So, NSW has a plan as to how events will look once we get to the magical vaccination rates. Lots of influencing factors that may impact it, but I give them a 10 out of 10 for at least having something that the industry can work to.
The ironical thing for us under the proposed plan is that theoretically, we will be able to do an event in Sydney with some guests that has been postponed to late November, yet at the same time I can’t even travel more than 5kms from home here in Melbourne.
And that’s going to be an ongoing issue for all of us who work on a national basis.
Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, SA, WA and the territories will all have their own plans on how events will run and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be different and have little regard for what others might do. Self-preservation will again override everything.
All we are seeking right now is for governments to publish clear guidelines on what we can and can’t do but waiting indefinitely is not a feasible option due to the long lead up time required to get events happening again.
NSW is the first on the dance floor so to speak, but what is more than likely to happen is that the other states and territories will all look at NSW and hedge their bets on what to do next – regardless of the 80% vaccination rate, and that is a major concern.
What we will end up with in the short term is events having to be designed and run to appeal to a domestic state audience rather than a national one.
You simply can’t rely on borders being opened at the same time and everyone playing to the same rules and that’s going to create uncertainty for national events like conferences and exhibitions in the short term. Clients and delegates will think twice about if I travel to say Sydney will they allow me back into my state without quarantine?
Where does it end?
Some premiers are saying it will require a 90% vaccination rate, so that’s well into next year. Until then we have to continue our own planning the best we can and hope that the NSW plan works as there is so much riding on it.