Through weeks of discussions with coalition members, lobbyists, industry partners, and government officials, Go LIVE Together will be advocating for the following, which we believe will best help enable our industry to recover quickly and effectively:
Business events are “controlled gatherings,” not mass gatherings. Unlike venues with fixed seating or other structures that need to be adapted to meet social distancing guidelines, we can design each and every event from the outset for social distancing and deploy other safety measures to reduce transmission risk consistent with CDC guidance (e.g., enhanced cleaning, provisions for PPE, reduced contact).
Business events are prepared to safely open in accordance with the latest CDC and health official guidance. We exist to enable meaningful connections to happen between two or more parties. Because of this, non-compliance has negative consequences on the entire ecosystem, impairing others' ability to conduct their business. Therefore, the system exists to ensure that business events remain safe for all, and not rely solely on individuals to maintain the safety of others.
In addition to feeling safe, attendees and exhibitors will need incentives to return. We’ve unfortunately seen this before. The assurance of personal safety is not enough to get attendees and exhibitors to return to events. We’ll need added incentives in the form of tax credits or direct funding to encourage participation. However, legislators need to understand events serve as its own “stimulus package” because the funds provided will be used to rekindle both an important economic sector and many connected companies. Every recovery dollar will lead to incremental spending on travel, hotels, and restaurants, supporting Main Street merchants decimated by COVID-19.
Our businesses will need protection—in the form of expanded insurance coverage, safe harbor from frivolous litigation, offsets for added safety enhancement expenses — in order to reopen. We have always been committed as an industry to do right by our customers, but it only takes one “unprecedented” act or a “second wave” to destroy the best-laid plans. Those in our industry, many small without the means to weather such interruptions, will need a safety net to protect them as they reopen in good faith in a manner that takes care of their employees and customers.