Like many of my industry peers and colleagues, I have been reading, watching, waiting in the hope that the leaders in our industry do something for our perilous situation. What clout have our associations had in representing our sector to the government? What tangible difference has any of our “sticking together” and “we will emerge stronger” rhetoric had?
What voices have been listened to by Whitehall?
I watched in disbelief as a member of parliament rattled off a list of event business types that were suffering in the events and hospitality industry and he said, and I quote “even venues”.
Helloooooo, ‘even venues’? What are you talking about? WTF do you think is first on the list of things to sort out when organising an event? At that point I genuinely dispaired.
A few weeks back I wrote an article titled “Where are our leaders?” and in our latest Podcast, I talked about how we had some fundamental things wrong with how our industry is represented and categorised. Let alone numbers, data and evidence-based information being presented to the government. A senior and well-known PR specialist in the industry shared my views when asked in a panel discussion held by EP.
What an almighty pickle we are in. And where do we even begin to not only represent ourselves fully to the government but to do it at speed?
Last night I was reading an article in the sports section of my BBC News app. The article was titled ‘Elite sport must find a way to support itself’.
In the article, was this sentence. “……the first meeting took place of an expert taskforce……to explore high tech solutions that would allow grounds to re-open”
The article went on to say The Sports Technology & Innovation Group is made up of sport, health & technology experts and will be looking at the whole fan journey from home to stadiums”
When I read it last night I thought “that’s it!!!” and as I write this copy this morning I have got goosebumps, just thinking about what we can achieve if we come together, just like elite sports clubs have.
I know a lot of people in the industry and I’m privileged to call many of them my friends. they’re in high places and they know the state of their financial backers. It’s painful but their backers have reassured many (most actually) that although this situation is beyond shit, they will support them and help the businesses weather the storm. Those businesses will be around in 12 months time and when the virus has a vaccine and we have all learned to live with it, their businesses will be ready.
So I call on our leaders to set up an elite task-force. Made up of clever people representing all the major parts of the sector, to come together and as the BBC article headline says “…find a way to support ourselves”.
A PR campaign isn’t going to cut it. we need more.
I’m happy to be involved and arrange the first meeting, from which I’m sure our leaders will emerge.