As some of the world’s largest events announce cancellations or postpone dates for their annual celebrations, creative events agency Shout About has spoken about the impact coronavirus is having on the London hospitality sector.
With the global industry worth more than $1trillion, with over 25,000 businesses in the UK responsible for a £42.3bn share of that, Shout About predict the impending weeks are critical.
Having had a handful of regular contracts put their corporate plans on hold this week alone, amounting to a potential six-figure loss for the agency, Shout About are beginning to feel the effects Covid 19 is having on the industry.
“Everybody is facing the same conundrum: how important is our event and is it worth the risk of potentially spreading the Coronavirus?” said Ben Gamble, head of agency at Shout About.
Consequently, with London not currently seeing any strict government enforcement when it comes to events and venue capacity, such as those being put in place in other parts of the world, the risk assessment is being left to individual corporations.
Shout About partner, TALENTBANQ (a live booking agent) is taking the very British approach of keeping calm and carrying on.
“Last night we ran a major event in central London for a client in the tourism sector. It was well-attended and a great success,” said CEO Ray Jones.
“However, our first duty is to our staff (always) so we have made “working from home” provisions for those that may need or wish to self-isolate. We are also reviewing our cancellation policies to be fair to clients and the musicians we book for them.”
With museums, theme parks, sporting, music events and more facing a global lockdown, the knock-on effect for businesses worldwide could be catastrophic, particularly for those in the events arena.
Gamble added: “We are in a good position (thankfully) having decided to diversify our company a few years ago with the acquisition of our own venues.
“However, we are already seeing other events agencies feel the pinch, with some almost at breaking point.”
With the added strain of travel restrictions, as we head into one of the busiest times of the year for both booking and holding events, it is predicted the London events industry may be headed for a disruption similar to that of the 2008 recession.