with our clients to ensure their roadshow tours keep going as they are vital to their sales and marketing strategies.  

This guide shows how EMS can help you to drive vital face-to-face connections without worrying about the financial risks and complexities now associated with international travel, lockdowns, and potential event cancellations.


Brexit is a challenge that businesses across Europe have been trying to understand for almost five years. And since the UK’s vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, we’ve worked tirelessly to pin down the implications for truck roadshows.

By combining 15 years of international logistics and operations expertise with a diligent approach to all possible variations of Brexit, we were ready to move quickly. That effort paid off when, thanks to our campaign with Duracell, we became the first UK-based roadshow supplier to tour Europe post-Brexit.

Our operations department regularly:

  • Takes tours into countries with varying political challenges.
  • Knows how to approach each country to ensure roadshows go ahead on schedule.
  • Works with in-region experts and makes personal visits to amass knowledge and deliver the best possible advice to our clients.
  • Coordinates one of the world’s leading teams of Roadshow Managers, allowing us to efficiently prevent and solve issues as they arise – and often before.

So even in today’s challenging environment, finding virtual event alternatives for generating business is perfectly possible. In fact, it’s easier than you think.


Since March 2020, when lockdowns and event cancellations first started to occur, virtual events have seen a huge rise in popularity.

For many, they were perceived as the ‘last man standing’ – the only possible option still open. But this is incorrect. With careful planning and smart strategy, we’ve proven over the last 12 months how truck roadshows can maintain face-to-face activity even in the most testing and unpredictable circumstances.

Truck roadshows are:

  • Covid-secure, with hygiene and PPE, controlled admittance and social distancing all built in. And because EMS has delivered Covid-19 vaccination and testing program trucks for the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care, we know exactly what processes need to be in place to ensure a fully safe environment.
  • Internationally mobile, meaning businesses can still access different markets without large numbers of people being forced to travel. The show goes to the attendees, rather than vice versa. This is a significant advantage when international travel looks likely to face restrictions for some time.
  • Flexible, so if your original site faces a snap lockdown your truck can be diverted at short notice to an alternative site.
  • Consistent, with a branded environment provided to all visitors.
  • Cross-functional, enabling hybrid events that combine digital and physical experiences – so you can guarantee all key decision-makers are reached.

To find out more about how EMS could help you overcome the challenges of Brexit and Covid-19, follow us on LinkedIn for news on our next eventFor now, here are some of the most frequently asked questions right now.

EMS Truck Roadshows: your questions answered

What happens if lockdowns continue or new measures are introduced?
Truck roadshow tours offer unrivalled flexibility. Everything you need is held within your truck. So if an unexpected lockdown occurs during your tour, you can simply re-route your truck to an alternative destination where restrictions are less stringent.

Can we hold hybrid events on a truck?
Absolutely. For some brands or product demos, virtual events don’t offer the same results as face-to-face engagements. At the same time, virtual meetings will remain popular. An EMS truck roadshow fitted with state-of-the-art technology offers the best of both worlds. You can create a safe physical event and take it directly to your audience, while also having the facility to bring virtual attendees into demos and discussions. So all your audience’s key decision-makers can attend, wherever they are.

Is a truck roadshow more expensive than a traditional exhibition?
Most exhibition budgets arrive at £75k-£100k. That cost is poured entirely into one event. In contrast, a truck roadshow drives a significantly higher ROI because an average roadshow contains 50 events per year. This increased ROI is consistent, regardless of the size of truck used (the 23m2 Pathfinder has a maximum capacity of 20 people, for example, while the 71m2 Graduate can hold 80 guests). Our full range of roadshow trucks covers the needs of different-sized business and budgets, have a chat with our team to learn more about the budgets.

Can I plan now and secure a truck for later in the year?
Yes. For simple designs and fit-outs, contact us 8-10 weeks before you plan to launch. For more complex truck roadshows, 4 months is sensible. If your business is looking to roll out a truck roadshow in the next 12 months, contact us today to ensure you can secure the truck you need.

Does Brexit mean it takes longer to get into Europe?
It adds a couple hours in the journey to get the paperwork signed and certified at the ports, but it has a minimal impact on the schedule. The documentation required by the relevant agencies nationally and internationally does however take time.

Who completes the paperwork needed for international tours?
We take care of all documentation for our clients. EMS’ specialist Operations Team has decades of experience in the import and export of roadshow trucks. Crossing borders is second nature for us – so much so that we were the first UK roadshow company to tour Europe post-Brexit.

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