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The importance of industry partnerships: Rising to the challenge of COVID-19

Guest Blog: Mike Kershaw, Kershaw & Partners

In a matter of months, the global landscape has changed enormously, and professionals in the meetings and events industry now face the pressing need to make tough decisions quickly. Venues need to find a way to get back to business, whilst safeguarding staff and guests against the spread of COVID-19, now and potentially way into the future. 

We are all hoping that July will see many venues and events re-opening their doors, but other than social distancing regulations and other obvious measures, guidelines are non-specific. It is left to individual venues and event organisers to decide what measures to adopt to instil confidence in both staff and visitors. People want to feel safe, from the moment they arrive, through to the point they post their glowing reviews!

What we do know is that venues will need to impose social distancing measures, reducing capacity. They will need to organise additional cleaning and sanitising procedures, and potentially introduce downtime between the use of spaces to reduce the risk of infection. So, who will pick up the bill to put these measures in place, with business margins predicted to freefall?

Throughout these unprecedented times, I have never been prouder to be considered a veteran of this industry. My little black book (and social media accounts) are bursting with marvellous people, experts in their respective fields and entrepreneurs that have grown amazing businesses from their bedrooms or garages. This industry is truly unique, full of passionate, energetic and determined people. I have read numerous articles and blogs, listened to many a podcast and been part of countless conversations over the last few months, all of which have demonstrated our tenacity to overcome adversity and raise the events industry from the proverbial ashes.  

This leads me on to the reason I felt compelled to write this blog. If venues and events don’t recover, it will affect us all, so this is a rallying cry for venues and suppliers to get together and have conversations. Many venues have long-standing preferred partners spanning the entire events services directory. From caterers and florists to entertainment and staffing companies, all of these businesses are reliant on finding solutions to ensure a recovery, whatever that may look like in this post-pandemic world. 

Whether it’s a financial contribution towards thermal scanning equipment, set builders remodelling event spaces or temporary structure companies providing covered outdoor areas to use within venue spaces, the opportunities to work together are endless. With all the creative brains out there, working as a collective to generate ideas to diversify and utilise resources, will conquer all adversity. As someone famous once said “Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved”.

To demonstrate a widespread commitment to achieving this recovery, a safe, live event for the industry is being planned as we speak. We will gather the great and the good, to discuss, plan and collaborate on all thing’s live events, post COVID-19, so watch this space #eventprofs and let’s get talking!

Posted 12th June 2020