News

18 Sep 2020

Save Victorian Events Update and Ways You Can Help

An update from Save Victorian Events

We just wanted to share what we have been doing, what we have learnt, and the things you can be doing to help support our event industry as we are now at a really critical time.  

Thank you for your support so far.  More than 1,300 members of the event industry from over 480 individual businesses have emailed the Ministers and their local members of Parliament. Thank you. This has made a real difference.

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We are now in the loop with many members of Parliament from all parties and with people from across many parts of the state government.  There have been numerous meetings, conversations, briefings, and detailed emails over the last few months with people in government. Never missing an opportunity to advocate.

We seem to have been spending an extraordinary amount of time just explaining what the event industry is, who is in it, what it does, how it operates, and what it needs.  Often having to convince people that the event industry really is an industry! The level of knowledge and understanding about the event industry in the Victorian Government has been frustratingly poor.  

Industry Roundtables

A number of us have participated in three industry roundtables over the last fortnight that have included discussion of the event industry.
The first two roundtables were very broad with people representatives from across tourism, sport, the arts, and events.  Most of us did feel like we were being told what the state government had decided was going to happen, rather than being consulted with and subsequently listened to.  But we still used it as an opportunity to raise our concerns.
After raising our concerns that the event industry wasn’t being properly considered, a third roundtable specifically about the business event sector was held – which was a step forward.  This roundtable did allow for much more conversation about issues and our opinions.
Its safe to say that we were more vocal than the many other representatives in all three roundtables.
So we are making some progress, but it is nowhere near fast enough.  We really need your help to try to put more pressure on the Victorian Government to act now before it is too late.  We always said that September was the cliff edge, and now we are in the middle of September with still no real plan forward.

Putting Faces to the Issues

Our focus is very much on the people who are the event industry – you. Especially the small businesses, freelancers and casuals who have been most affected by this crisis.  It is really important that those in the State Government get to see the faces and hear the stories of the people who are at the frontline so we aren’t just viewed as statistics.
It would be great if you could grab your phone and make a quick video to share how the crisis has affected you, your business, and your colleagues; what is needed; and even why you think events are so important. It just takes a couple of minutes to do.
Here are a couple of examples:

Please send the video to us via email, WeTransfer or DropBox to help@savevictorianevents.com.au and we will package it up.
We will be sharing these videos on social, and with government and media so that people can understand what is really happening in our industry.
Further down the email we will outline some of the other things you can be doing to help.

Priorities

Some of the key priorities we are pursuing include:

A Reopening Roadmap Based on Risk Management

There are many different types of events from small community and business events up to the largest of public events.  All with very different risk profiles, and all with different benefits to the community.
Some types of events will be safe to happen sooner than others.  Others will be further down the track.  It is essential that events are able to be done safely, and that the real risks are well understood.
The State Government’s recently announced roadmap is based on very broad assumptions and not on a real understanding of the risks of different types of events.
https://www.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-09/How-we-work-Metro-Melbourne_2.pdf
Business events – as well as many other main types of events – were left out of the original roadmaps.  Attached is a draft roadmap we were given at last week’s Business Event Roundtable.  We are all giving more feedback about it and seeking more information about the likely timings of the stages
Under the current roadmap most Virtual Events that use studios or control rooms will not be allowed until after October 26 – so we are strongly advocating to change this.
We will continue to push for roadmaps that are based on a good understanding of the real risks involved with different types of events – rather than a one size fits all approach.
As an industry we have a very deep understanding of risk management and are used to dealing with complex risks.  We are also great at adapting and reimagining events to overcome constraints – as we do this all the time.

Guidelines for Outdoor Events

The State Government has said it is giving strong preference to ‘outdoor’ events over any type of indoor event.  They have also said they will give a preference to pre-ticketed events and events that are seated.
Those who can adapt to hold all or parts of their events ourdoors certainly should be starting to proactively work on this.  
There is a desperate need to get clarity on what the State Government means by ‘outdoors’.  Is it events in an open field, in a partially covered grandstand, in a marquee or circus tent without walls, under a veranda, etc….?  
There are many scenarios that ‘outdoors’ could mean, so we do need this clarified.  Allowable weather contingencies will also be important.  
Similarly, we need an understanding of the guidelines as we are racing towards what is normally the busy period for outdoor activities and events do have real lead times.  We all need to keep advocating for this.

Indoor Events

We all know that many types, or parts, of events do need to remain indoors – especially with business events.
We have strongly disagreed with the notion that all outdoor events are vastly safer than all indoor events – as the real situation is far more complex than that.
It is, for example, possible to do some types of events indoors in larger, well ventilated spaces in ways that can be just as safe as if they were done completely outdoors.  And, being indoors removes some of the risks associated with weather and the ways attendees react to changes in weather.
The current roadmap suggests no indoor events will be allowed until late November at the earliest.  This would be disastrous for many of us and our industry.  
So again we will keep reiterating this, as the reopening roadmap for events needs, and must, be based on the real risks, and not on broad assumptions.

Funding Support

The announcement of of $50 million of federal government support is very welcome.  Well done to EEAA and BECA for getting this across the line. 
https://www.businessnewsaus.com.au/articles/-50m-in-grants-on-offer-to-restart-business-events-sector.html
While only some will directly benefit from it, it is an important recognition of the event industry and sets a precedent for more direct support.
So far there has been no targeted support for the event industry from the Victorian Government.  Whilst we keep raising it in every forum, it keeps getting glossed over.
There has now been targeted support for hospitality businesses, live music venues, the arts, etc….  We don’t begrudge this support as they all desperately need it too, but it is concerning that the event industry has so far missed out even though we have been closed for over six months already.
One thing we are really advocating for is the need for support for sole traders as they are a huge part of our industry.  We are frustrated that the recently announced support for sole traders is so small and restricted to businesses with commercial premises – as this rules out most of the sole traders in our industry.
We all need to continue to raise the need for targeted support at every opportunity.

Things You Can Do To Help

There are many things you can be doing to help.  
This does all take time, but even spending just an hour of your time is a great help to all of us.

Contact Your Local Members of Parliament

If you haven’t already, do send an email to your local members of parliament using this link:https://savevictorianevents.good.do/local/email/
We know this makes a difference from the responses we are getting from members of parliament.
It is also worth picking up the phone and giving your local members of parliament a call.

Talkback Radio

Call talkback radio.  The issues we are facing are being talked about at the moment.
ABC Melbourne 774Talkback number: 1300 222 774Text line: 0437 774 774Twitter: @abcmelbourne
3AW Melbourne 693Talkback number: 03 96 900 693Twitter: @3AWNeilMitchellTwitter: @3AW693

Contact Media

Share your story with the media.  Be specific and concise with your story.  And please do be polite as journalists can be a great help. 
These are some of the journalists who are reporting on these issues on a daily basis (including their Twitter handles):

Newspapers

The Age: Ashleigh McMillan a.mcmillan@theage.com.au @ash_mcmillanThe Age: Sumeyya Ilanbey sumeyya.ilanby@theage.com.au @sumeyyailanbeyHerald Sun: Alex White: alex.white@news.com.au @alexwhiteliveHerald Sun: Shannon Deery shannon.deery@news.com.au @s_deeryHerald Sun: Kieran Rooney kieran.rooney@news.com.au @kieranrooneycmHerald Sun: John Masanauskas john.masanauskas@news.com.au @jmasanauskas
The Australian: Rachel Baxendale baxendale@theaustralian.com.au @rachelbaxendaleThe Australian: Rebecca Urban urbanr@theaustralian.com.au @rurbsoz

TV

ABC: Richard Willingham willingham.richard@abc.net.au @rwillingham
TEN: Simon Love slove@networkten.com.au @simolove
NINE: Lana Murphy lmurphy@nine.com.au @lanamurphy
NINE: Andrew Lund alund@nine.com.au @andrew_lund

Radio 3AW: Heidi Murphy nmitchell@3aw.com.au @heidimur

Engage on Social Media

Nearly all politicians are on social media, so it is worth actively engaging. For example:
https://www.facebook.com/DanielAndrewsMP/ @danielandrewsmp
https://www.facebook.com/MartinpPakula/ @martinpakulamp
#savevictorianevents
Again, please be polite.

Other Organisations and Campaigns

Our approach with this campaign has been to be very inclusive and to try to work in with everyone.  We have been dealing with a wide range of organisations that are involved in our industry.  There are a few that have preferred to go their own way, but the vast majority of us are working together – which is terrific!
At the end of the day we all want as many people and businesses in our industry to get through this and be there on the other side.
A quick shout out to some of the organisations that are doing great work:
www.victorianchamber.com.au Victorian Chamber of Commerce have provided a lot of support over the last few months and been in batting for the event industry.
www.eeaa.com.au Claudia and Matt from EEAA have been doing a lot of great work.
www.crewcare.org.au CrewCare have been great supporters and continue to do fantastic work supporting crew.
www.ampsea.com.au AMPSEA are pushing hard for the mass participations events.
www.wemakeeventsaus.com Its great to see that ALIA www.alia.com.au and others have bought the We Make Events campagin to Australia.  It is well worth supporting.
www.change.org/p/victorian-governement-savevicevents Bruce Keebaugh from The Big Group’s petition.

The challenge facing our industry is huge and really urgent, so it does need everyone’s help.  
Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.
Anyway, that is a quick(ish) update from us.
Many thanks for your help,
Steve, Carson, Bea, Sue, Mel, Victor, Simon, Mike, Ray, and Simone

#SaveVictorianEvents

Help@SaveVictorianEvents.com.au
PO Box 7044  Melbourne  VIC  3004
Twitter: @saveviceventsfacebook.com/savevicevents YouTube: @savevicevents

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