Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (07 April)
Brace yourselves, the sun is out to tempt us. . .
So if you’re feeling the urge to venture out and need some discouragement, here are some aspects of #LockdownLife that are better than the great outdoors…
- Staying in your PJs all day.
- Constant access to snacks.
- Pets as colleagues.
- Whimsical Zoom backgrounds…?
Okay, that last one is a stretch. This isn’t working. We’ll distract you with a news round-up instead…
Today we have some info on furlough, AKA the word of the moment; some more chat on virtual events (yes, we’re a broken record); plus your daily reminder to, please, take care of your mental health.
What even is furlough?
Possibly the most googled word of March 2020, ‘furlough’ has been on a lot of people’s minds lately. And if you still have no idea what it really means, you’re not alone! The BBC has you covered with a simple explanation…
“Furloughing is designed to support firms that have been badly hit by coronavirus, and to prevent mass unemployment. It will temporarily help pay the wages of people who can’t do their jobs, to help companies retain them. Being furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll, even though they aren’t working.”
Struggling businesses can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs (up to £2,500 a month) plus the employer’s associated National Insurance and minimum pension contributions for that wage.
The UK government has issued guidance on how furlough works, including eligibility criteria and info on making a claim. Essential reading right now, for sure.
A list of 2020’s virtual events & conferences
Our last briefing was all about virtual events; how they’re helping event profs to overcome the hurdles of lockdowns and travel bans, and allowing them to keep engaging audiences all over the world.
With more and more events transitioning from on-site to online in the coming months, the Bizzabo Blog saw fit to create an authoritative list of virtual events and online conferences taking place in 2020. This serves both as a resource for event profs to see what their peers are up to, and as a platform for event organisers to spread the news about their own upcoming virtual and hybrid events.
Microsoft goes digital-only in 2020/21
And if you think we’re exaggerating the hype on virtual events, then get a load of this—Microsoft is going digital-only for a whole year. In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, the company officially confirmed yesterday that all events, both internal and external, will be digital through to July 2021.
Instead of delaying what is arguably the inevitable, Microsoft has made this long-term decision now with the rationale that—the sooner they decide, the better these virtual experiences will be. We can’t say we disagree with that logic. Truly a sign of the times.
Mental health advice for event planners
We’ve mentioned mental health in a few of these briefings now, and we’re not going to stop any time soon. We all need this reminder, and we need it regularly.
Smart Meetings has another gem of an article for us with their advice on how to support the mental health of event planners. It includes tips for a good night’s sleep, guidance on creating structure in an unstructured time, and how to give yourself permission to take a break.
So, here’s your permission. Grab a coffee (or something stronger…lockdown = airport rules) and have a read.
Sun’s out. . .let’s stay in.