COVID 19 Pandemic And Its Agonizing Impact on Event Industry
COVID-19 has impacted all segments of our lives in one way or another. In a lot of ways, it is one of those eventful things, 2020 will always be remembered for. Life just seems to have slowed down with all the uncertainty around.
There is no part of the society which has remained shielded from the adverse effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Be it the educational sector, fashion industry, corporate industry, or any other walk of life, but the one sector where this pandemic has taken the biggest toll in the event industry. Event planners, caterers, wedding mangers, and party planners are among those who have been worst hit by the sudden slump in this economic meltdown.
One of the obvious reasons as to why the event industry is one of the biggest affectees, if not “the biggest” one, is the way this disease tends to spread. The emphasis on social distancing and avoidance of gatherings has brought this industry to a halt.
Governments in a lot of countries have shut down the events and in those parts where they are still allowed, strict guidelines and public reluctance tend to be major setbacks for the industry.
Types of Events Impacted
Event industry can be divided into three broad segments
1. Corporate and business events
Events in the corporate industry constitute a big source of income for event organizers. Business meetings, seminars, trade expos were among the most profitable events.
2. Social events
Charity events, private parties, fundraisers, concerts, sports events, and other social activities have been relegated to the “non-essential” category following the pandemic, and this has affected small scale local event-planners very badly.
A wedding is one of the most important days of a person’s life so understandably, people are reluctant to carry out a wedding in this atmosphere of uncertainty and fear of spreading the disease further.
Impact of COVID-19 On Event Industry
When it comes to the event industry, a host of people are dependent on it for their bread and butter. Big event planning companies which had thousands of employees have laid off a big chunk of their human resource following the drop in the demand of the event industry.
There are skilled and unskilled employees like waiters, chefs, electricians, indoor designers, and managers who have spent their entire lives in the event industry, and following the abrupt and unforeseen shutdown, they are in dismay and disarray.
Only in the US, a staggering 22 million people were temporarily or permanently unemployed following a surge in COVID cases.
2. The financial burden on employers
When it comes to any business in general and event planning in particular, a lot of the business is dependent upon bank loans. Understandably the banks are flocked by applications for debt rescheduling and loan restructuring.
Many wedding planners had venues booked well over years in advance and they have now incurred huge financial losses due to event cancellations.
Similarly, the leased marquess, wedding halls, as well as official meetup places, continue to put a strain on those associated with the event industry. Thus, employers are now turning to more drastic steps like laying off non-essential workers or even opting for other kinds of pandemic-friendly lines of work.
3. The reluctance of the people and the governments
Despite gradual ease of lockdown in many countries following an improvement in the ravages of COVID-19, the event industry is still to see its part of the sunshine. Governments all over the world have enforced strict restrictions including allowing only a certain number of people to attend the events, strict social distancing measures, and discouraging indoor events to name a few.
Additionally, people are also hesitant to become a part of events and they continue to explore other channels of meeting with their friends, family, and coworkers like online platforms for video conferencing and live chats.
Google Solutions for Event Holders
The present situation has canceled, postponed, or changed the circumstance of every event to only take place online.
Google has also tried to show the latest and accurate information to users and, therefore, added new and optional properties to the developer documentation.
It applies to all languages and regions, which is a result of the efforts been put into schema updates.
The tips for keeping Google updated on your events include the following categories.
The eventStatus property of schema.org sets the event’s status, especially when your events are changed or canceled.
This changes information allows Google to show the current status as an alternative to removing the event from the event search experience.
But if you want to cancel your event then, change the eventStatus property to EventCancelled and don’t do any changes to the date in the event’s startDate.
Postponed Events to an Unknown Date
If you want to postpone your event, simply change the eventStatus to EventPostponed and don’t change the original date in startDate until you decide about the new date.
In between you are sure about the new time of the event, shift the eventStatus to EventRescheduled, and update the startDate and endDate variables accordingly.
Postponed Event to a Later Time in Future
For Postponed Event to a Later Time in Future, simply update both startDate and endDate with new data. Optionally you’ll change the eventStatus field to EventRescheduled and don’t miss to feature the previousStartDate.
Changed in-person Event to an Online-only One
To make it more clear for your attendees, you have to update the eventStatus and use EventMovedOnline.
And if you would like to mark your events as online-only, must use VirtualLocation as location and alter the eventAttendanceMode to onlineEventAttendanceMode.
Online-only Event Marking
As more events are now changing to be online-only, Google provided a way to update people about it on their searches.
Simply change the location to VirtualLocation and alter the eventAttendanceMode to OnlineEventAttendanceMode.
Updating Google Upon Changes in Events
At last, you should keep in mind to update Google after making changes. It’s better to make your website’s sitemap available automatically through the server.
In this way, you can make sure that the updated information of your event is highlighted to search engines in the fastest time possible.
Possibilities for the future
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. While this pandemic has shut down many doors on the event industry, it has also opened some new windows of opportunity for those associated with this industry.
To open those doors don’t wait for possibilities because, Now WP event manager come up with powerful integration of Zoom and WooCoomerce to organize your events virtually, with this integration you can manage Zoom Meetings from your WordPress website with all Zoom Video Conferencing Features, advancement is Livestream embed feature that allows your website users to join the meeting straight from your WordPress page, And free WooCoomerce is here to sell your Zoom Meetings from your own website.
Outdoor events are back in vogue
Over the past couple of decades, outdoor events had seen a sharp decline concomitant with a steep rise in the popularity of indoor events. This is because the improvement in infrastructure made it easy for indoor events to happen at a relative convenience.
However, the strict adherence to social; distancing measures mean that outdoor events will be able to accommodate a larger number of people. Also, the chances of infection and spread of the virus from one person to others are relatively low, if it is an outdoor setting. All in all, we can see outdoor events happening more as people begin to hold events once again.
Events at homes
Another big change we can see after this COVID-19 impact is an increased propensity of people to hold events, especially private events, at homes. People tend to believe that it is somewhat safer this way.
This means a new opportunity for event planners. If there are events and gatherings taking place at homes, we can expect a surge in the demand of interior decorators, caterers, and event planners.
Although this can be bad news for those associated with wedding halls and official meeting places, they can still use their expertise and maybe funnel some of their time to this newly-emerging niche in the event industry.
Events following COVID-19 protocols
A number of countries have allowed all kinds of events to occur with the condition that strict adherence to COVID protocols is ensured. This means that those associated with the event industry have an opportunity to expand their wings into the newly founded “COVID-industry” as well.
That means they will have to buy PPEs, sanitizers, face masks, gloves, and other protective equipment that can be used by the participants. This will not only ensure a safer event but is also a good business prospect.
Planning for the Future
Uncertainty and unpredictability are the hallmarks of this COVID-19 pandemic. Life after COVID-19 will not be the same as it was before this pandemic. Therefore, the employers will have to invest their time and resources into new prospects and it would be a wise idea to start exploring new horizons.
We have organized some strategies, which can help people to augment their income and change the ways they have traditionally been earning from the events.
- Becoming an event organizer
- Getting thighs back in order. This means setting your records straight, re-evaluating human resource requirements, getting debt payments, and other things rescheduled.
- Venturing into something different but still related to the event industry. This might mean trying your luck in catering and food supply etc.
- Taking care of your employees. This is a hard time for everyone so try to take care of the employees who have been working for you. Share your strategy and plans with them and take their input.
COVID-19 is undoubtedly more trying-time for some than the others. It would be better to keep trying something new because not doing anything would take a toll on all of us- both monetarily and psychologically. Do not forget to stay optimistic and positive. We hope things turn out to be better for everyone.