Bouncing back! EVCOM chair predicts speedy Covid-19 recovery

The events industry will bounce back next year amid a speedy Covid-19 recovery, according to EVCOM chair and Pure Events founder and CEO Charlotte Gentry.

Gentry revealed that she is taking a positive view of the industry’s prospects – but she also had some harsh words for the government.

Speaking to M&IT, she said: “I believe we will bounce back next year and life will return to a level of normal. I don’t doubt for a moment that there will be adaptations and alterations as to how we plan events and what procedures we need to put in place for safety, however, marketing strategies and growth of businesses must continue. Revenue still needs to be driven and this depends on marketing and communication; the core of our industry.”

She added that she is taking a positive stance on the situation, despite some reservations about government actions thus far.

“I continue to take a positive stance on things, although this very much depends on what government decisions look like,” she said. “So far, I am pretty disillusioned with the choices they have made and the incongruity of the messaging coming from them. You may remember the media scaremongering around Brexit and that there would be financial Armageddon at the time; this never happened. We managed to come through the referendum without a bottomless dip in the markets.”

She added that with other European countries opening up now there will be increased pressure for the UK to do the same.

“The government will need to reverse the health scare tactics in order to get the economy moving and get us back to work,” she said. “Currently people are still scared to travel on public transport and fearful for their lives due to Covid-19. It must be pointed out that the statistics of anyone dying under the age of 60 with no underlying health issues are between 300 – 800 people in total. Although this is still tragic, it’s a very low number.

“The breakdown of the number of elderly people dying of this disease and those who are already unwell aren’t being widely published, and I suspect that if they were, those who are young and healthy might feel more reassured to continue their daily lives as normal.

“The Brits are very bullish and stoic and I suspect given another month there will be a surge in wanting to push forward rather than standing still. If we don’t, the country will be bankrupt and we can’t allow this to happen. Already the furlough bill is between £350-550 billion and we are going to need to claw this back through elevation in income tax, corporation tax and the like. Therefore we are going to have to mitigate these risks imminently.”