You were right Trevor; July 2021 does still look a lot like March 2020 and that’s still having an impact on the events industry.
We all knew it was coming but that doesn’t mean the pain is any less with the cancellation of the Grand Prix
In fact, it ended up a double blow with the bikes gone at Phillip Island as well.
The number of issues around these cancellations forms a very long list:
Economic impact to Melbourne in terms of hotels, restaurants, taxis, retail, let alone what the impact on Phillip Island economy would be
Our reputation as the sporting capital of the world, noting that the Grand Prix is not just a Melbourne issue but an Australian one.
The hit to the events industry in general and the many companies who rely on major events such as the Grand Prix. I can think of 20 suppliers easily and we are certainly one of them.
All of this is made even harder when you look at other international events happening right now with wall to wall crowds – why can’t we be like them?
I don’t need to go on as the story and its implications is a worn-out record. And this was on top of the impact that the Sydney lockdown, as well as in the other States, has had earlier this week and still does today.
Through no direct fault of anyone in Melbourne, many business events in the last week were either cancelled or postponed through fear of us going back into lockdown. The indirect impact is huge as it was for other states when we were shut down.
Clients were just saying it’s too risky to confirm anything with all this going on elsewhere. Who can argue with that as I’ve said if it was my money on the line, I wouldn’t go ahead with it either.
So, through the inevitable government blame game that has surrounded the cancellation there are five things that we know will determine what we can and can’t do as an industry in general:
- Forget anything international for the foreseeable future without them agreeing to our current quarantine rules. Not going to happen. The tennis really needs a lot of special attention.
- Events of any form that rely on interstate travel for survival are at a higher risk then those held for local guests. Conference and exhibitions in particular.
- Events that are able to work within approved Government guidelines will have a better chance of survival, i.e. the ability to QR code. Unfortunately, this will not apply to public events and in particular dance related events for a while as they have their own unique set of issues.
- No matter what they say, governments will still shut down at the drop of a hat and they are not going to change any policies currently in place.
- To a large extent our destiny is not in our own hands. We can plan and do all the right things but other factors will simply override that. The recent dance party in Melbourne is a prime example. Would it really have had an impact if everyone attending an event was fully vaccinated? Not sure it would.
That’s a fact that I find so frustrating, as I know many will.
It’s then a matter of doing the best we can with what we’ve got as the ultimate message is very clear.
No certainty for any events unless the greater majority of us are vaccinated.
Let’s just hope this is not Groundhog Day in another 6 months.