• Selina Arnall


Updated: Sep 23


It has been a difficult year, as if I had to remind you of that!! Do you remember where you were on Friday March 13th @ 8.45am when the gates to the Australian Grand Prix did not open, and the whole event was cancelled? for me it became one of those World events when I can say “I remember exactly what I was doing when that happened” toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, mumbling “oh f**k” to myself.

This cancellation became the domino effect for how shit the remainder of the day was going to go, Friday the 13th indeed. With the Prime Minister banning gatherings of over 500 some hours later and yeah we know how the rest played out, I won’t bring that up again, promise!!

Fast forward to today Wednesday 23rd September, and March really does feel like a lifetime ago (maybe it’s because I have been living and working inside my one bedroom apartment for 6 months and counting) and things certainly haven’t improved for us here in Victoria, you can’t even go outside for more than two hours a day, let alone do what us Event people do best, create and run and events!

So the general consensus is that if we attend another online event our foreheads will be firmly planted on our desks and we will be arms in the air waving the surrender flag around like we just don’t care?!

On average how long are you able to hold your attention to the screen for a webinar, after a plethora of online meetings, and your days work? It is hard to sustain the attention of the viewers, and how about those meaningful connections and conversations, how many have you struck up in the virtual world? It’s a bit like online dating during #lockdown you have all the good intentions to meet up when this is over, but are you really going to? I dunno, I’m just throwing it out there, are you?!

Companies had to adapt quickly by moving their meetings and events online, and as spoken about in my last post (2020 - So No One Told You Life Was Gonna Be This Way) virtual interactions are not a substitute for live, face-to-face meetings and events.

It is without a doubt that things will be different for conferences and events in the ‘new normal’ at least in the near to mid term. There will be more local and domestic events (sorry passport back in the safeplace you go) attendance will be in lesser numbers and the event itself likely to be shorter and more condensed, health screenings and hygiene measures at venues will be stricter, and of course they will be a digital element to enable the event organisers to reach their wider audiences.

BUT creativity is only limited by our imaginations!!

There will be a whole new World of event styles that clients will want to explore and they will be actively asking how can we do things differently, and i’m going to say it as it is going to come up more often than not, how can we do things more cost effectively and yet still create an impact?

The budget and economic considerations of events from small hybrid gatherings to the mind blowing thought of crossing borders again are going to play a massive role in what clients will be looking to orchestrate once the environment allows for us to meet again, will businesses be able to plan and attend events? will the industry be able to recover quickly enough after substantial stand downs and business shutdowns?

These are essential items to consider. It’s possible that by the time events in #victoria are able to go again, the economic impact of the virus will have been so devastating that businesses in some industries will struggle or simply won’t be able to afford to host meetings.

The pandemic is leaving a sad mark on the Victorian events community, being one of the first industries affected and looking likely to be the last to recover, this is why we need the current roadmap provided by the Victorian Government to more clearly articulate a road to recovery for the events industry, not to be confused with the hospitality industry, which is the restaurant, bar, cafe sector. The current roadmap wipes out all trade for October to December, causing weddings & events to be moved for the second and for some the third time, but with no clarity or inclusion we are in the dark, even providing an outdoor density quotient will help us start planning to get events up and running again in the safest way possible. Melbourne and Victoria’s renowned hospitality scene has some amazing outdoor spaces, there is certainly plenty of inspiration that can be taken from recent events around the Globe to fuel an array of alternative and creative solutions to our indoor event gathering woes. From small scale outdoor movie screenings, socially distanced globes that will host an intimate dinner or equally as amazing outdoor picnic and live music hubs so we can alas enjoy the summer vibes. Where there's is a will there's a way!

@The Big Group and @Bruce Keebaugh are actively striving for the industry, and working towards a summer of hope filled with great outdoor event initiatives and activations - Like using empty car parks and rooftops in Melbourne, more on their championing for the industry can be followed on their socials (linked above).

And please whilst I have your attention click here to sign the #savevicevents petition and help the #eventsindustry push towards gaining clarity and direction on our beloved industry from the #vicgovernment ASAP so we can start doing what we do best planning events.

Big Love S.x