On the 28th I posted an article around Making every day count.
In it I raised awards, not surprisingly I had a large number of emails and calls saying its good it’s been called out. Some people were at very least disappointed that these proceeded at all when there could have been the same energy put into, say, a mental wellness campaign or something that benefits the whole sector, not just those who have the resources to submit. The point on the number of entries not lost on anyone!
I did also have ONE call from a winner who thought I was being unfair (I really respect this person and given them full credit to at least want to argue the point) and that it was a positive win for their team. My answer to the person was easy, would you prefer an award that had less people entering and not truly national, or a calendar full of events because every sector of the industry survived and we are now ready to run?
In my view no association or group came to the party soon enough, and certainly none have achieved anything to really support the industry, other than when they repeated each other and claimed the success for themselves, the core issues have not been focussed on in a united way.
I was probably more incensed than anything else by BECA’s latest release with the heading BECA slams shutdown of COVID Disaster Payments
This follows their last media release touting how they and other representatives like EEAA met with Dan Tehan and shared (paraphrasing) the industry’s concerns and challenges. Seems the message to the minister didn’t get through. The BECA release says nothing other than we want to be supported, so not sure why send a media release that is negative and highlights the failures of the lobbying? I thought the old rule of media releases was to gain attention to positive things or make people aware of things they should be across. We have all seen the news coverage for days that once vaccine targets are met the $$ get cut off, and that companies will lose staff or importantly many companies will simply close, something again I raised previously.
There are two issues at play.
The first play is the Feds seem to only see venues that are owned and/or operated by the states, so why or even how do they come over the top? It’s clear virtually every major centre has not had the close relationship with the state they are in, and this has been said by some venues, so the outtake is the venues need to continue to work and build the state relationship.
We have also had the opportunity to feedback to Government and I know in NSW one person who was interviewed by the NSW Treasurer’s office used the time to push to eliminate, reduce or have a period of none payment for payroll tax. This can only be described as missed opportunity to get what we need, the Government will not drop payroll tax worth Billions of dollars for one sector to open up while others would equally say they want it to! This just underlines my point that we have not been focussed on the core issues of the WHOLE industry, and without a consistent message built on relationship and understanding we won’t achieve, we must take this lesson and reset.
Secondly, even when the other associations who come under BECA as a united representation we just don’t have the profile and have not done the hard work early enough to ensure we have a seat at the big table to be taken seriously and prioritised for support, this is just a simple fact. Save Victoria Events have come the closest to form a conduit to Government and I tip my hat to them.
This then circles back to my post around making every day count, we need to accept and focus on helping ourselves, and the best recovery is getting Business Events going again. It’s going to take co-operation and partnerships where venues, organisers and suppliers all give a little in revenue/margin to get shows going ASAP, as seeing is believing and the key word I keep raising gets amplified and gives hope as proof we can do it… CONFIDENCE.
Let’s hope all three components can see the bigger picture, as already there is talk of increases in venue hire rates. This will eventually cost those who push it, especially when many shows have rolled bookings to 2022 and have not increased rates. Overseas stats are showing exhibitions are tracking between 20-30% less exhibitor bookings. Australia needs to take notice and come together to find a way of maintaining and having less fall out.
We need to accept we are on our own, associations will continue to say what they are doing with Government as they want membership renewals, for me our money and time is better placed getting shows going, as that is our best pathway to rebuilding, not hoping we are going to get handouts which cannot continue, the debt will need to be paid and it’s clear that is where the Federal and State Government heads are at.
Let’s hope enough of the industry can dig deep and make the day count and do, rather than hope!