As we finally reach the Christmas and New Year break, the OIOV Taskforce thought that it would be good to share a message with the UK events industry about what we’ve been focussing on over the last few months. Covid-19 has had a catastrophic impact on our industry so we know that the need for continued solidarity, collaboration and mutual support over the next few months will be critical.
Taking a step back to reflect on what we collectively have managed to achieve to date will benefit from re-stating the core objectives for OIOV, the coalition of events industry campaigns, associations and businesses that have come together to ensure strong alignment and more effective communication in fighting for awareness and financial support for the whole industry. Those objectives include:
- Coordination of campaign timings
- Consistency of data and statistics to accurately reflect the industry numbers
- Alignment on asks and communication to Government
- Amplification of key messaging and mutual support to promote each campaigns activity
OIOV was created following a meeting organised by MashMedia back in July, when it became clear that that many different sectors of the event industry were disconnected from the good work undertaken by many of the established industry associations and that a new form of representation would be required to help create a cohesive and aligned response to the massive disruption and challenge posed by Coronavirus. The easy win was helping campaigns to avoid bumping into each other and creating more of a cadence to the communications being developed to support the diverse range of sectors involved in the UK event industry. There is now a diary function on the OIOV website that allows people to share key dates and activations to support the scheduling of comms and messaging.
Over the last five months this has been an iterative process, as we have had to establish trust and find a suitable way of working and collaborating that brings together very independent minded characters and groups, each with slightly different aims and needs. Out of that process has emerged a clear focus on the key issues facing all of us that work in the event industry. These include sustaining the industry over the next 6 months, building confidence by ensuring we come up with deliverable solutions on issues such as rapid testing, getting both LAs and PHE (or SAGE) onside and developing insurance solutions that provide effective cover for a wide range of events.
We have established working groups on both the testing and insurance issues, where the focus has been on sharing of information and ideas, as well as understanding where conversations are taking place within different government departments. This alignment of asks and communication to Government is one of the key objectives for OIOV and has been incredibly useful in developing opportunities for dialogue between different sectors of the industry that are looking for similar solutions and support, particularly on the really complex issues around insurance or some viable form of government backed indemnity scheme. This is still very much a live issue and remains critical work in progress.
The OIOV website also provides for the first time in one place some of the base line numbers for the industry which are now being used across all campaigning activity – from the economic value that we deliver to the number of people employed across the whole of the complex event industry eco-system. As an industry our use of data has been tested by the disruptive impact of Covid-19, so it was essential to bring together as much of the existing published research as possible in order to aggregate the numbers we are now using. We have also been gathering information on a wide range of the other key issues such as the plethora of testing services currently available – the OIOV website is a resource for everyone, so please make use of it in the months ahead. The sharing of information and ideas will remain essential in the fast moving and changing landscape we have all had to adapt to.
But we have always wanted to do more than simply share information – we wanted to generate our own unique content and last month OIOV launched its own survey into the state of the industry that saw a massive response, with over 1,600 people taking part. We are now supplying both associations and campaigns with the data relevant to their membership and supporters so that they can use it in their individual lobbying and campaigning activity. It is our intention to continue to run this survey every quarter, in order to provide timely and detailed data sets on key indicators for the industry by sector. Everyone that helps on the Taskforce agrees that the number of requests and demands for surveys and case studies has frequently been overwhelming over the last few months, so this is a concerted attempt to manage that demand more effectively for everyone in the industry.
One of the question areas in the OIOV survey explored mental health and wellbeing and as we head into the Christmas break we are also sending a very specific message out to everyone that is struggling as a result of the devastation caused by Covid 19.
Finally, as we reflect on what has been achieved over the last 5 months, it is perhaps worth remembering what was said at the very first meeting of the OIOV taskforce. It was very clear that it created a real sense of unity which was widely and warmly welcomed at the time. Our task then was to build on that and getting the foundations right has been really important. Sincere and honest opinions need to be respected by all of us and the success of the Taskforce in managing that dynamic is a credit to everyone involved. The truly unique breadth and depth of the mandate that OIOV has been working with is now being reflected in the We Create Experiences campaign, which launched the B2B push on 7thDecember 2020. The positive and forward looking campaign messaging will be further developed in late January 2021 when the B2C campaign launches. In OIOV we have representation from across every sector of the industry for the very first time – that in itself is a great achievement.
So massive thanks to all those that have been contributing their time and expertise to make it happen. Stay safe over the holiday season and thanks to the many people from right across our industry that have donated and continue to support OIOV.
Simon Hughes & Rick Stainton on behalf of the OIOV Taskforce.
ASSOCIATIONS: BVEP, UK Live Music Group, PLASA, NTIA, EIF, PSA, AEO, AEV and ESSA
The One Industry One Voice movement and #WeCreateExperiences campaign were conceived by Rick Stainton, executive group director at creative agency Smyle, who put the concepts forward at Mash Media’s #GetBritainMeeting summit in July and is fronted by the BVEP’s Simon Hughes.