Because of the novel corona virus ( covid-19) events on the books of 2020 in Saudi Arabia have been postponed, with 35 percent outright cancelled and most of them has held with online / virtual events to continue with the pace. But what holds in 2021 ? With government at all levels issuing new restrictions on events, this situation changes daily.
The Event industry has entered a new phase of its recovery from the devastation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. While uncertainty remains, there are positive signs that rebuilding can start.
2020 is a year that the event industry will remember for a long while, and for the worst possible reasons. Events have been among the businesses worst impacted by the crisis.
For a long time and in many cases still to date, there is little clarity about when events will come back. Many in the industry have adopted the slogan ‘The first to go, the last to come back’ to describe how devastating the pandemic was for an industry living through its golden age.
Helping hand for the employees
With many event and rental operators looking at their employees as family, some are taking extra steps to ease the pain of layoffs.
Budgets and Economic Considerations
Once the environment is safer to meet, there is are crucial questions to ask:
- Will businesses be able to plan and attend events?
- Will the industry be able to recover quickly enough after substantial layoffs and business shutdowns?
These are essential items to consider. It’s possible that by the time events are ready to go, the economic impact of the virus will have been so devastating that businesses in some industries simply won’t be able to afford to host meetings.
On the other hand, some verticals have thrived. Tech and healthcare are at their highest performance ever. These sectors could be the ignition to the comeback, pushing new budgets towards the industry.
If that materializes, will the industry be ready to accommodate the surge? Not really at the current state of affairs. Large trade show companies are reorganizing themselves to support small hybrid events, letting go of key staff. That is just one reason it might take them quite a while to go back to supporting large shows as in the past.
It is vital to keep in mind previous bounce backs that the events industry has faced. Flexibility and the reliability of a flexible workforce are intrinsic to the industry. Therefore, some companies may be able to quickly re-staff.
Our Community Knows How To Take Safety Precautions
One essential element to getting our lives back and attending events is a sense of security that needs to be rebuilt in the consumer and business community.
As long as we perceive there to be a risk of dying from complications of the Covid-19 disease, we won’t go out of our homes for entertainment and leisure. Events are often thought to be in this category of need. That is, they are seen to be non-essential.
One would take the risk of getting infected to go grocery shopping but not to attend an event. Even with grocery shopping, online ordering still has a lot of traction with countries such as the UK, which saw online grocery shopping rates covering 75% of its population. And no doubt, Saudi Arabia has risen with the stores such as Carrefour and Panda’s online services.
The perception of risking our lives to eat out at a restaurant or go back to school is beginning to fade.
Here are some facts that support this perception:
- Hospitals have a better grasp of how to cure the disease
- When distancing, masks and hygiene are in place; virus spread is reduced
Other facts may be just misleading the broader population to conclude that things are getting better. Elements such as younger people getting infected, hence less prone to be hospitalized and die. Another factor could be that having better medical recourse just delays deaths; therefore, we have yet to see the full effect of the virus’s resurgence in North America and Europe.
While having a definite opinion about the matters above pertains more to fortune-tellers than analysts, it is fair to say that we are not in the same scenario we were in March and April. There is a sense of knowing what we are facing as an industry. There is more control over the elements that determine the spread.