COVID-19 is the biggest challenge that the events industry has ever faced. Nobody knows how long the impact will last, but one thing is clear - venues, event suppliers, agencies and corporates are all seeing repercussions in the short term.
To help you get by during this uncertain time, we've put together a few top tips on how to stay afloat and stay positive. It’s going to be tough, but we’re determined to come out of this stronger than ever, and we’re going to be supporting our venue community along the way
Take advantage of the government employee retention scheme
This scheme is mostly for UK venues, but your government might have something similar in place. The lockdown is likely to be in effect for a few months, judging by the situation in Italy and how it has been progressing. This means it will be impossible to hold events for a while and your employees will be unable to work.
Don't panic! You can keep them all on if you furlough them for a few months, as long as they don’t undertake any work. Hire Space has taken advantage of this scheme.
There are also loans for small and large business available, as well as tax breaks. All the information you need can be found on the government’s website.
Update your cancellation policy
We’ve seen many venues get in touch with us to update their cancellation policy, in order to encourage clients to continue booking events for the future. A strict cancellation policy will discourage bookings in uncertain times like these.
We’ve seen venues offering smaller deposits, rescheduling for no cost with sufficient notice, deposits being carried to future events, no cost to cancel 28 days in advance, 50% deposit on cancellation, and combinations of them all. Most of these policies are being put in place until the end of 2020.
There’s a big financial risk to anyone booking an event at the moment, and doing everything you can to mitigate that for them will encourage booking.
Set your venue up for virtual events
This industry isn’t going to look the same once this is over. We’re going to see a huge increase in virtual events, where the speakers/panellists are at the venue and most of the audience is watching remotely. Does your venue have ethernet connection points? Space for cameras? How’s your PA system looking?
These are all questions to be asking to make sure you’re prepared for the coming rise in live streaming once the tightest restrictions are lifted. Not only are virtual events much more commonplace now and into the future, in light of the current situation we’ve seen many of our clients move their events calendar into the virtual space exclusively for 2020. Read our blog on how to create a virtual event for more information on how these take shape.
Keep up to date
It’s a fast-paced situation and things are changing quickly. We’ll shortly be launching a service to send you the latest COVID-19 related events news, advice, and offers to our clients and venues. If you’d like to start receiving daily updates, you can sign up here.
The most important thing of all is to stay safe. These restrictions are a hard pill to swallow for the industry, but we have to remember that they are there to save lives.
We’re going to be right here with you through this, so please just get in touch with any questions and we'll do our best to help. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out through our social channels.
We've also created a platform to keep you up-to-date with all the latest Coronavirus news, as well as the latest useful industry responses to the ongoing pandemic.