While the events industry has gained support in Parliament following today’s Westminster Hall debate secured by Owen Thompson MP (Tuesday 13th October), and the appeal by The British Event Industry Coalition (The BEIC) to endorse the empowerment of event industry professionals to provide COVID compliant events is gathering momentum; suppliers of the private life-cycle events sector are still being disregarded, namely small business owners, sole traders and freelancers who are not “employed” by large companies and who are not allowed to work due to the restrictions on events.
The BEIC is grateful to Owen Thompson MP for securing this debate and stands ready to work with the Government and the DCMS on a long-term framework to breathe life back into the private events sector.
The BEIC is a newly formed coalition of event professionals operating in the private events sector of the events industry; a self-regulated industry that has been hit hard by COVID as the Government balances the health of the nation with the economic long-term viability.
The endorsement of The BEIC’s plan to keep private events industry professionals working to a COVID compliant standard, would enable invitation only private events (life-cycle and corporate events) of a significant number of guests to occur and create financial buoyancy within the private events industry sector.
“The BEIC is not seeking a financial stimulus package from the Government. We are developing a framework for our members to work within, including formal BEIC kitemarks to help breathe confidence back into our market. As it stands already, our members are already the eyes and ears of health and safety standards and we know what it takes to have COVID compliant and safe events”. Says Lisa Kirsch, founder of The BEIC.
The BEIC is not suggesting a bail-out but a financial plan that will make planned social gatherings even safer and keep the events industry working, help reduce illegal gatherings, streamline the Government’s communications process and make regulations more easily enforceable.
With the Government’s endorsement and financial assistance, The BEIC is asking for:
- The Government to pass a law to enable qualified event planners, managers and organisers to become COVID Compliance Officers that have the authority to enforce COVID guidelines at pre-planned, organised social gatherings and life-cycle celebration events.
- An additional layer of COVID guidelines and risk assessments that Event Planners can enforce in addition to the standard health & safety risks assessment that events industry professionals undertake before each and every event.
- Legal disclaimers and compliance documents to become standard between the Planner and the Client – underwritten by a legislative framework for local authorities to subsidise a COVID secure event management charge.
- The power to execute private events and terminate a function if the Client or their guests don’t comply. “We would like to see organised COVID secure events take place and to ensure unplanned and unsafe social gatherings are illegal. The public find the changing rules somewhat confusing and will try to stretch them where possible. As custodians and guardians of implemented regulations we will not allow this to occur.” continues Ms Kirsch.
As sole traders, small business and limited companies within the private events sector have seen their work stripped away for the last 6 months and annihilated for the next 6 months, The BEIC has already gathered significant momentum via a Facebook group and continues to attract members via a registration website www.thebeic.com.
Ms Kirsch adds; “With clients cancelling functions, no current income, no income due, few enquiries for 2021 and overheads to meet, many of these businesses and suppliers, small and large, will cease to exist. Event industry professionals in this sector are facing a financial crisis and with little or no financial aid from the Government, it faces collapse with businesses closing and individuals facing extreme debt, personal losses and potential mental health issues”.
She continues; There is a strong need to retain active work among this sector. There is a human need for people to celebrate milestones in these challenging times and there are safety measures that can be implemented to legally manage compliance of such events in a COVID secure environment”.