Industry Experts Recommend on How to Get Through the Slump Caused by Coronavirus Outbreak!
by EVENTFAQS Bureau Industry Watch | March 11, 2020 | News
With the outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID-19 making headlines for a while now, it seems only pertinent that we zoom into how this has potentially affected the LIVE Event Industry and what can be done to prevent this issue. As event professionals, we need to keep a few things in mind including what our role demands in such a situation, and what responsibilities we must take to reduce the impact of this outbreak.
In conversation with EVENTFAQS, Industry Experts including Brian Tellis, Co-founder & CEO, Fountainhead MKTG; Deepak Choudhary, Founder & Director, Event Capital; Roshan Abbas, Managing Director, Geometry Encompass; Thanush Joseph, Co-Founder & Director, Seventy EMG; Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, TeamWork Arts; Mahesh Shirodkar, Director, Tamarind Global; Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 Experiences; Swaroop Banerjee, COO & Business Head, Zee Live and Mohomed Morani, Managing Director, Cineyug Group of Companies recommend to the industry on how to react/get through the slump caused by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Brian Tellis, Co-founder & CEO, Fountainhead MKTG
Given the fact that the current situation could blow over although we cannot predict when, we should look at creating financial efficiencies like managing debtors/creditors cleverly, cutting off all additional expenses, restrictions on all business travel and using the available man-hours to up the game on creativity, business development, training programs, etc along with other relevant product development.
Deepak Choudhary, Founder & Director, Event Capital
Slowdown - get some power and get back in the game. Sometimes when the going gets tough, it may still be an opportunity to get bullish. We have pushed our IPs to next quarter, but same with brands, they too need to postpone, and will surely have their money ready for the next Quarters. They may even have accumulated budget as they too have gone slow and will want to cover their targets in the next quarters.
Spend more time on new ideas, think international markets which are non-effected, and whether they present any opportunities. Think more online and TV. IPL on-ground may get effected but TV revenues have not come down, so move more events for television.
Airlines and hotels will be cheaper so give deals and buy inventory for the next 3 quarters now!
Roshan Abbas, Managing Director, Geometry Encompass
I think the need is to first see if we can create a remote working environment. This is the best time to test it. It’s a great time to use for planning, ideation, upgrading and upskilling.
Also, if you can take time for community service. The world needs help and information and education. Read up on the coronavirus. Dispel myths. Create events that can be remotely participated in. Collaborate and cut back on anything that isn’t essential. The impact of this will be there till three quarters for sure.
Thanush Joseph, Co-Founder & Director, Seventy EMG
Regroup and analyze the last season, refresh information and database, marketing efforts, training, meet and train our vendors for future-proofing, and pitch for the next few quarters and plan IPs accordingly. Maybe get everyone to take their accumulated leave; it’s been a crazy 6 months for everyone.
Sanjoy Roy, Managing Director, TeamWork Arts
Coronavirus needs to be tackled with appropriate protocol to prevent its spread! Hotels, airlines & conference and event industry must work together to ensure the safety of their guests. Given the incidence of infection and fatality, there is little reason to panic.
Mahesh Shirodkar, Director, Tamarind Global
As Indians, we are very resilient and are used to bouncing back from all the calamities that have been thrown at us. We have survived worse. We had 9/11, Saars, the plague, earthquakes, and other disasters. And there have been more in the years that followed. My advice is to hang tough, exercise austerity in unnecessary spends and weather the storm. The calm will come - take over the top media reports with a pinch of salt. We should optimize our time by focusing on business development and encouraging clients to hold future events wherever we can make calculated decisions and practice some controls. We should create safer conditions by exercising hygiene and collectively promoting responsible behavior on social media. Keep on looking at the glass half full and am sure by end of the second quarter there will be containment and a revival for us to bounce back by the fourth quarter. And finally, just guzzle some corona to cleanse the virus.
Oum Pradutt, Founder and Managing Director, Phase 1 Experiences
The situation with the coronavirus isn’t a short-term epidemic but will have long term impact (at least for a year). Travel, advertisement, and events are the most affected based on my conversation with the MD of an international brand. So, we will need to beware and look at how we could secure our colleagues’ interest (health and financial). Get them to work out of their homes and try to save/conserve as much money as possible with power, transport, consumables, etc. and come to office only for essential internal and external meetings. Try and use one floor instead of all floors as the case may be. Immediately speak with all our key clients and understand the business forecast to equip ourselves with what’s to come and seek our colleagues and lead inputs on what could be done on the basis of the clients’ response.
Most importantly, focus on localized events and clients which could be the best option until the tide comes down and go after ‘recession-proof’ clients like the government sector. There is a risk by working across industries instead of specific sectors.
Swaroop Banerjee, COO & Business Head, Zee Live
We are in the business of live entertainment, worldwide from SXSW to Coachella or Ultra, Fashion and Sports events including the Chinese Grand Prix have been moved. On the corporate events business side, the moving of Mobile World Congress or Game Developers Conclaves or EmTech Asia etc are a significant reading of the sentiment. The positives that I outrightly see are that most businesses globally and in India have postponed their shows as a precautionary measure, which is indeed commendable.
However, most global conclaves and large scale events have cited Sep – Oct 2020 as their rescheduled dates. The World event calendar cannot be executed in 60 days, it will never justify the objectives. I see this as a time to collaborate. The World of Live Event promoters have come together in the last few decades on numerous dire occasions and created some moving platforms. Upskilling, collaborations, working with state governments closely on multiple fronts and using the digital ecosystem wisely are appropriate steps to be taken in a situation like this. To cite an example the Shanghai Fashion Week did not cancel out, simply decided to live stream the entire show without any physical audiences. If the audience, brand and promoter ecosystem could arrive at a consensus we will be able to collectively emerge stronger in this scenario.
Mohomed Morani, Managing Director, Cineyug Group of Companies
Firstly, I am very saddened by the turn of events for the industry & peers in terms of business. But I feel we need to see it in a positive way where we can plan our future course of action of how we can keep our contingency plans in place. Touch base with our stakeholders internal and external by investing our time in Marketing Communication. We need to collectively work together in these testing times and come out trumps with the will of God.
Read more about General Coronavirus Advisory by EEMA
In conversation with EVENTFAQS, Brian Tellis, Deepak Choudhary, Roshan Abbas, Sanjoy Roy and more recommend the industry on how to get through the slump caused by the Coronavirus outbreak!