This week I’m back to reviewing the COVID situation – How it affects us personally and how it is affecting events.
First up on the personal side. Our governments are promoting the vaccine rollout under sectors. With, as it should be, front line workers (healthcare, etc) the priority.
However, anyone working the events sector must consider themselves to also be a front line worker, simply because anyone who is dealing directly with other people is at risk.
Let’s categorise Frontline Workers Class A as those working in healthcare and the care of vulnerable people (elderly, childcare, etc) and they should rightly be vaccinated first.
Then let’s call anyone working face to face, including those in hospitality and event industries, as Frontline Workers Class B.
So those of us in this sector need to take responsibility and get ourselves vaccinated.
I had my AZ jab two weeks ago via my GP. I felt nauseous afterwards (I hate needles) and I felt fluie (is that word – you know what mean) the following day. After that I felt fine. I had no reservations about it being the AZ vaccine; simply because the risk of not being vaccinated is far greater than any side effects of the AZ (you have more chance of suffering blood clots from smoking than via the AZ jab).
So if you want to work in events – go see your GP and discuss your options. Get vaccinated.
This morning on Life Matters – ABC RN Professor Raina MacIntyre discussed modelling done by UNSW Research on vaccination and herd immunity – worth a listen (it is the first part of the show)
Next the effect on events.
I published an opinion piece this week from Gary FitzRoy – Victorian exhibition facilities compromised – industry at a loss!
I must say I’m at a loss as well – FitzRoy says “What makes it worse again is MCEC has released a number of media stories claiming capacity when it not the case.”
Currently under way at the MCEC is ADX21 – the dental industry exhibition which is one of the largest medical exhibitions is Australia. I was running the EventPix team at ADX20 at the ICC Sydney in March last year when the industry shut down was announced, forcing the organisers to shut down that expo a day early and cancelling their awards dinner. However the Hillsong conference went ahead that weekend in the same venue, but then apparently they have God (and Scotty) on their side.
Have a flick through the ADX Melbourne exhibition guide to see just how big this expo is.
Fitzroy complains that expo organisers cannot plan ahead because of uncertainly of bookings and plans to use MCEC as a mass vaccination hub. Seriously – the MCEC is huge and can accommodate multiple exhibitions and conferences at once so why not a vaccination hub as well. Remember that last year there were plans to use the MCEC as a mass treatment centre for those infected – just be thankful that the lockdown prevented that.
Mind you in the video below the Victorian Minister for Small Business, in response to the article we published by Fitzroy, is also claiming that Victoria is currently hosting events with up to 100,000 patrons. Really? When was the last time the MCG was filled to capacity?
Meanwhile, Adelaide have claimed to have hosted Australia’s largest business event since COVID struck
The NCC Canberra are currently hosting 900 pax at a Lions convention
And the AACB are confident that the Health sector is key to business events recovery
However, FitzRoy’s concern about uncertainty is valid. The recent snap lockdowns in WA, SA, Vic and NSW have been devastating for not only the events industry but for suppliers as well. Especially for caterers, restaurants, florists and others with perishable goods as was so evident on Valentine’s Day and the shutdown of Bluesfest.
The recent restrictions Perth were limited and the current restrictions in Sydney are more measured with the NSW government recognising the economic impact of a full lockdown. Yes restrictions are needed when an outbreak is detected but hopefully this approach will become more of the norm and we can continue producing events with restrictions when required.
So in order to get more certainty we need to ensure contact tracers can do their job by everyone checking in at every venue we attend, get vaccinated and be prepared for more disruptions.
And be thankful you live in Australia or New Zealand.
I’m revisiting the podcast series I did last year and reposting the episodes on a weekly basis before dropping some new ones. This week – Ep. 1 Meri Took