Peter Jones – Just when we thought it was safe to go back into the water…….

Current messaging is don’t go back to work and many have interpreted that as not going to anything unless they have to

The Christmas break is just a distant memory as we are back and confronting what the 2022 start really means – and it’s not what we thought it would be.

In no order of priority as they just seem to melt into the one big issue:

  • Australian Open Tennis tickets capped – not a great message to send out for any large scale event that may be on next
  • The postponements of all kinds of business and corporate events have already started and they’ll only grow, I’m in the process of moving three as we speak.
  • Confusion over the Victorian Government regulation on density limits for hospitality and in turn events. One minute it was business as usual for events up to 30,000, but then there was another email saying its one per two square meters, no dancing except at weddings and wait for it – vertical consumption is not recommended. Thank heavens I did a bit of that over the Christmas break to get ahead!

I’m not going down the staff line as we know how that is currently playing out. And as for our Victorian event insurance scheme – it really doesn’t come into play unless the government restricts access and at the moment there are no formal restrictions in place. We can all still turn up to events if we want.

But what is the current messaging – don’t go back to work and many have interpreted that as not going to anything unless you have to. Not ideal by any stretch of the imagination.

As I have said previously, the event insurance program does not cover every type of event and that is really being proven now. I hope those who have it can claim something and if you have, please let us know.

Basically, confidence has taken a hit, as all we hear about is empty shelves, long testing queues, restaurants having no staff and ‘has your family got COVID?’. No-one seems to talk about anything else – Novak excepted!

That has a flow on effect to the event world and we’ve already seen many public events here in Melbourne cancelled, including the Lorne Swim Classic. There will be more to come and not much will happen as increases in cases numbers take up all the lead news stories.

I can’t see any other option but to sit tight and ride this out for those who can. Clients are saying we want to meet in person and we are prepared to wait.

One thing I’ve learnt is not to stressed about the things you can’t control, but focus on the things you might be able to influence. The main focus now has to be how to secure RAT testing devices, as a priority for our industry.

The government is already prioritising certain industries and events will not be anywhere near the top. We are all going to need them, so that will be high on the agenda for ongoing discussions with both government and those involved with every event.

Peter Jones – Peter Jones Special Events


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