The trade show and exhibitions industry coalition, Go LIVE Together, has raised upwards of $500,0000 to support legislative actions that will aid the industry and its workforce in recovery from the wake of COVID-19. With more than 1,700 partners—representing approximately tens of thousands of companies with U.S. operations—the operating committee achieved a notable fundraising milestone in support of its mission to protect the well-being of an important sector of the American economy.
“Despite being completely shut down since March, with an uncertain outlook, the industry is rallying around Go LIVE Together. The momentum we’ve gained in our fundraising efforts speaks to the indomitable spirit that permeates throughout our industry and the desire for our sector to be heard,” said Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman and member of the GLT Operating Committee. “We are grateful for the generous contributions from SISO, IAEE, CEIR, EDPA, ESCA, ASAE, MPI Foundation, PCMA, and others. We pledge to strategically allocate these funds to activities aimed at delivering meaningful results for a community that is anxious to get back to work.”
Specifically, the funds will aid with advocacy efforts to support industry recovery and to help government officials at the local, state, and federal level understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation.
Go LIVE Together champions the following relief provisions:
- A Business Tax Credit to encourage attendee and exhibitor participation. An incentive to offset qualified expenses related to show participation, travel, accommodations, and more.
- The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit. Help businesses offset the personnel, supplies, and equipment costs associated with implementing essential safety guidelines that adhere to the best medically backed scientific practices for the safety and well-being of participants and overall public health.
- The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) or Pandemic Risk Coverage in Event Cancellation Insurance. Planning for business events begins over a year in advance, including contractual agreements with venues, hotels, speakers, exhibitors, staff costs, and much more. With a lack of visibility on reopening plans, the industry is calling upon Congress to provide communicable disease coverage in event cancellation insurance to offer the coverage necessary for organizers to maintain solvency.
- The Travel America Act. By allowing businesses to offset related travel expenses, businesses, and consumers across the country will more readily participate in conferences and events.
- The RESTART Act. This bipartisan legislation would help businesses by providing six months of funding to cover payroll, benefits, and fixed operating expenses.
Exhibitions and trade shows serve as a massive incubator for innovation and economic growth. Their impact on jobs and the economic fabric of American cannot be overstated. Advocating for recovery funding is essential – not only to the events industry – but an integral part of accelerating the U.S. and global economy. B2B events contribute nearly $1 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and touch every primary sector that makes up the U.S. GDP, including healthcare, technology, agriculture, consumer goods, and transportation, and many more. In 2019 the industry impacted close to 7 million jobs and directly employed 3 million workers. The livelihood of millions of union workers, general laborers, riggers, strategists, marketers, project managers, concession stand workers, entertainers, and many others rest in the balance. With ninety-nine percent of companies serving the events industry being small businesses (<500 employees), and many of those being women and minority-owned, they are among the most vulnerable to economic disruption.
For more information on the coalition or to show join in support of its mission, please visit www.golivetogether.com.