The Ripple Effect of Our Industry
It’s no question that every industry has been impacted by the global pandemic we are facing right now. Some businesses are seeing some positive effects, whereas others are not so fortunate. Some have had to lay off staff, seen huge losses in sales, or even had to close their doors completely.
The event and hospitality industry is one that is taking a hard hit. Like a really hard, forceful, wind-knocking punch to the gut – that kind of hit. The entire livelihood of our industry is based on gatherings, celebrations and coming together. It’s about being there for your friends and family to cheer on the wins, and to grieve the losses. It’s about making memories that you will never forget, and ones that you will never remember. It’s about experiencing all that your community, culture and nation have to offer.
But that’s been stripped away from us. Events around the globe are being postponed and ultimately cancelled. As an event planner, it absolutely breaks my heart to see cancellations anytime, but especially now (brides and grooms I see you and I’m here for you!). The amount of time, effort and emotion put into making something incredible, to have it thrown out, is devastating. I’ve been there and it sucks. It really sucks. It’s discouraging, upsetting and so, so disappointing. But it’s the necessary steps we have to take to keep our communities safe. We cancel events today, so we can all attend them in the future... together.
Aside from the agony that we feel, cancellations affect more than just the planners, restaurants and accommodations. Think about the ripple effects and how many businesses and individuals play a part in the events we love to attend. Let’s break down a few.
We’ll start small – the anniversary party you were looking forward to attending had a caterer and a DJ booked. That’s two vendors right there that lost out on that income. But even further than that, these caterers are losing ALL their income right now, meaning they aren’t buying food for their contracted jobs. All this perishable food that the industry normally has a demand for is being stuck at the suppliers and producers (hint-hint, notice sales at your grocery store for meat, eggs and produce?). All of this is coming from suppliers that are forced to put huge discounts on their products to move them, or they get thrown out. More lost income. Notice a pattern?
Now let’s look at some large, loud, exciting stadium events – for example, a concert. That venue is filled with 45,000 people, which ISN’T even including the thousands of staff that were contracted and employed to make that event possible – lighting, sound, security, food and beverage service, cleaners and promotional teams, just to name a few. Let’s not forget about all the manual work that went into setting up this concert, the administrative staff that run the venue, the maintenance crew, plus so many others behind the scenes that don't get the recognition they deserve. The majority of these people will be laid off until these large stadium events can continue. More lost income. There’s no food and beverage sales, meaning a lot of it is wasted or discounted, again. Yep, you guessed it... More. Lost. Income.
So, while to you it may just be a cancellation of your favorite concert or gathering of the year, to someone else it could be what puts the food on their table and the roof over their head. The cancellation of events and travel take a toll on so many more industries than just ours, and directly hurts both companies and individuals involved in them.
But we have to remember one thing – events will go on.
I’ll say it again... EVENTS. WILL. GO. ON.
Our industry will bounce back! It might look a little different than what we’re used to (more coming on that in another blog!), and take a little longer than some, but we will rise, and events will have an even stronger, longer impact. Once events can happen again at full force, you can bet you’re a$$ they are going to be so appreciated, and definitely ones to remember.
Imagine the atmosphere and vibe at the first stadium concert that happens again after being gone for so long; the connection you will feel with your friends and family at the first birthday party; the love and joy you will feel at the first wedding. That feeling and emotion is what keeps me inspired, motivated and driven to continue to do what I love, knowing that someday again we will get to experience all the things that this amazing industry has to offer, and all the amazing people and vendors I get to work with along the way.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your comments below about how you think the event and hospitality industry has been impacted, or your thoughts on this blog!
Stay strong and stay safe!