Why motivation and morale are key drivers for eventprofs
The question of morale and motivation in these interesting times was raised at a conference panel I was on, hosted by Murtaza Kalendar, TravelShop Turkey’s MD.
It’s a topic which attracted a lot of attention, as the conference garnered almost 1,200 registrations from 102 countries and watched live by 1,320 people.
Of course, the subject of morale and motivation in the tourism industry immediately put my mind into doom and gloom mode. But after having thought about what on earth I was going to say, I realised what was important. That I could report on the opinions of event planners I have talked to, sprinkled liberally with the fairy dust of my own musings.
I started my 10-minute talk by saying that we lived in unprecedented times – a much-overused phrase, but well served, I think. We haven’t experienced anything like the Covid-19 pandemic before.
So, what does this mean for the events industry? From my conversations with UK event planners and organisers, I knew they were, by and large, an optimistic, extrovert bunch of people.
Many are adapting extremely well to working on virtual or hybrid events – and many are having very successful events – but with the caveat that it isn’t the same as live or face-to-face meetings – and can never replace them.
London Tech Week, for example, went extremely well, in that they could invite online speakers such as Ariana Huffington and Hillary Rodham Clinton– and they probably wouldn’t have been able to otherwise.
Although the conference was about morale and motivation, I couldn’t leave out the elephant in the room. I think it is important to say that many in the events industry have lost their jobs or are on furlough or face an uncertain future. Small UK events companies have gone under – the bigger ones will hold on tight to their budgets – and wait it out probably until 2021.
Having said that, I was speaking to Louise Conolly-Smith, head of creative and games at London & Partners recently, and she told me that they hope to have live events resuming in London during September and the latter part of the year.
In other good news, a survey issued by the London City Airport found that more than 40 per cent of the 4,700 London City Airport customers surveyed, said they expected to travel for business or leisure within the next three months.
A question I was asked centred around how London was preparing for health and safety measures, especially how they could be enforced. Good question, I thought. I replied in all honesty: with great difficulty.
From our research, there are guidelines which include the AA Covid-19 Confident accreditation scheme, the Safe, Clean and legal accreditations from Quality in Tourism, the HBAA in collaboration with Quality in Tourism, the ACT National and CUBE Management (Safe Event Scheme) and the Health & Sanitation Standards from Global DMC Partners.
VisitEngland has just released ‘We’re Good To Go’ campaign, as part of its ongoing package of reopening assistance for the events sector. It’s developed in partnership with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and VisitBritain are using it as a UK-wide accreditation. It’s all a tad confusing for visitors. We will have to wait and see whether the idea of coming to a live event translates into action – and not another rash of cancellations.
But it’s imperative to instil confidence in delegates and participants that it is safe to venture into the real world and back into live events.