How to show support for the failing Events Industry

COVID-19 relief for the events industry

Like many businesses, the meetings and live event industry have grounded to a halt. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated many companies both large and small. Most if not all event support providers will look different on the other side of the curve. A lot of event companies have had to make hard decisions including laying off many of their workers.

The live event industry has many faces, including those behind the scenes–support staff and crew that work tirelessly to put on successful event after event. Many of those affected can be freelance or contract workers that rely on these events for their sole means of support.

It is estimated that the live events industry annual revenue is well over $300 billion as a whole. This would be more than double the 2019 revenue of General Motors which was reported at $125 billion. Yet little is being talked about in the media concerning our industry. The discussion has been more about the travel industry which would include hotels, airlines, and restaurants. We are all in this together and each business needs to work to support the others.

In an effort to assist those in the live event industry affected by the COVID-19 crisis, a new organization has banded together to pursue funding from the US federal government, the Live Events Industry Coalition. Several event companies staying on top of things, including Digerati Productions, started a petition called Federal Aid Package for Events Industry on Change.org to petition President Trump. The site hosting the petition, Change.org, requests a donation but the petitioners say that it is not required. Currently, there are over 400,000 signatures with the number steadily increasing. The goal is to reach over 500,000 signers!

The aid package taken directly from the petition hopes to request the following but is not limited to:

  • Emergency Medicaid Health insurance–to cover our uninsured business owners, contractors, and laid-off employees.
  • An additional $200 Billion in low interest federally backed business liquidity loans–the initial $50 Bill has already been surpassed in current sustained losses just to our industry.
  • $100 Billion in Employee Retention Grants–these types of grants are being offered in New York City, currently the low-interest loans and deferred payroll tax are not able to avoid widespread layoffs. As a service-based economy of live events and business meetings cannot sustain taking on the level of debt to support employees without any ability to perform revenue-generating activities during this time of a large gathering shutdown.
  • The ability to submit canceled contracts as loss of income on our 2020 taxes.

Employees and Independent Contractors in the Live Event Industry Need:

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act to include 1099 self-employed individuals
  • The ability to apply for unemployment insurance to cover lost income.
  • The ability to get disability sick pay for missed work.

support the event industry during coronavirus lockdown

Hopefully, by sharing this information we can all come together as an industry to support each other. It’s been a week since I first read and signed the petition. At that time, there were over 300,000 signatures. In just a week’s time, around 100,000 more have signed.

There is hope on the horizon. Some expos are starting to reschedule their event dates. According to Meetings Today, these three expos have rescheduled their dates in Las Vegas:

  • The International Wireless Communications Expo – August 24-28
  • The Digital Sign Expo (DSE) – September 15-18
  • The National Hardware Show (NHS) – September 1-3

Not only have these events been rescheduled, but the Las Vegas Convention Center is on track to complete its expansion project by December 2020. All of which is great news in hopes that the live events industry gets back on schedule by the fall.

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*We are a Business to Business (B2B) rental firm. All rental orders must be placed by an authorized representative of a qualified business. First-time business customers are screened for compliance to ensure the order is legitimate and authorized. In short, you must be a business that has been established for a minimum of 2 years with an email address connected to a corotate domain and a ship to address that also meets our requirements. To see the full requirements, visit our Requirements to Rent page.

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