In March 2020 the events industry was the first to be shut down when the 500 pax limit was put on events, followed by more limits until no events were viable.
People in our industry are now at breaking point.
We, unlike tourism, have received very little mainstream media coverage. Look at Margy Osborne from the Tourism Task Force who has been on virtually every mainstream media outlet.
Here are some facts though.
A conservative estimate puts the number of people employed in our industry at over 230,000 people in 2019; compare the support we have received to that received by Qantas, who employed only 26,000 in 2019.
The events industry has lost more employees than are employed in the Australian Defence Forces or nearly 50% of Commonwealth employees.
In 2020 96% of events were cancelled across Australia: in 2019 there were an estimated 484,000 events
We are talking about a sector that is worth $35 Billion to the Australian economy.
This week the Good Food and the Craft Fair were both forced to postpone shows to a later period, both attract tens of thousands of people.
This was and is all because one person ,yes one person didn’t follow the protocols in place and now has affected not just two shows but numerous across Australia and totally screwed school holiday plans.
Looking at this from the perspective of an organiser – they have already spent tens of thousands of dollars of unrecoverable costs, not to mention staff and overhead expenses. Not only do we now need to spend more money to undo what we have in place but we have to re-spend to put in place the new delivery. Exhibitors this close to an exhibition have spent money on freight and travel arrangements. And consumers have bought tickets. How does this all impact the confidence factor for anyone to exhibit or visit?
There is also the emotional toll on the staff, they are broken by the fact one person has screwed it for so many and they are fragile enough.
I had hoped the state premiers would be sensible responding to hot spotting rather than penalising the whole state, sadly this has also been thrown out the window.
And all this is because of one possibly selfish, irresponsible person, who whilst we have not been making money we might assume is still getting paid, surely this has to be dealt with in a heavy way or should we, the affected, have recourse against his employer? And State Governments employees are also fully paid while our sector scrapes to just pay their bills and wages.
And the kicker is look at the cost of building and maintaining the convention centres across Australia and the land value alone, what a waste.
And if events are cancelled within two weeks of an opening day of a show as a result of the Government making it impossible to run them, should state governments step in and provide assistance, seems tourism and every other sector keep asking and receiving levels of relief, isn’t time we received some acknowledgement and assistance ?