The rules of the game have changed, and drastically so. At the time of writing, Singapore has not committed to a complete and full lockdown unlike some other nations and major cities. However, COVID-19 has already had its repercussions on us. The aviation and tourism industry are badly hit, along with those participating in the gig economy. These industries are being very closely monitored, to the extent that the Government has dipped into our reserves in a bid to keep them afloat. Between the cracks lie the events industry. For these businesses, COVID-19 poses a number of challenges which tends to be industry-specific. We thought it might be useful to list them out in a concise manner, together with a number of possible solutions.
Uncertainty and Uneasiness
Unfortunately, these are two words we will have to get used to. Turn on the television or scroll through social media for any length of time. Very little else is being discussed at present. COVID-19 takes up the bulk of what we consume on a daily basis. This brings about its own set of ramifications. The psychology of uncertainty begins to creep in. It starts at the individual level and over the last few weeks and months, it has seeped into the consciousness of society.
Concerns then turn into actions – in an attempt to feel a sense of autonomy amidst this crisis. It can come in the form of stocking up on food, hoarding daily necessities, limiting social activities and minimising time spent outside of home. Also, clusters of COVID-19 found thus far are being associated with large gatherings. The general sense of uneasiness will undoubtedly rise and with every additional knowledge we gain about COVID-19, the psychology of uncertainty will have dire implications on the events industry as a whole.
Reacting to change
The knock-on effects from all the uncertainties and uneasiness can threaten the very core of your events business. Regulations rolled out by the government includes safe distancing measures. This limits gatherings outside of work and school to 10 persons or fewer, in an attempt to reduce interactions and minimise the chances of more clusters popping up. It is very clear the challenges this will bring to organisations in the events industry. The effects can be seen across the board, regardless of whether an events business targets corporate or private events. Weddings, conferences, private parties and other large gatherings will dry up over the coming months, that is a given.
Response time has to be swift and decisive. It begins with “what are the short-term outcomes we want from our reaction as an organisation?” Granted, it is near impossible to predict exactly how your business will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, preparation is critical. Business continuity comes in the form of adopting a survival mindset. The popular saying of “staying on your toes” has never been more relevant.
Your business continuity plan may represent your current response but external conditions change quickly. In the context of COVID-19, external changes (in the form of new information) occur daily. So, be prepared to alter and tweak your business continuity plan accordingly. As per usual, be discerning when coming across new information. Consult multiple well-trusted sources and only then will you receive a well-rounded perspective on how to react as a business.
Dealing with finances
COVID-19 brings about unprecedented external challenges and with that comes extraordinary circumstances. Ever since the Singapore Government raised the national disease alert level to orange, events businesses have seen a spate of cancellations. This has created major financial struggles for events businesses in these trying times.
At Delegate, we want to be part of the solution. How we do so is by helping you get the best financing offers, in terms of financing amounts and interest rates, to support you and your business. Click here to get a better understanding of how your local business can get faster and easier access to financial benefits.
On top of implementing new features on our site to support our vendors, we’ve also launched an Event Business Support Hub to provide you with resources during this trying time. As we confront the reality of this global pandemic, do remember that we are not alone. It feels rather odd to be optimistic or hopeful but it is precisely in these moments that hope becomes more tangible and precious. Stay healthy everyone.