Events companies in the UK are facing widespread cancellations and hundreds of thousands of pounds in revenue being lost as the coronavirus continues to spread.
A Buckinghamshire-based business owner, who asked to remain anonymous, described the unprecedented situation many businesses find themselves in.
He said: “Coronavirus is the toughest challenge the events industry has encountered. When every corporate, as well as public, event in the world cancels within a few weeks, not even the experts in crisis management know what to do.
“And, as well as event management companies, those affected include hotels, ground agents, production companies, airlines, charter brokers, coach companies, tour guides, the list goes on.”
Whilst there has not yet been an official ban of large-scale gatherings in England, many companies are cancelling existing bookings and refraining from allowing future bookings.
Many of these events have been booked for up to a year in advance, and any attempts by event companies to claim money from their clients could result in loss of business once normality returns.
Event contractors could be left out of pocket and anxious about their job security.
In terms of managing the situation in the meantime, the business owner said: “In the short term, the solution is for the event management company to present to its clients ways to deliver events virtually.”
It is unclear what the future holds for an industry reliant on human interaction, with the COVID-19 crisis predicted to go on for many months.