#SaveEventsSG: Help support the events industry by signing and chipping in for an online petition

#SaveEventsSG: Help support the events industry by signing and chipping in for an online petition

Keep the lights on

Text: Crystal Lee

As the pandemic continues to play out across the world, here's one simple fact: the shows can't go on. The events industry, like tourism, aviation, hospitality, and F&B, is at a standstill. Coronavirus has halted the professional lives of millions in these industries with mandatory shutdowns, and many are struggling to keep their heads above the water financially and mentally.

"COVID-19 has greatly affected everybody in the world, and especially the events industry. Many AV companies have had zero income since the start of the crisis," shares Rudy De Rozario, managing director of A/V rental company, Drape Empire.

To help support Singapore businesses and workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has rolled out a series of relief measures, the biggest of which is the Resilience Budget pledging up to 75% manpower cost reimbursement. According to online petition #SaveEventsSG, MICE venues (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) have benefited from this concession, but all other vendors, organisers, production and technical companies — which are also affected by the devastating impact of the coronavirus shutdown — have been overlooked.

We're talking about 1,500 or so SMEs that employ 34,000 people in event management, technical and audio support, production, logistics, manpower and more, according to #SaveEventsSG. Many companies have had zero revenue since gatherings were banned in February, and there have been layoffs and instances of no pay leave encouraged by employers. Many will be forced out of business by the time the extended circuit breaker ends.

"This initiative is vitally important. It is not just [for] agencies that develop creative concepts and organise the events, it's more so about all the people involved in creating valuable experiences," says Bettina von Schlippe, CEO of RSVP Agency. "From event staff over to security personnel, caterers, production companies and AV suppliers and many more... Even as we delve into new concepts such as online events and digitally amplified experiences, we still truly believe in the power of human connections and the fact that brands can make a long lasting impact through physical interactions."

As a media publication, we co-exist and work closely together with various partners and stakeholders that depend on events, and it's heartbreaking to think that these companies might be killed off by the pandemic. Without the folks in production, logistics, technical support, manpower and event management, things like press days, store launches, and epic parties (like our anniversary celebrations) would never have happened.

If you'd like to stand in solidarity with the events industry, take the first step by signing this #SaveEventsSG online petition and chip in to keep the campaign going on the platform. To date, the petition has garnered over 5,200 signatures in four days, and a letter to the ministers will be sent out with 60 companies listed. The goal is to hit 7,500 signatures, so pop into the website to lend your support.

Find out more here.