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Outdoor Hospitality isn’t Just Beer Gardens, Boris: A Plea to the UK Government

wedding equipment hire

At Plato we’ve remained positive throughout lockdown. What else can you do when your industry is decimated by a global pandemic? Aside from all the seriousness of the virus and the global crash, there have been many positives (like cleaner air, more family time and reflection) and we, like many in the events industry, have held on to that.

But as the months roll on and we look towards July, which is usually an incredibly busy month for us, we find ourselves at a bit of a loss in the events world. In fact, we feel rather forgotten at the moment and much like the self-employed SMEs did right at the start of all the government handouts.

We’re feeling like the government has forgotten that without a summer of events you will miss the £50bn a year the weddings and events sector put into the Treasury.

Surely that’s worthy of at least a little mention or hint here and there?

 

Boris, we really need to be put on notice…


Boris and his team seem rather alarmed at the potential 3.5 million job losses from the hospitality sector, and so they should. But what about the job losses in the events and wedding industries and the other ‘seasonal businesses’ if we don’t get an events summer?

Putting the events, wedding industry, and all seasonal businesses ‘on notice’ just like he did with shops and other businesses would at least allow us to plan.

Every day they delay in giving us a date, more and more events and weddings are cancelled or postponed.

If we knew, we could plan. But as each day goes by, many make their own decisions and postpone or cancel.

We’re very fortunate in that we’re involved in the wedding industry and you can’t stop love.

You can cancel everything, but love is stronger.

Weddings WILL happen when they can so we’re seeing a tonne of work – the entire summer in fact – postponed, not cancelled.

As an wedding equipment hire company, we’re grateful of this, but we’re also conscious of the other events that we event hire services for like conferences, awards dinners, and annual company meetings that simply won’t happen in 2020 and will simply now happen next year instead. That obviously meaning that instead of two events (one this year and one next) there will only be one.

It’s a grave loss for those businesses like events and catering equipment hire companies who predominantly work in that area.


We need a date, Boris

We remain positive and focused on the learnings and time we’ve been given. We’ve done all those jobs we’ve been meaning to do, we’ve caught up on admin, we’ve rearranged our offices, and our desktops have never looked tidier… But we’re ready to come back now please!

As much as this time has had some added bonuses, it’s now time to get some focus and targets in place.

Our couples need a gathering size to work with. If Boris said that from September 1st we could have gatherings of 75, we could work with that. If he said you could have 100 people but socially distanced, we could plan. If Boris and his experts gave the events industry the direction and guidelines that he’s given to McDonalds and Starbucks, the £50bn a year the weddings and events sector could start paying into the pot again.

 

This isn’t all about us. We’re in a chain; a large one!


We’ve shared lots of ideas on our blog this year about alternatives like winter weddings, and having two smaller weddings. We’ve been positive, we’ve looked at the options of events in lockdown, and we’ve been working closely with all our clients.

Getting upset about it all isn’t good for health after all, is it?

That said, we’d really like a ray of hope from our Government. They need to remember that the hospitality sector is much more than pubs, restaurants, and hotels.

The events industry has a huge supply chain - their supply chain feeding the £50m annual contribution. This includes caterers who in turn buy from wholesalers and shops, event venues, marquee hire companies, event planners, festival organisers, wedding planners... the list goes on.

All these people need a date… for the date!

No gatherings mean there is simply no work for these people.

Giving a sign of when we can get back to this gives us hope. It gives us a plan. It gives us a boost then will cascade right down the chain.
 

We’re ready, Boris… just tell us when…

We’re ready. More ready than we’ve ever been to get back to weddings and events. We know this has been a serious situation and that we’ve had to take note from the experts and elected leaders of this country.

We’ll all look back on this time for years to come and analyse the actions, but for now, we’re ready and waiting. Once we have a date, and some guidelines we can plan. We remain positive that this will happen, and we’ll be so pleased for our couples and our other clients when we can finally start planning again.

The phones will be busy that day, for sure… whenever it is…!

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