Organisers of three high-profile event industry campaigns have created a taskforce to ensure strong alignment and more effective communication in fighting for awareness and financial support for the whole industry.
The organisations behind #WeMakeEvents, #Let the Music Play and #WeCreateExperiences, which represent different communities of interest within the £84 billion UK Events industry, and a diverse range of creative and technical skills, venues, suppliers and infrastructure, will align with One Industry One Voice and are encouraging other campaigns to get in touch.
By joining forces through the One Industry One Voice initiative, the taskforce hopes to coordinate closely on campaign dates; to amplify each other’s messages where relevant; share and agree on data and statistics to accurately reflect key industry numbers; align closely on key industry asks of Government; and to promote each other’s activities.
The taskforce incorporates umbrella trade organisations Business Visits and Events Partnerships (BVEP) – which represents the conference, exhibition and outdoor events sector – and the UK Live Music Group which represents the UK’s live music industry, as well as events and entertainment technology trade association The Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA).
The announcement came as the Event Industry Alliance, comprising ESSA, the AEV and the AEO, delivered an open letter to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak after the continued lack of support provided to the event industry, despite DCMS having communicated approval of both guidance and a pilot exhibition.
The letter is supported by 334 event industry companies from the membership of all three associations and proposes an Event Industry Hibernation Scheme. The scheme proposed would support the survival of businesses and their employees through closure of the industry, allowing it to restart once constraints are relaxed.
In the letter, the EIA said it anticipates that 80% of the exhibitions sector workforce (consisting of events suppliers, organisers and venues), over 90,000 people, will be made redundant in the coming weeks due to continued event closures and the inability of their employers to access the new Job Support Scheme as they are not able to trade at all during the time and therefore will have no income to pay employees.
Under the proposed Event Industry Hibernation Scheme, the EIA is calling for
– An adapted wage subsidy scheme, with a temporary higher Government contribution to event companies’ employment costs, reflecting that Government restrictions are preventing them from generating revenues;
– A regular review process with clear criteria and industry involvement to assess the ability of COVID-secure events to resume at a future date. This would enable both for companies in the sector to prepare for a resumption of events and for temporary Government support measures to be tapered off as the sector is reopened and starts to generate revenues, which it is confident of doing; and,
– An enhanced grant and loan scheme offered to companies in the sector whilst it remains closed by the Government.