The events industry creates millions of memories, millions of stories – stories that are told, and retold to friends and families around the world. The events industry is in jeopardy, and thousands of professionals, entertainers and artists are struggling to make ends meet or are in fear of paying bills when furlough ends.
Amid significant job losses and a reduction in demand as a result of COVID-19, the global events industry have joined forces and created the #WeMakeEvents campaign. It is alerting governments worldwide to the disastrous situation the sector faces without financial aid.
It initially launched in April 2020. The original ‘Red Alert – throw us a line’ day of action took place on the 11th August 2020, with buildings lighting up in red and social media dominating the colour too. On 30th September 2020, the Events industry shone the red light again in the ‘We Make Events Global Dy of Action’.
What is the #WeMakeEvents Campaign trying to achieve?
1. A government-backed COVID-19 insurance scheme
So event organisers can recover costs and attendees receive a refund
2. Government support for proactive COVID-19 testing for event attendees
To give confidence to attendees and organisers that the event is safe and compliant
3. 3-year extension to the reduced cultural VAT rate on tickets in line with DCMS recommendations (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport)
To simulate the return of a viable live entertainment sector
4. Grants – not loans – made available to businesses in the events supply chain
To give companies the flexibility to allocate financial resources where they need it most, to keep the business afloat and to enable them to retain employees.
5. A job support scheme for the events industry until the government guidelines change on social distancing
To allow employees to retain highly skilled people in preparation for a return to work, and to support the freelance community.
We Make Events Official in Wales
Events professionals across Wales have come together to highlight the urgent support needed to keep the sector from the risk of collapse during the current pandemic. Professionals and volunteers from across the industry have united to plan activity as part of a global awareness day.
Outside Cardiff’s iconic centre for entertainment, the Wales Millennium Centre sits a huge digital collage of the Welsh flag, made up of 500 faces of people working in the events industry in Wales. It was created by local artist Nathan Wyburn. On his Instagram he said;
“I’m honoured to have been asked to be part of this campaign, as a proud Welsh artist I’ve often made art that reflects the times, and the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t been an exception. It’s been heartbreaking for me as a concert and theatre attendee, an events hosts and charity fundraiser to not be able to do any of these things. Many of my friends also work in these industries and have lost their income.
I too lost a lot of mine. I think the artwork of the dragon roars with Welsh pride, but also sadly shows how much talent is currently unable to be used. To think 500 people sent in photos and that’s barely 1% of the people in Wales affected by this… that’s extremely emotional.”
Why is #WeMakeEvents so important to me?
I work in a hotel. The hospitality sector did get a boost when lockdown was lifted. The weather this summer has been fantastic, with long sunny hot days. When we were able to leave our homes, we were more than willing to travel and explore. The hotel restaurant also benefitted, as we all took advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme.
Now it is getting colder, wetter and darker – and with local lockdowns – it has put hotels and restaurants under pressure. Bookings have significantly eased off. Out of half term and the summer months, hotels survive on corporate business travel, which is practically non-existent.
What’s that got to do with supporting the #WeMakeEvents? Because we do events too! A large part of our business is corporate conferences, private parties such as baby showers, christenings and birthday parties. Not forgetting Christmas parties and wedding celebrations.
Panic and worrying about the future
I try not to think about it often, as the panic would set in and completely overwhelm me. I’m currently working 16 hours flexible furlough. I have no idea if the hours will increase or if my company will sign up to the extension scheme. As of yet, this has not been confirmed. I don’t want to find another job (not that there’s many out there). I enjoy what I do, like the people I work with and the company.
I try not to worry, as there is no way I can influence this, but it’s always there in the back of my mind. I have saved as much as I possibly can during lockdown, which isn’t a lot, so I can survive a short while. I do not want to have to rely on my partner’s wages to cover the mortgage and bills, and again this will only go so far.
The events sector urgently needs government support to survive the COVID-19 crisis. If you can please support the movement, and share the message for the #WeMakeEvents campaign.