Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (19 March)
Advice around COVID-19 is changing every day, even every hour.
And we’re all feeling a bit bombarded by the sheer amount of news in circulation. It’s relentless, and there’s no shame in trying to protect yourselves from being overwhelmed by it. So we’ve curated some of the latest developments from the last few days about COVID-19, and the events industry in particular.
Event profs unite on Slack
A Slack workspace has been set up for event profs around the world. It’s called called ‘Event Profs Unite’, a rallying call that’s more appropriate now than it’s ever been.
(For those not familiar with Slack, it’s an instant messaging platform and collaboration hub, designed to help teams work together seamlessly online. It’s very user-friendly—and if you haven’t used it before, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.)
This channel is a safe space to talk to fellow event profs and help each other out wherever you can. So we encourage you to join and connect with others—you’re not in this alone.
You can join the Slack workspace here.
An open letter to the NHS
A new Twitter channel, @peoplepowered20, has been set up by a small team of experienced freelancers from the entertainment industry who are looking to help the NHS. Through an open letter to NHS staff, this team are offering to use their vast skillsets to expand NHS capacity—ultimately doing their part to help flatten the curve:
“Dear NHS staff,
We know you’ve not got much time to read this, so we’ll keep it short. We think we can help.
Our entire industry has stopped this week, so that the UK population can slow the progress of the coronavirus. We freelancers are staying at home, and will continue to do so unless you ask some of us to be of service. We’ve got skills that could help relieve the pressure for the NHS.”
Read the full letter here. Then retweet, share, spread the word—particularly amongst any medical contacts you have.
NHS seeking volunteer ward helpers
While we’re on the subject of expanding capacity, the NHS are urgently looking for volunteer ward helpers to support patient care and the smooth running of hospitals wards. Tasks include things like distributing food and drink; cleaning dishes; running hospital shop errands for patients; keeping patients company; answering the phone; and other small jobs to support our incredible NHS staff.
You can find volunteering positions in your area here.
Social distancing: advice for everyone
We’ve seen a lot of chatter online about social distancing, questioning what that actually means.
Social distancing refers to steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people, which will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Things like avoiding non-essential excursions on public transport; working from home; avoiding large gatherings; and keeping in touch with people online, instead of in person. Virtual vino, anyone?
As event profs, we’re big advocates for the problem-solving power of technology. Though commonplace nowadays, we’re blessed to have the kind of devices that let us connect with people remotely. So let’s take advantage of it—staying in touch, whilst keeping our distance.
You can find the government’s full guidance on social distancing here, plus useful FAQs.
Mental health tips for event profs
We signed off our last briefing by asking you to safeguard your mental health during this stressful time. If that seems like an impossible feat right now, Event Manager Blog are hosting a free webinar that just might help—‘How Event Profs Can Preserve Mental Health in a Time of Crisis’, on Tuesday 31 March, 5pm UK time.
A great example of how we can be moving important conversations from face-to-face to screen-to-screen—this seminar will teach you tried and true strategies event professionals use to cope with hardship and uncertainty. And you’ll get the chance to ask questions and support other event professionals as well.
Take a look at the speaker line-up and register here.
Stay safe everyone, and check back soon.