As a business owner and as an event industry expert, I must be a control freak – that’s a necessary skill to be able to manage so many balls in the air and actually care about which way they land right? Its fair to say its been a challenging 3 months where we have had little or no control over anything within our industry.
The week that this impacted Big Fish Events, I was in our Melbourne office servicing our clients in that market, speaking at a conference and pitching to a new client. I flew home to Adelaide like I have been doing for the past few years….what is the PM talking about?
Within 48 hours the industry was being shut down; within 9 days our borders were closed – no fault, no negotiating and no option. Shock, shock indeed.
At Big Fish Events we have sat around our boardroom table and rolled through scenario after scenario and settled on a way forward only to wake up the next day with the parameters that we can play in completely changed. We worked out what we could keep, who we could keep and what we do each day, to take it a day as it comes to just try and understand what this outside force was not only doing to our business, to our industry to many.
There are a number of event industry reports you can read which will tell you the billions of dollars, yes, billions of dollars that will be lost to the Australian economy in the next 12 months; 96% of business events cancelled or postponed, major events cancelled….one after the next – cancelled. Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost….what other elements of doom and gloom can we add in?
There certainly has been plenty written on the impact of COVID19 and how industries in particular the event industry has been flattened along with the curve….so is there anything that has been left out?
Its not so much about what may have been left out, its about considering what you know today, what you can control tomorrow and what you can do in a weeks time. That speaks to certainty. Certainty in decisions, consistency in decision making and playing with the framework available to you.
- Certainty builds confidence.
- Confidence is what business needs right now.
If business can gain some confidence, you will see traditional parts of the industry starting back up. Remember its not the current restrictions its knowing when they will lift, even if the projection is conservative. Events of substance take time to plan. It will be baby steps but with some certainty business can look forward.
Like many companies we have spent a lot of time speaking with our clients, with industry colleagues and membership bodies. In fact, some 12 weeks ago I set up a group of business’s for a weekly MEET-UP to keep a dialogue open across the sector – all of those voices are asking for the same thing.
We need certainty.
Australia, in fact South Australia has done an extraordinary job of flattening the curve. We don’t want a second wave of infections, but we also don’t want to see more business’s not make it to the other side.
We need certainty…..and the news revealed yesterday goes a long way to giving us that.