The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the events industry take a severe hit but if we are united in our efforts, we can weather the storm, writes Richard Downing, CEO of Downings Marquee Rentals.

COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, coronavirus – whatever the name used for the viral pandemic we are currently facing, it has become synonymous with far-reaching consequences that are impossible to ignore as they have affected every single one of us.

We cannot dispute that the measures that have been put in place are crucial to limiting the spread of the virus. With a lockdown that is gradually being phased out to lower levels based on careful risk assessments intended to prioritise the safety of our nation’s citizens, each of us has a key role to play in how we manage the effects of the pandemic.

Down but not out

Some industries have been much harder hit than others; the healthcare/medical sector is currently inundated but with no social gatherings permitted and only essential travel allowed within each province, business events and tourism have suffered a heavy blow, with the dip in activity resulting in a major loss in revenues. From organisers to service providers, the knock-on effects have now impacted the entire value chain, and this is likely to be long-lasting.

“From Downings’ perspective, we are offering different value propositions to alternative market segments, where our products and services are best suited to meet the needs of customers and deal with the challenges faced by our industry affiliates and partners.”

From Downings’ perspective, we are offering different value propositions to alternative market segments, where our products and services are best suited to meet the needs of customers and deal with the challenges faced by our industry affiliates and partners. For operations that are primarily driven by events or rely on large gatherings of people for their day-to-day business, the current outlook is uncertain; however, we remain positive and committed to ensuring the availability of our resources.

In this together

What we are seeing out of COVID-19 is just how much we are all part of an intricate ecosystem, and we are all in this together. There have already been quite a few casualties and, right now, it is more important than ever that we deal with the virus as proactively and as swiftly as possible to prevent more draconian measures needing to be put in place.

“This is also where each of us needs to recognise that it is within our power to make a difference; at Downings, we are more committed than ever to our charitable causes and it has been encouraging to be part of the efforts being made to support local communities as far as possible. It is here where we know we are making a real, tangible contribution in the fight against COVID-19.”

This is also where each of us needs to recognise that it is within our power to make a difference; at Downings, we are more committed than ever to our charitable causes and it has been encouraging to be part of the efforts being made to support local communities as far as possible. It is here where we know we are making a real, tangible contribution in the fight against COVID-19 (see here for more on this). For others, simply staying at home is what will save lives, as it limits the number of opportunities that the virus has to be transmitted to other people.

COVID-19 has and will continue to test our mettle like nothing we’ve ever faced before – even though its impact might be felt for a long time after it passes, it will not be permanent, and we will emerge from this stronger and more resilient.

In the interim, do what you can to survive, helping others to do the same, and be ready for action once the industry and world recover.