UK events industry campaigns combine forces to deliver One Industry One Voice
Organisers of several high-profile events industry campaigns have created a taskforce to ensure stronger alignment and more effective communication in fighting for awareness and financial support for the whole industry. The organisations behind #WeMakeEvents, #Let the Music Play and #WeCreateExperiences will align with One Industry One Voice and are encouraging other campaigns to get in touch.
The three campaigns represent different communities of interest within the £84bn UK Events industry, and a diverse range of creative and technical skills, venues, suppliers and infrastructure that make up the UK events eco-system. By joining forces through the One Industry One Voice initiative, the taskforce hopes to coordinate closely on campaign dates; to amplify each other’s messages where relevant; share and agree on data and statistics to accurately reflect key industry numbers; align closely on key industry asks of Government; and to promote each other’s activities.
The taskforce incorporates umbrella trade organisations Business Visits and Events Partnerships (BVEP) – which represents the conference, exhibition and outdoor events sector – and the UK Live Music Group which represents the UK’s live music industry, as well as events and entertainment technology trade association the Professional Lighting and Sound Association (PLASA).
Simon Hughes, chair of the BVEP commented: “Many different industry sectors will be looking to government for additional help and assistance in the next few weeks, alongside the more public/corporate targeting with the narrative of confidence and expertise. So it will be critical to ensure that messaging with the various target audiences are aligned across the extended eco-system that comprises the whole of the event industry in the UK and the extensive supply chain that supports many thousands of livelihoods and enriches the lives of millions of people from all parts of society.“
PLASA started the #We Make Events campaign in May 2020 as a response to our members plight. “We are immensely proud of how this has galvanised into over 22 trade bodies, along with thousands of industry professionals from over 28 countries, all working together voluntarily to create awareness of the whole events supply chain and the urgent need for financial support.” Said Peter Heath MD of PLASA. “The alignment of the major hashtags allows us all to communicate more, maximise our efforts and streamline our voice to Government.”
Greg Parmley, chair of UK Live Music Group, added: “With a long dark winter ahead for many in the arts, culture and events spaces, it’s imperative that we work closely together. Bringing the campaigns under one collective cross group addresses the need to communicate both short and medium-term tactics as well as the longer-term plans required to support the industry.”
What are the campaigns?
#WeCreateExperiences is a planned campaign developed out of the core industry sectors’ coalition forming One Industry One Voice, involved in delivering the diverse and varied range of event experiences across corporate events, experiential and brand activations, mass sports participation, weddings and private functions, exhibitions and trade shows, fashion, charity and cultural events. Their cross-industry mandate has been founded on the support of agencies, venues, organisers, trade associations, freelance creative talent, crewing companies, haulage operators, hotels and catering suppliers and other individual supporters. Their One Industry One Voice collective mandate, led by the BVEP, has the #wecreateexperiences campaign targeted for early/mid November, clearly targeting the general public and corporate buyers in a positive way through the national press. It aims to reassure, inspire and educate them about the importance of shared experiences in our lives, experiences that can adhere to new safety guidelines delivered by the UK events industry, global leaders in delivering professionally managed events.
#WeMakeEvents is responsible for the 11 August event in London and the Global Action Day on 30 September that included 28 countries and 17 regions up and down the entire UK. The campaign is an industry-run collective of hundreds of UK and international businesses, including manufacturers, production providers, and freelance specialists, and is focused on the direct impact of the closure of live performance and entertainment venues, affecting the highly-skilled technical workforce, suppliers and the extended supply chain involved in delivering live performances.
There are key aspects to the campaign; firstly, securing extensive government support to enable efforts to trial viable ‘back to work’ scenarios along with financial support until they can safely return. The second focus is on being a champion for people in the events sector, offering support at a time when mental health is being severely tested and to raise funds to provide support for them, their families and industry charities. The campaign continues on with the Survival tour with other initiatives planned in November.
#LetTheMusicPlay began in July 2020 when 3,000 artists, industry members and crew signed a letter to culture secretary Oliver Dowden calling for support for the £4.5bn live music industry, and to safeguard its 210,000 workers. The high-profile campaign achieved hundreds of millions of social media hits, trended at No. 1 on Twitter worldwide, and helped secure addition funding for the sector as part of the Government’s £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund.
A divested campaign, #LetTheMusicPlay is coordinated by the UK Live Music Group with strong input from UK Music, artists organisations and other bodies across the music space. The UK Live Music Group is campaigning for a three-year extension to the reduced cultural VAT rate on tickets, a Government-backed reinsurance scheme to allow shows to go ahead next year, further financial support for the sector until it can reopen, and a conditional timeline for re-opening venues without social distancing.