Since March 23rd, the UK lockdown has caused all events and hospitality companies to close.
Events centres such as the NEC, Olympia and Excel has seen the switch from events and exhibitions to hospitals.
How long will the events and hospitality remain closed though. When will social distancing restrictions be lifted so that team building events and exhibitions can return? Will the landscape return to how it was? Will life go back to normal?
These are all questions that are being considered and asked by company owners and employees that work in and around the hospitality sector.
We live in very uncertain times, and since the UK government has vowed to support the UK economy, recession for many years is almost certain, Higher taxes and UK debt will soar in the years and decades to come.
The familiar sight of exhibition stands with promotional products being given out is (for the next year at least) on hold. How is this going to effect exhibition stand design companies. How is it going to effect promotional gift companies?
The most interesting thing to reflect on is that this was completely unexpected. We were all so relieved that Brexit was over and done with, and we can all just get on. However when lockdown was announced, it is fair to say that all business owners were as shell shocked as we were.
Seeing our high streets empty is a once in a lifetime experience. London streets empty. Aircraft grounded with few vapour trails in the sky. The news dominated by Coronavirus updates.
Sadly the future of the hospitality industry is uncertain. As it stands, no-one even knows how long the lockdown will last. When will the government in the UK open the economy even just a little, relaxing lockdown rules. It has been said that when the curve is in decline; however what about the anticipated second wave?
If this virus is treated in the same way as Spanish Flu, then the world will get back to normal, however it will be some time once the virus is stamped out. If not, then the industry will need to be re-invented.
Social distancing could well become something that is part of our new society, but this will be difficult for the events and hospitality industry. Fans watching a football match in a stadium could be a thing of the past. People gathered for the Grand National or Cheltenham Derby could be a thing of the past.
What are events and hospitality companies going to do other than sit and wait? All business owners want to be pro-active; none are keen to see what happens without doing anything. However what choices are there other than to ride out this storm.
Company employees need to go to the government for help rather than their employers under the 80% wage promise.
Business owners need to keep outgoing costs to an absolute minimum. Future planning is unwise since the future landscape is unclear. #Staysafe