Events Industry Council releases content portal for #Covid-19

SITE has always played a pivotal role within the greater Business Events / MICE industry and this continues today with SITE CEO, Didier Scaillet, CIS, CITP occupying a seat on the 2020 board of Events Industry Council (EIC). In this role, Didier has been heavily involved over the past weeks with the creation of a new pan industry repository of materials related to Covid-19 aka Coronavirus. Designed to "educate and inform" the content includes statements on Covid-19 from Paul Van Deventer, Chair at EIC, an instructional video, a detailed FAQ, links to reliable sources of information such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) in addition to links to association-specific information already on the websites of all EIC member associations. You can link to this rich source of content by clicking here. 

COVID-19 aka Coronavirus

Most articles about trends in the business events / MICE market totally missed what has become the single biggest factor impacting incentives and events in 2020 – COVID-19 aka the Coronavirus. At time of writing it’s still unclear whether the disease has peaked and expert medical opinion is divided as to what’s likely to transpire. The best piece of medical advice is probably that of Dr. Michael Ryan, Executive Director of World Health Organisation’s emergency programme. Responding to the contention that Covid-19 could affect two thirds of the world’s population, he said:

“All predictions are important. Most predictions are wrong. And I think we must be careful with that.”

 And being careful, exercising “duty of care” means caution, even when the price is high. Corporations will not put their associates at risk and, as an industry, we shouldn’t expect them to. So, yes, we’re seeing cancellations extend way beyond China and contiguous countries with large events pulled in San Francisco and Barcelona over the past week. But these are global events with global participation. 

There are no easy, convenient solutions to the current situation. That said, there are some courageous initiatives that can make a massive difference. SITE member Lorenzo Pignatti of TerraEvents (a DMC in Italy, Spain, Portugal and France & a member of The DMC Network) launched a programme (click here) last week that displays inspiring altruism. Aimed at incentives and events that are displaced due to Covid -19, TerraEvents is offering reduced management fees to any client that needs to move a piece of business PLUS a profit share with the destination suppliers who are losing out.

If Coronavirus is telling us anything, it’s surely how connected we are as human beings on planet earth. In a matter of weeks, a largely unknown city in central China has become the top item on news services all over the world. For us humans, nothing can happen in isolation. We are all connected. As the metaphysical poet John Donne said in 1624 when language was far less inclusive, “No man is an island”.

The TerraEvent initiative demonstrates how our industry understands and lives out this dictum. Thankfully, collegiality is at the heart of what we do and this collegiality will sustain us through this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) moment.

SITE has created a Flipboard to which we’re uploading reliable, relevant content on Covid-19 and its impact on incentives and events. You can access the platform here. 

Go to Flipboard