Written by: Dia De Guzman, Philippines
The year 2020 has been the most anticipated year for the events industry. Bookings for venues, photographers, and other suppliers have been placed as early as 2018 as clients insist to land on a good date for 2020. Things are doing very well for event producers especially that the 2019 Southeast Asian Games were held in the Philippines making almost everyone in the industry engaged.
However, the promise of 2020 was snatched by the Novel coronavirus 2019 infecting almost 80% of the world’s population, knocking down the trade and movement. Everyone was advised to stay indoors to stop the spread of the virus and while some business continues, the Live Events industry was affected. Event bookings were postponed to later dates and some are even canceled forcing agencies, freelancers, and suppliers to shift gears.
Being resourceful people that they are, event people muster all their supplies and the last of their savings to open new avenues just to keep the food on their tables.
One group of event producers from Manila started to cook family recipes of a variety of Filipino delicacies and sell them online. Some whipped off their baking skills and started offering their cakes of all flavors. Capitalizing on people they were able to work and other relationships that they were able to get connected with, these producers turned online sellers are making profits almost similar to their per diem pay during live events.
Some of these talented event producers resolved in refining their English grammar and become online tutors for kids taking homeschool programs and professionals from other nations who want to learn the language.
Starting events producers, offered their “Party-in-a-box” goodies. A box, or bag to some, with all-party essentials like party banners, souvenirs, and personalized decorations wrapped in one curated box for the celebrant.
While others, especially those household names in the Philippine events industry, braved the market by sticking to their craft while pivoting into digital efforts. Most event agencies adopted the essence of the virtual event. In this platform, clients can offer their audience the feel of live events with digital representations of the virtual stage, online booths, digital activations, webinars, and a whole lot more.
With the uncertainties of the situation, now peeking at more than 30,000 confirmed cases, Filipino event producers and suppliers will continue to find opportunities to show how resourceful they can be to make ends meet. Although, of course, the hope of experiencing “live” remains in the very soul of these event producers.
And while the battle with the unseen continues, the show too must go on.