Help us advocate for the protection of the business events industry
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The business events industry supports 7 million jobs and drives over $1 trillion in gross production in the United States. We impact every major sector of the U.S. GDP. Events are critical not only for our nation’s economic recovery, but our mental recovery as well. These facts are obvious to those of us who are lucky enough to be a part of this diverse and vibrant ecosystem. But, not to the legislators and officials in charge of figuring out how to safely reopen our economy again. We need help in telling our story and in getting legislators to listen.
Through the generosity and leadership of our industry association partners — SISO, IAEE, CEIR, ESCA, EDPA — Go LIVE Together has been able to engage lobbyists to help advocate on our industry’s behalf with local, state, and federal officials. Specifically, what we need them to understand:
1. Business events are “controlled gatherings” not mass gatherings. Unlike venues with fixed seating or other structures that need to be adapted to meet social distancing guidelines, we can design each and every event from the outset for social distancing and deploy other safety measures to reduce transmission risk consistent with CDC guidance (e.g., enhanced cleaning, provisions for PPE, reduced contact).
2. Business events are prepared to safely open in accordance with the latest CDC and health official guidance. We exist to enable meaningful connections to happen between two or more parties. Because of this, non-compliance has negative consequences on the entire ecosystem—impairing other’s ability to conduct their business. Therefore, the system exists to ensure business events remain safe for all, and not reliant solely on individuals to maintain the safety of others.
3. In addition to feeling safe, attendees and exhibitors will need incentives to return. We’ve unfortunately seen this before. The assurance of personal safety is not enough to get attendees and exhibitors to return to events. We’ll need added incentives in the form of tax credits or direct funding to encourage participation. But, legislators needs to understand events serve as its own “stimulus package” because the funds provided will be used to rekindle both an important economic sector and many connected companies. Every recovery dollar will lead to incremental spending on travel, hotels, and restaurants, supporting Main Street merchants decimated by COVID-19.
4. Our businesses will need protection—in the form of expanded insurance coverage, safe harbor from frivolous litigation, offsets for added safety enhancement expenses—in order to reopen. We have always been committed as an industry to do right by our customers, but it only takes one “unprecedented” act or a “second wave” to destroy the best laid plans. Those in our industry, many small without the means to weather such interruptions, will need a safety net to protect them as they reopen in good faith in a manner that takes care of their employees and customers.
We know many of you have asked, “what can I do to help?” Again, through the generosity of our industry associations who exist to serve event businesses, we are in an enviable position of not having to rely on individuals, already hurting, for fundraising. But, for those of you who have a little extra to give, we wanted to provide you with the opportunity to do so. The funds will go towards the federal lobbying, which may take longer than expected given the current state in DC as well as the course of the virus in light of state’s reopening plans. Further, we know local and state advocacy will be crucial, not just in key events markets but in secondary markets with governors and mayors who are receptive to our message. This kind of lobbying has to be done on the ground by those who are trusted by local officials.
We hope you will join our efforts in sharing what we all already know to be true—nothing in the world will ever replace the power and need for live events.