Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (26 March)
Day 3 of UK lockdown. . .not that we’re counting or anything.
In today’s news briefing, we’ve got a tip for hospitality staff looking for work; somewhere for event profs to turn if they need support; a few good books to keep your brain busy during lockdown; and a look at how the next few months may change the events landscape for good…and, ultimately, for the better.
Recruitment portal for hospitality sector now live
First up, one for our friends in the hospitality sector. A free online recruitment portal is now live for out-of-work hospitality staff looking for employment in other areas—including food & drink, retail & supply, delivery services, and healthcare. Companies like Morrisons, Co-op, Waitrose, Just Eat, and Care UK have already agreed to advertise jobs on the portal—plus 4,000 vacancies at Amazon and 2,500 at Lidl are going up on the website right now.
Not only will this initiative help to alleviate the hardship suffered by people in hard-hit sectors, it does a great deal of good for our economy too—providing extra labour where it’s needed, and keeping the UK going whilst we navigate the challenging months ahead.
Dedicated support line for event profs
Stress Matters is launching a free support line for the events industry, which offers easy access to trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) who provide practical support and signposting to other helpful services. From Monday 30 March, you’ll be able to access the support line by texting 07481 362111 between 8am to 8pm, and a trained MHFA will arrange a call back.
FYI, Stress Matters also have a ‘buddy’ scheme, called Buddies Matter. It’s not a mentoring scheme for professional help (there are plenty of those already), but rather a peer-to-peer matching service, connecting event profs with one another to offer support and solidarity. Honestly, it’s just what we need right now—and you can become a buddy here.
At-home wellness tips
Working from home has its challenges, especially if you rely on colleague camaraderie to get you through the day. But it has its benefits too. Remote work lets you integrate wellness into your routine, however you choose—whether that’s playing your music without headphones (so long, open-plan office!) or taking your one-a-day stroll outside.
Smart Meetings has some good tips for prioritising your physical and mental well-being—from getting fit and eating healthily, to meditating and keeping a journal. Certainly worth a read.
Join the event profs book club
In case you hadn’t heard, connecting ideas is sort of our thing. So when we found out about an online book club exclusively for event profs…well, we were pretty keen. Founder Jillian Cardinal, a business event specialist based in Canada, started the group a year ago. She now describes it as a “book club meets webinar meets workshop”, which poses important questions and fosters an inquisitive online community. Awesome.
You can find out more about their upcoming events here. And if you’re looking for something to peruse in the meantime, these are a few of the club’s suggested reads:
- Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans;
- The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker;
- The Non-Obvious Guide to Event Planning (for Kick-Ass Gatherings That Inspire People) by Andrea Driessen…this last one will be the topic of their next online discussion on Thursday 29 April, and you can RSVP here.
Lockdown live-streaming on the rise
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, and more and more people start working from home, it’s unsurprising that there’s been a huge spike in live-streamed meetings and events. Take Zoom, for example (an online videoconferencing platform that you’re no doubt familiar with by now)—they added more monthly users in the first 2 months of 2020 than in the whole of 2019. And that’s because live-streaming is helping people to carry on and keep the conversation going during these uncertain times. For many, it’s become the stopgap solution for getting through lockdown.
Here at Cameron, we’re looking beyond the next few months. Yes, live-streaming is the answer to an immediate problem—but it’s more than that. The sudden uptake in this service is laying the foundation for a changed events landscape; one where virtual and hybrid events aren’t a substitute for their live equivalent, but a supplement. Because when event planners start enhancing live events with virtual elements, and begin reaching wider audiences, boosting participation, and cutting costs (not to mention carbon emissions)…why would they want to go back?
Lastly, we’ll leave you with a larger-than-life reminder about our most important job right now, which we’re *literally* shouting from the rooftops…
Stay home, save lives, protect the NHS.