We can all remember waiting for each of the COVID restrictions to end and then we knew it was a four to five week lag before we got back to the manageable 1 per 2 square metre rule which allowed many events to happen.
And some did.
But now that’s a thing of the past. Even if we theoretically did get back to that position, there is no way we would be allowed to run the event here in Victoria, let alone NSW. It has got to the point where one major supplier here in Melbourne yesterday just shut up shop indefinitely or until there is some form of certainty. I’m sure they won’t be the last as for many it has been too long a journey.
The square metre rule has now been replaced by the 70-80% vaccination figure. Obviously, that is what is going to determine not only events but everything we do on a day to day basis.
So, the first question is what does the event world look like when we eventually get to that point? Will we need to have a vaccinated passport to attend?
What happens if that is not mandatory? What will we be allowed to do at these events? How long will it take to get back to at least the 1 per 2 square metre rule as a starting point? There are more questions than answers at the moment.
Problem is answers to these questions need to be known now so that we can at least start planning for 2022 as the rest of this year is virtually written off. The answers also need to be nationally based, although I fear that is virtually impossible at this stage. The longer the wait, the longer the recovery timeline.
Whilst we can keep banging on doors it is now a change in mindset that is the only way out.
That does not take away from the other ongoing issues that still need to be addressed:
- Some form of wage subsidy
- Confidence to reopen
I applaud the Sydney Business Events Coalition call to action and I know there is a similar response coming from multiple organisations here in Melbourne.
The VTIC four point recovery plan spells it out again, as do the responses from many other organisations who are equally committed including VECCI, Save Victorian Events, MEAA, MCB, AACB and BECA.
The message could not be clearer. Both government and industry need to do this together. Let’s trust both are still up for the battle as there is simply no other option.