Insight: Issue 76 (26 Jan)
That’s right y’all, we’re back with a bang! It’s been a long time coming but the day has finally arrived – restrictions on large events and hospitality have finally been lifted in Scotland, with no restrictions on crowd limits UK-wide. Surely time for a party – booze suitcases at the ready and let’s get the Colin the Caterpillar cakes in!
A significant moment indeed, with undoubted light at the end of the tunnel after the Omicron variant. Continued optimism also comes from the WHO and The Lancet, who have cautiously predicted the end of the pandemic as we know it in 2022.
“It’s plausible that Europe is moving towards a kind of pandemic endgame,” Hans Kluge told AFP in an interview, adding that Omicron could infect 60 percent of Europeans by March.
We’ve got fingers, toes and everything else crossed at Cameron HQ – although Virtual has been fantastic for the events Industry, our #EventProfs are definitely looking forward to a good old in-person event (remember them?) Roll on 2022!
Manchester leads the way
To coincide with this most excellent news, Manchester have also confirmed they are leading the recovery of the sector in the Northwest of England, with 110 events booked for 2022.
Planned events for February look set to bring over 10,000 delegates into the city, and include Future Cheer 2022, Bricktastic 2022 and the Built Environment’s Northern Powerhouse Economic Growth Conference, while in March, the venue will host UCAS, Northern Restaurant and Bar Show 2022, Digital City Festival 2022, the North of England Dentistry Show and the BSAVA Congress among others.
Shaun Hinds, CEO at Manchester Central, said: “We have started the year promisingly with a number of significant enquiries for events in 2022, on the same par as we saw upon reopening last year, proving that businesses are eager to get back to live events.”
We’ll second that Shaun – with a few live event bookings already in the bag for 2022, Cameron is delighted to see things moving in the right direction elsewhere in the UK.
Although….the shadows of Brexit and Pandemic still loom large
That’s not to say it’s all rosy in the event garden (it never is). Access All Areas reports that 26% of UK shows have already been cancelled in Q1 due to a heady combination of Brexit and the Pandemic, according to live music industry umbrella body LIVE.
LIVE said it is calling on government for a package of support measures, that include maintaining the reduced rate of VAT on tickets at 12.5%. All senior event professionals recently surveyed by Access said the VAT rate should be maintained at 12.5%, or reduced further, for the remainder of 2022.
The organisation also said the industry needed the Government to “urgently fix” its events cancellation reinsurance scheme and resolve roadblocks for transportation to enable tours to go ahead.
LIVE CEO Greg Parmley said, “Whilst it is great news that restrictions on live music venues will come to an end in much of the UK at the end of January, the live music industry is still facing serious challenges. The impact of the past two years has been catastrophic for the venues, artists, freelancers, and technical staff that power our £4.5 billion industry.”
As outlined above, the end on the worst period in history for our beloved sector is hopefully near, but as these cancellation numbers show, we’re not out of the woods quite yet and the government needs to understand the challenges the Events and live music industries still face. Over to you Culture Secretary….
Events….The Final Frontier
It’s almost time for #EventProfs to go boldly when no #EventProf has gone before…. that’s right, we’re talking about that magnificent marvel in the sky, also known as outer space.
The recent announcement of the first full film studio in space, planned for launch by the US in 2024, has promised a dedicated site to host film and TV productions, as well as sports events and livestreams for social media influencers.
SEE co-founders Dmitry and Elena Lesnevsky said in a joint statement. “SSE (Space Entertainment Enterprise) will provide a unique and accessible home for boundless entertainment possibilities in a venue packed with innovative infrastructure, which will unleash a new world of creativity.”
Sounds like an opportunity too good to piggy back onto – events in space, lounging in Jeff Bezos space hotel and networking drinks on the ISS….what could possibly go wrong?
Live long and prosper #EventProfs