Creative Hire and DisplayWise host Prime Minister Scott Morrison to discuss a safe reopening for Business Exhibitions and Events.
Following almost 6 months of closure for the Business Exhibitions and Events industry, DisplayWise and Creative Hire invited Prime Minister Scott Morrison to their Sydney Head Offices to discuss the impact that COVID-19 has had on the sector and the next steps towards a safe re-opening.
Inviting other key industry leaders to attend the discussion, DisplayWise leveraged its existing relationship with Prime Minister Morrison, who is already known to owners Dylan Retif and Jason Cachia. Amongst those in attendance were Exhibition and Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) Chief Executive Claudia Sagripanti, ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy and Meeting & Events Australia CEO Robyn Johnson.
Like many businesses in our industry, DisplayWise and Creative Hire suffered an immediate loss of almost 100% of revenues, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of indoor functions such as exhibitions and business events from March 2020 onwards. The meeting was chaired by DisplayWise CEO Dylan Retif who facilitated an open discussion regarding the challenges currently faced by the industry and the various initiatives necessary to provide confidence across the sector at all levels – from event organisers and venues, through to exhibiting businesses, display builders and attendees.
Creative Hire Managing Director, Tim Russell, commented that business exhibitions and events can play a key role in an economic rebound, and that it was well known that these events are often used as a platform for launching new products and innovations. There was broad industry agreement that these events provide an opportunity for exhibitors to interact with their industry peers in a way that cannot be done remotely or via virtual platforms.
There was confidence throughout the group that the sector could manage a safe re-opening in a much more controlled manner than currently being experienced in the retail and other sectors. “We have technology to ensure social distancing by attendees, we can design events to allow more space, we can reduce the need for contact between people – we can do this much safer than many other indoor venues where the flow of people is not able to be controlled” explained Dylan Retif.
Speaking of the state of the industry, Prime Minister Scott Morrison commented: “The business events sector, not unlike the creative and entertainment sectors, are significantly hit by COVID-19, but they are looking forward to the time ahead where they can plan and get their business moving again. It’s been a very good opportunity for me to come along here today, a place I know very well, and just to listen.”
Having heard industry views throughout the morning, the Prime Minister agreed with the sentiments expressed by the group and appreciated the importance of the sector to the broader economy. “This is a sector that can get back on its feet. We can get business events running again. We can get exhibitions running again. They can be done safely, they can be done economically and viably, and so today it was a good opportunity to consult with the industry and get a good handle on some of the obstacles they have, some of the challenges that they will have to get across”, Mr Morrison said.
Following the industry discussion, the Prime Minister toured the offices and production capabilities, interacted with staff, and inspected the recently launched range of products including those from Bare Hygiene and Pop Up Desks; initiatives designed to keep people in jobs and machinery operating during extremely challenging circumstances. The Prime Minister went on to address the media regarding the business adaptation and innovation, commending DisplayWise and Creative Hire on its success in launching new product lines to keep our team employed.
Creative Hire and DisplayWise will continue to develop a plan of action alongside industry representatives as we pursue a safe and confident industry reopening.