There is a lot being written and reported about the vaccine rollout and how that will get us out of the current lockdowns.
Gary Fitz-Roy thinks there are some fundamental points missed and he must have missed a page from the memo!
Let’s assume that the national vaccination target of 70 – 80% needs to be achieved before expos and major events can reopen and freely accept exhibitors and visitors. It is expected that national target will be reached sometime in December.
Just because NSW reaches a lesser the target of vaccination before then doesn’t get the borders open and our ability to resume shows any earlier.
It has been raised many times that we are a national industry and major shows cannot run in silos in each state. For example we can’t run a show in Qld or WA out of Sydney at the moment because there has been no discussion or indication when other states will open up to NSW. And given the track record of those two premiers I can’t see them accepting a new rule to entry that is linked to the jab.
The second part to this ongoing saga is the time we need to sell space and sell attendance, and the analogy I use is a runway which is just not long enough for events to take off in 2021.
It has been widely accepted we need around three months to ramp shows up, and with uncertainty of the borders (still the core issue) the chances of any shows running in 2021 are diminishing daily.
And again the key issue that existed last year doesn’t go away – confidence!
What I am not seeing is any association or group calling for state or federal governments to have the “guts” to make the call and say that we are closed for the rest of 2021 and then put in place plans to support the sector until it can recover in 2022.
This is a total reasonable position for the sector to start calling for. If for example we were to come out of lockdown in Sydney at the end of August, a three month preparation period will take us to December (when expos do not happen), so it will be next year before expos can recommence anyhow.