Why is going back to live events after 3 years in lockdown a good idea?
Going to your favourite artist’s live show, to work conventions, or to art exhibitions was a very normal thing to do in early 2020. An example of this was the Match in Africa on the 7th of February. This match saw tennis stars, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, battle it out in Greenpoint Stadium in front of 51,000 South Africans. But since the COVID-19 pandemic, live events of all kinds have had to be restricted to slow the rate of infections. Now, three years after the lockdown was first imposed, we are slowly going back to live events, and this is a very good idea.
Why haven’t we had live events in the past three years?
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic reach South Africa’s shores, the National State of Disaster was implemented. To curb the spread of the virus, the National State of Disaster imposed harsh restrictions and regulations which prohibited most travel, gatherings, in-person business operations, and much more. Restrictions on gatherings meant that live events were restricted as well. President Cyril Ramaphosa has lifted the National State of Disaster with most of its harsh restrictions. This means that we can slowly regain what life was pre-pandemic, and this means attending live events.
Live events will give our economy a much-needed boost
The National State of Disaster brought much of South Africa’s economy to its knees and resulted in job losses across all sectors. The South African events industry has greatly welcomed the lifting of the National State of Disaster as this means they can slowly go back to pre-pandemic operations. Common live events that take place in the country are live concerts and events, conventions, exhibitions, sports games, etc. These events provide a large portion of revenue for the country’s economy which means the lifting of the restrictions will lead to economic recovery. But more importantly, going back to live events means that more jobs will be created.
There is a range of jobs and sectors involved in live events, like infrastructure, transport, logistics, services, culture, and food, just to name a few. The South African National Convention Bureau estimated that the South African events industry contributed $7.9 billion to the country’s economy pre-pandemic. This industry was also estimated to provide over a quarter of a million jobs pre-pandemic.
The necessary restrictions have been lifted
Although the National State of Disaster had been lifted, there were still certain COVID-19 restrictions in place. Those restrictions were:
- All gatherings are permitted at 50% of the venue capacity
- The attendees need to be fully vaccinated
- Unvaccinated attendees need to provide a valid negative COVID-19 test certificate 72 hours before the event
- Indoor events are limited to 1,000 people at most
- Outdoor events are limited to 2,000 people at most
Those restrictions made live events an impossibility as profits would be low for brands and organisers. But on the 23rd of June, 2022, those restrictions were lifted. Now, the South African event industry has the opportunity to flourish again. SA Tourism found that the South African events industry’s worth dropped from close to R110 billion in 2019 to just over R25 billion in 2020. Our country’s events industry is estimated to have the potential to grow its value to close to R118 billion by 2024.
IMM Graduate School had to move to online events when Covid-19 hit. Even though it was a challenge, we still tried to bring our network of marketing specialist together with our IMM Fridays.
Now that the restriction has been lifted, we were finally able go back to our live IMM Friday events. So far we have had Matthew van der Valk address us on the topic of Dark Marketing and Andrea Kraushaar speaking about the under 16 advertising space. We have many more exciting speaker events lined up, so keep an eye out for these here: https://imminstitute.co.za/events/.
Our IMM Fridays, run every last Friday of the month at our fabulous Parktown campus. See you there!