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Introducing March on March, our campaign to support getting events back in business. If we show delegates that we’re ready and waiting, it may be the difference that stimulates our industry into the big bounce back we all want.

 

Over the course of our 12 years in the meetings and events industry, we at Lime Venue Portfolio have taken on the role of official cheerleader. We’ve sought, wherever possible, to be the voice of support for those event professionals who want to do things better.

At times this brief has gone beyond our core area of expertise, connecting events through great venues and superb food, and into areas such as sustainability, charity, the importance of technology; we’ve even been taking a shot at futurology recently. However, right now, we’re looking to inject some enthusiasm and action into an industry that has, for the best part of a year, operated with a foot set firmly on its neck.

Despite how wretched 2021 has started, we know that our industry is looking to a more positive future as vaccines spread hope and confidence amongst our public, and the pent-up demand to convene as groups, communities and delegations looks set to be met. We don’t know when exactly, and no one is pretending that this is going to be easy, but it is coming, and it may be sooner than we expect. As the proverb goes ‘the night is darkest before the dawn’, and the dawn is coming.

The nature of our industry is that events take time to organise, lead in periods have been dropping for the last decade and can be anything from six months to a matter of weeks. Equally, to organise events takes talent, much of which has been sitting in furlough or lost completely from our industry. Our thoughts are with our event organising customers, and the difficult decisions they need to make in deciding the right time to bring their staff back. There is a risk in bringing employees back too early and too late for events that need organising, but without a real idea of when this will be. Corporates need agencies to book events, if they are not there then they can’t; but agents need genuine will from their customers as well.

For our part, we’re taking the positive approach, it’s served us well over the last 12 years, and we’re bringing people back now. We want to be there for our customers, and we want to show that this industry is open for business. There are others like us out there who want to be ready, but also want to create our own momentum.

Regardless of when these events will take place, the act of organising needs to be done now. We don’t want to wait until restrictions are eased, and to then get going on the process; this is not an industry that can afford to lose any weeks of trading this year.

There is also a much more serious point here about bringing our talent back. For many who have sadly been unable to work, they will be walking into a very different industry. Social distancing is the norm, the use of space has changed, and the risk and liabilities amongst delegates, organisers and even our own staff are all different. The priorities for organisers starts and ends with safety and this reassurance needs to be taken seriously from the onset.

We’re bringing our staff back early because we need to bring them up to speed, make sure we’re upskilling or even reskilling those that need it, and making sure we’re ready for organisers to entrust their delegates to us.

March on March is our campaign that encapsulates this approach. One that is built around creating momentum, being prepared for a different style of event for 2021 and putting our future in our own hands for a change. There are many of our industry colleagues who are already coming out fighting and we want to encourage more. We can’t wait for businesses to make the first step, it has to come from within; if we show them that we’re ready and waiting, it may be the difference that stimulates our industry into the big bounce back we all want.