Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (31 March)
We’re into week 2 of UK lockdown, and time has lost all meaning.
Life is starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day…
We think it’s Tuesday (but we can’t be entirely sure)…
Oh, and the clocks changed at the weekend…but no-one noticed.
Anyway. Today’s news brings you some tips for managing virtual meetings; an invitation to the *biggest* virtual meeting *of all time*; some good news for limited companies, freelancers, and creatives; and a touching UK-wide tribute to the NHS.
5 mistakes to avoid in virtual meetings
In 2020, meetings look a little different…Okay, a lot different. The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered virtual meetings the new norm—and for many companies, this is entirely new territory. If you’re not used to running meetings online, there will be an adjustment period. You’re probably going to make some mistakes.
But don’t worry, Smart Meetings has you covered; they’ve outlined the 5 biggest mistakes made by virtual meeting newbies, with advice on how to avoid them. From recommending video chat to imitate the real deal; to setting a clear structure that will boost productivity—this handy article is a road map towards virtually flawless online meetings. Have a read here.
Join the world’s biggest virtual meeting
Now that you’re all set to smash those virtual meetings, how about jumping in at the deep end and joining the biggest virtual meeting of all time? You know what they say—go big or…err…stay home?
A few weeks ago, all live events related to Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID)—an international celebration of the meetings & events industry—were sadly postponed. Upon hearing the news, event profs everywhere took to social media to do what we do best; solve the problem.
And just like that, #GMIDGoesVirtual was born. On 14 April 2020 at 4pm UK time, this ambitious group will attempt to bring together 15,000 event profs for a 30-minute interactive virtual event. The aim is to break the Guinness World Record for most participants in a virtual meeting—all the while, connecting a community who desperately need something to celebrate.
For more info on the project, and to sign up to be part of the record attempt, check out gmidgoesvirtual.com.
Petition for govt to support limited companies during COVID-19
As the reality of the COVID-19 situation begins to hit home, it’s becoming increasingly obvious where the gaps are in government support. In its package to help self-employed people during the coronavirus outbreak, the government has overlooked those who bill for their services through a limited company (unless they are PAYE).
Many industries and sectors, including the events industry, insist on employing staff who are set up as limited companies—and now the people who service those industries are at a disadvantage through no fault of their own. This petition calls on the UK government to rectify this oversight.
It’s had a good amount of support so far, but not nearly enough. You can sign the petition here.
New bursaries for freelancers & creatives
Yesterday, Creative Scotland launched their new Bridging Bursary—a £2 million fund aiming to help artists, creative workers, and freelancers facing immediate hardship, but who might fall through the gaps of other support on offer. The fund will award one-off bursaries of between £500 and £2,500. You can find out more about the fund and the application process here.
Screen Scotland also launched a similar Bridging Bursary programme—for freelance and self-employed practitioners in Scotland’s film & TV industries, covering crew, specialist festival & venue staff, post-production, directors, and film education & training practitioners. As with the Creative Scotland fund, bursaries are between £500 and £2,500, and will be awarded on a non-competitive basis. You can find out more and apply here.
As event profs, we’re used to the non-stop, full-steam-ahead lifestyle that comes with running live events. It’s been hard to step back and slow down.
The best thing we can do right now (apart from staying home) is to repurpose our skillsets and networks to try to give back—and to say a huge thank you to the healthcare professionals working on the frontline.
On Thursday 26 March at 8pm, the UK became a beacon of blue as over 100 national landmarks, historic buildings, and venues across the country were illuminated in tribute to the NHS and all those risking their own health to help others.
So, last up for today…
NHS, we salute you.