The fourth lockdown in Victoria may be causing immediate pain for its events professionals, but it hasn’t stopped a steady events industry recovery for the state. Three Victorian event organisers give their take as they emerge from this latest lockdown
Peter Jones – Peter Jones Special Events
“How everyone is reacting to this lockdown is dependent on where in the industry their main business lies. The impact is not equal and some are doing it a lot harder than others.
Two weeks ago we’d just completed three events in one week and the phones were running hot.
Now the phones are running hot with “How can we postpone our event?” Not “cancel” which was happening last year, so that’s at least a step in the right direction, but I’m sure others would not have been so fortunate.
Events that are flexible with their dates are being moved to the second half of the year, and fingers crossed it’s looking promising.
Clients are doing everything they can to make them happen, but it’s all about confidence and that’s what has been taken away for the moment. Until that returns (which it will) with some form of certainty, it’s going to be a hard slog for a while. But we will get there.”
Simon Thewlis – Save Victorian Events
“The lockdown again shows the need for government backed Covid cancel event insurance, so organisers can confidently plan without risking huge financial losses if their event can’t go ahead due to a COVID outbreak.
We recently saw the Victorian Acting Premier and Treasurer stand up and talk about the Event Industry for the first time in this crisis and discuss support for our industry. This was a major step forward for our industry. We hope we will now see some real support from the Victorian government to help the event industry get through this crisis and to get business events back up and running quickly.”
“Matt Pearce – Talk 2 Media, organisers of The Asia Pacific Incentives and Meetings Event (AIME)
We haven’t seen Victoria’s lockdown have an impact on AIME 22. It’s had an impact on events that are happening now through to early July, but later in July onwards, we appear to be fine. Overall, we are also seeing steady industry improvements. More events are launching and successfully executing this year, with audiences demonstrating a hearty appetite for in-person experiences.
It’s now our collective lived reality that lockdowns and restrictions may emerge from time to time, and we must remain incredibly agile. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! Our industry is continually demonstrating just how robust it is.
We are also finding that the gloss on virtual events is wearing thin and that the appetite for meeting at a live event is strong.”
Clearly the road to recovery is a bumpy one and as Peter Jones points out it’s going to be a hard slog for the events industry for a while. Nevertheless, people and corporate organisations are now looking for ways to get on with their usual activities, and despite emerging outbreaks and subsequent restrictions, events are underway again.