The SA Events Council, a coalition of 14 South African events industry associations, was created during the Covid-19 pandemic to showcase the immense value of events and lobby for greater support from government and other stakeholders.
For example, did you know that the Cape Town International Jazz Festival alone contributes roughly R700million to the economy through tourism and hospitality sector spend while creating some 2 000 temporary jobs for locals? And that the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the Absa Cape Epic and The Two Oceans Marathon together boost the economy to the tune of more than R1.5 billion per annum?
The Cape Town International Jazz Festival alone contributes roughly R700million to the economy through tourism and hospitality sector spend while creating some 2 000 temporary jobs for locals.
Earlier this month, the SA Events Council released a press release acknowledging the tough start to the year the sector has faced, but highlighting some of the promising developments that could help to reopen events sooner rather than later – namely, the national vaccination rollout and access to rapid testing that has been approved by the World Health Organisation.
It notes: “The Events industry’s reputation for resilience, forward-planning and innovation is well-earned. Building on the success of the Event Reopening Guidelines the industry put in place in 2020 to mitigate risk; Recharge 2020 in December proved that events CAN reopen safely using the latest developments in rapid Covid-19 testing. Secure Health Passport Europe mobile technology and antigen testing combined with the rigorous event safety protocols already in play, ensure that the event space is a safer environment than our supermarkets, malls or parks.
“Ironically, organised events might, in fact, become THE safe space in which to unlock the route to market and resume business.”
“Just imagine the consumer confidence generated by attending an event knowing that everyone around you has tested negative for Covid-19! Ironically, organised events might, in fact, become THE safe space in which to unlock the route to market and resume business.
“There is work to be done and we are calling on policy-makers and government to collaborate with the events industry to make these solutions workable and affordable. Our Industry is ready and waiting and extremely well-prepared to resume safely and responsibly.”
While it’s difficult to set key goals in a constantly evolving landscape, some of the short term aims that the SA Events Council has for 2021 are to:
- Build confidence around the events industry’s ability to resume safely – with our audiences, our clients and our government.
- Achieve an understanding, at government level, of the difference in safety profiles between highly regulated professional events and mass gatherings like funerals.
- Reopen events to a financially viable level, at least to a 50% floor space capacity with no cap.
- Offer our considerable logistical expertise to assist with the nationwide vaccination roll-out drive – it’s one way we can assist in getting our industry back to work quickly.