As Covid-19 cases increase daily and governments implement their strategies for containing and controlling the virus it’s becoming more apparent that the events industry is going to take a hit. Things in the UK are uncertain right now, with the possibility of quarantines and closures it’s understandable that people feel confused and vulnerable. At this stage the best line of defence from Coronavirus is communication.
Communicate with your colleagues, your clients, staff and crew with clear concise information to weather the storm ahead. As the tag line for the 2011 film Contagion says – nothing spreads like fear. The best way to combat fear is to arm yourself with knowledge.
Before you communicate with your database of staff you’ll need the right information – and one of the biggest challenges out there is where to get accurate, up to date advice. Even researching this article has been a lesson in fact-checking and responsibility.
The World Health Organisation is one of the most reliable sources and a great source of information. They issued this document in February which has advice for the events industry. You can use this as a basis for the advice that you give to your staff and colleagues, although we would advise breaking it down into small digestible chunks.
Knowledge of the virus grows each day, so flexibility is also a factor. The advice given today may not be the same tomorrow! Keep updating yourself with reliable sources.
The most effective way to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus is to wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. This will eliminate the virus if it is on your hands.
Now you have a basis of where to get the most accurate and up to date information concerning corona and the events industry – you’re going to want a game plan for getting that message out to your event staff.
Your crew are out there on the frontline making themselves potentially vulnerable. We cannot stress enough the importance of letting your staff know you’re thinking of them, reassuring them you have a contingency plan and that their health is the most important factor at this time. Sending an email out to your database of event staff is probably the best way to do this, we’ve put together an example you may want to send to out:
We are writing to all of our staff to let you know our plan for Covid-19. We are taking this situation seriously as your health is very important to us. Please be assured we are monitoring the situation on a regular basis and are closely following the government’s advice.
Hygiene: When you are at work please practice the recommended levels of hygiene as the nature of our job is to physically interact with people. Wash your hands with hot soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds. We have provided X and X provisions (specify here hand sanitisers, anti-bac wipes, tissues or any other physical measures you are providing). Use them regularly and let a key member of staff (specify) know if you feel unwell whilst at work.
Attitude: We understand this is an unusual time, and if anything this has highlighted the necessity for us all to pull together. A positive attitude with zero gossip or speculation will be our best form of defence. We will continue to communicate with you on a regular basis, this should help eliminate any fears or anxieties. Let’s all sing from the same song sheet!
Health: If you feel under the weather at all, please do NOT put a brave face on. Contact us to let us know and follow guidelines around self-isolating. You will not be judged, we cannot stress this enough. Communication works both ways so keep us up to date about how you’re feeling. (Specify names/email/phone numbers of your key staff that Crew can contact regarding illness)
Information: Here are some links to accurate information you may find useful (include any of the ones we suggested above)
We believe that our fantastic industry will pull through and that these measures are temporary. We look forward to an invigorated spring and summer with lots of exciting events in the pipeline.
Also make use of your social media channel, communicate via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your internal channels such as Slack. You may also find it useful to keep an eye on how event staff are feeling about the industry in online groups such as The Delegate Wranglers.
As information is likely to change and update, keep your channels of communication clear and concise. Update your event staff regularly, this will make them feel reassured as well as properly informed. If you don’t already it may be worth assigning this to one person in your organisation to ensure consistency.
There is no way around it, as the great book says, we’re going to have to go through it. We are all in this together and Liveforce is no different. We will keep our clients up to date with any changes and in the coming weeks will post more information to help event staffing agencies and crew get through this rough patch.