As we kick off 2022 the event industry has been delivered a new ball game and one that offers less certainty and support than the last two years and indeed makes the last two years look far better than the current 2022 outlook!
Its clear governments are committed to keeping things open and whilst this was one of the hurdles last year, and something the industry pushed and advocated for, now it’s changed again and it’s going to hurt and will be the final straw I fear for many.
When shows were cancelled last year organisers could blame state restrictions and for part of the time were able to claim government support. The new world of events in Australia isn’t so rosy and now many will be left to make commercial decisions, but will it be fair?
Currently there is no reason why you can’t run an exhibition anywhere in Australia. Even with Victoria’s reimposition of one person per 2 sqm rule it’s not a game changer, exhibitions can run. However with buyers and sellers spooked will shows have enough content and attendance to run?
The above opens a minefield of questions and ramifications.
First base – if you choose not to run your show based on concerns of smaller attendance. This doesn’t make your contract with venue and suppliers null and void, it’s your commercial decision and the whole confidence factor is back in play on first base.
On second base – does another setback of running show just further diminish its return and raise questions about whether it will ever do so. What is the message that sends to both exhibitors and sellers? And if you go ahead and it’s a less than positive result how many do we burn in the process?
On third base – you have the agreements between the parties. How many organisers are going to be willing to sign contracts and pay deposits if those contracts are enforced (which is fair enough). Equally, some shows are blocked out of dates due to the commitments of others. If a venue isn’t shut down due to state health orders why should they hold something for a period of time and then allow things to change without compensation? Suppliers who have little $$ commitment upfront from organisers and are expected to have stock and staff may be left holding an empty base with no compensation! Third base is not fun for anyone involved and could be the base that breaks so many.
On the home plate is an organiser who may be broken by getting this far and relying on the state insurance. Under my interpretation of the clauses – if an event isn’t closed due to health orders and you cancel purely out of concern for lack of attendees – I can’t see anyone making a successful claim on their policy due to concerns people may not come.
So it’s a new ball game, some will be winners and others struck out, without venues and organisers agreeing to a sensible way of working through the current scenario there will be many causalities, are we mature enough to face it and work through it?