Peter Jones of Peter Jones Special Events is part of the ‘The Business Events Reference Group’, which was formed in early 2021 to advocate to government for the business events sector in Victoria. Here are Peter’s thoughts of the recently announced Victorian Recovery Roadmap, on the business events industry.
It certainly was not what we expected so soon, but the road map for Victorian’s is being designed for a Ferrari and not your second hand 1976 Datsun 120Y – my first car!!
The announcement has just taken the recovery process up a few gears as we now have something we haven’t had for 18 months – certainty on what we can do and when!
And because of that the unthinkable is happening – the very real possibility of events happening before Christmas, with no masks and in large numbers!
Six weeks ago, we had written everything off until February 2022 and, whilst the majority of businesses may not decide to suddenly change their plans, some are thinking about additional events in the lead up.
Going back to attend an event is up there with the first restaurant booking, having a game of golf and getting the dog groomed. The catalyst was the announcement that crowds would be allowed at both the Melbourne Cup Carnival and the concert at the Bowl. It really changed the tone on the recovery story because, all of a sudden, there was an end in sight. The industry has started talking again in a positive way.
Now it’s 80,000 at the cricket, full crowds at the tennis, grand prix (get your hands off it Sydney!), Fashion Festival, Food and Wine Festival, Business events and activity at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.
Harry Potter and Moulin Rouge will be open within the next 3 weeks and there will be more in this space to come, so standby.
This recovery will be far from perfect in some key areas:
- Large public events such as New Year’s Eve where contract tracing is an issue, will be the last to come back in their traditional format. I’m not sure what the solution is other than putting up a large fence around the CBD, but I’m sure it will get sorted out down the track.
- Staffing – I’m already onto this from an internal perspective and one key consideration will be whether suppliers have enough staff to deliver to the level expected? A difficult question, but one that needs to be asked.
- In the short term not all suppliers in the food chain will get equal access in to this work, as some sectors will come back quicker than others. My plan is to look after those suppliers and staff who have been with is over a long period, as my first priority.
So, whether you’re driving a Ferrari or a Datsun 120Y, now is the time to get planning because it’s going to be an interesting ride…
…particularly as everything sorts itself out the over the next 6 months. How we as an industry respond and what our what our sector ends up looking like, is in our hands.