The  events industry should be readying a plan for when social distancing restrictions ease. But businesses don’t even know where to start,
The events industry should be readying a plan for when social distancing restrictions ease. But businesses don’t even know where to start,

‘Annihilated’ industry unsure how to return

THE "annihilated'' events industry is calling on the government for clear guidelines to start rebuilding in a post-COVID world.

While many major events such as the Ekka, The Toowoomba Show, festivals and concerts have been cancelled, the industry is fearful small event businesses such as caterers and picnic planners have been left in the lurch.

Businesses are struggling to prepare for events like conferences and weddings ahead of the expected July 10 date where up to 100 people can gather, without clear guidelines on things like seating, bus travel and room sharing.

It comes as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry released its latest Suncorp Pulse Survey which showed business confidence was at the lowest levels on record.

Cake decorators Amy Nicholas, 22, of Clayfield, and Rebecca Swadling, 33, of Kallangur, working at Vanilla Pod specialty cakes, Albion. Photographer: Liam Kidston
Cake decorators Amy Nicholas, 22, of Clayfield, and Rebecca Swadling, 33, of Kallangur, working at Vanilla Pod specialty cakes, Albion. Photographer: Liam Kidston

CCIQ general manager of advocacy and policy, Amanda Rohan, said that small businesses such as event planning needed clear and precise communication.

"In the Government's road map to easing restrictions, they state that Phase 3 will see 'further' intrastate travel, but no details on how far that will allow," she said.

"For smaller regional businesses, such as location-based weddings, if they don't know how far people can travel and when, how they can begin planning for their next steps?

"Small businesses are seeking more detailed information on what they need to do to prepare for what's next, and how they will need to adhere to regulations in the future.

"Currently, there is confusion on how and what businesses need to do, especially around their COVID-safe planning and preparation."

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said under Stage 3 of the road map to easing restrictions, gatherings of up to 100 people would be permitted. Under government restrictions for an indoor gathering of 100 people, the floor space would need to be 400 square metres.

Ms Rohan said there needed to be an extension of information following the Government's road map so businesses could start putting preparations in place.

Loud Events Director Marianne Edmonds said the industry had been "annihilated'' and the government needed to consider consulting with small event businesses to understand their needs.

Ms Edmonds said there needed to be clear guidelines for event planning regarding things such as twin sharing in accommodation for weddings, rules around gala tables, and whether people can travel on buses for conferences.

The Prophouse director Jano Kotzas said her business, which had around $250,000 worth of work cancelled over April and May, solely relied on the principle of gathering people. Ms Kotzas said the company also regularly did Christmas decorations for shopping centres which was also being impacted.

Vanilla Pod Specialty Cakes director Carla Burns said the challenging time saw her business innovate and market more after receiving cancellations for weddings, which she typically made up to 120 cakes for per year.

 

 


 

Originally published as 'Annihilated' industry unsure how to return



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