An open letter to Team Sydney
What does it mean to be part of Team Sydney during this time of uncertainty?
It’s hard to stay upbeat scrolling through the plethora of COVID-19 news articles and social feeds right now.
Colleagues, friends and family – so many affected across so many organisations large and small.
The social distancing that is so crucial for public health hit our industry earlier and harder than most, impacting the livelihoods of our business events community around the globe. This week’s sobering predictions by our country’s political and health leaders that the planning horizons for this situation had moved out from weeks to months have challenged even the most optimistic among us.
This year we all said goodbye to business as usual as we knew it. Now it’s business must go on, as the livelihood of our industry depends on it.
At some point there will be light at the end of the tunnel.
Right now that light might look like a dot in the distance, but we know our industry, and we know it will grow back strongly.
We are focussing on that light and everything we can do now to get global meetings and incentives back in Sydney as soon as possible after the virus has been turned and restrictions lifted. Our services & support to international event organisers and Australian bid leaders continue unabated:
- Virtual engagement – As our local and international associations and corporate partners battle fears of their own, we are reaching out to our clients to reassure them that we are ready and available for them when they are ready to start these conversations. For associations, we are currently seeing the majority proceeding their bidding processes to normal timeframes, but adjusted for the virtual interim. There are some first signs of enquiries from corporates in China for incentives, with longer leads than usual.
- Sharing vital and accurate news – Our Bidding Team here and in Singapore, Shanghai, Berlin, Frankfurt and Vancouver is talking regularly with our clients, ensuring they receive accurate information as the situation progresses to appease any concerns rising from global media outlets. So they can have the latest situation updates at their fingertips, we’ve added direct links on our website to Australian Government and NSW Government Health travel advisories.
- Supporting events to postpone, not cancel – Our team is critically analysing global meeting rotations and size adjustments and determining how these may affect Sydney events. Our goals are to re-house impacted events to a future date wherever possible, capture pent up demand from around the globe, and adjust around rotation and disaggregation to secure a continued flow of global meetings for Sydney.
Australia needs our sector to be prepared and ready to help lead the economy towards recovery, and we’re working with the NSW Government and industry representative bodies including the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) to ensure the support is there for the industry to do that, and to be fiercely competitive when it returns. Governments at all levels have started announcing business continuity support measures (below).
Our meeting places and marketplaces provide the best platform for all the industries and services of the world to come together on the other side of this pandemic to kickstart their recovery.
Our social impact will also come into clear focus as people emerge from isolation with a desperate need to re-connect.
As the virus spreads and the negative economic effects multiply, we need to act as one — to negotiate the immediate crisis and to use this time to re-build and re-imagine our businesses and our industry.
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20 March 2020
22 March 2020
23 March 2020
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