Confidence starts with the individual. Our industry needs key individuals at decision-making level to #TrustUS as we build recovery for the business events and exhibition industry. What has not passed is the uncertainty, severe limitations and restrictions that are compromising our industry’s survival and pathway to recovery.
The business conditions remain challenging, and in some cases, they have worsened for 2021. The industry still faces critical challenges over the next 6-10 months whilst the market regains confidence to plan, deliver, book, and pay to attend events across the country.
Investment in ongoing, targeted support is needed as an urgent priority to ensure we can sustain our sector and retain our event professionals into the future.
We are not calling for hand-outs, but for government and corporate South Africa to book, meet in-person and do so regularly, on a small basis to start the rebuild towards recovery.
For the industry to return to its proven position as a major economic driver for the South African economy, short term targeted support is critical to retaining core capacity and capability.
Indicators for a return to in-person business events in the next 6 months are looking good. Furthermore, we need to survive now, to make it to the six-month mark. To do that, we need additional and targeted Government support.
The SA Events Council will continue its engagement with Government towards achieving these critical outcomes.
As a private-sector collective, we have provided sufficient evidence throughout 2020, by hosting a number of proof of concept events that demonstrated our ability to host, deliver and ensure stringent adherence to the Health and Safety Protocols that are aligned to the World Health Organisations (WHO) for business events and exhibitions.
The time is now to #TrustUS.
Any further delays will not only see more job losses and business failures in the short term but also long-term ramifications for the economic potential of the industry.
We will lose market share to other countries that may never return.
By Glenton De Kock