‘100 persons ceiling’ on events will not help the industry revive; not a viable option, say experts
Most ballrooms have capacity of approximately 300 to 400 people and there is a need to take the capacity to about 200 people to make it viable as an investment for clients.
As per the recent guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs-- social, sports, entertainment and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 21st September 2020.
This decision by the government has come after repeated rounds of deliberations between the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) and various government bodies. The association has also conveyed the sector's readiness to hold events again as well as the contribution it can make in reviving the economy.
While the industry has welcomed and appreciated the government's decision, at the same time there is no denying that the 100 persons ceiling will not work if the industry has to come out of the 6 months long backlog.
To understand the pulse of the industry regarding the latest announcement by the government, BW Applause and Everything Experiential reached out to some top voices from the sector and here is what they had to say:
Roshan Abbas, President, EEMA and MD, Geometry Encompass
Due to the concerted efforts that we have been making as the Event and Entertainment Management Association, we have been able to share our Covid safe protocols with everyone. This has given a certain amount of confidence to government officials and we hope that this relaxation can go from 100 onwards.
However most ballrooms have capacity of approximately 300 to 400 people and we need to be able to take the capacity to about 200 people to make it viable as an investment for clients.
We are also hoping that open air venues can open to whatever limit we can manage, as long as there is a four square meter a person rule that we observe. There are multiple examples of public events being done by brands across the globe keeping the safety norms and other regulations in mind due to which humanity is able to feel normal again and at the same time talent, artists, brands and agencies are all being able to function.
I definitely feel that the government needs to increase the limit and give due consideration to this, in fact we have proposed that we should be allowed to do some exhibitions along with the government to increase the confidence of both the public and the corporates.
In case they do not agree, we will continue by putting pressure and reaching out to all government bodies so that they can understand that we can do responsible safe events.
Siddhartha Chaturvedi, General Secretary, EEMA and CEO, Event Crafter
The government is opening up all kinds of events with a ceiling of 100 people on the 21st of September but that is the guidelines from the central government. We welcome this move of the government completely because at least this is the first step towards getting normalcy back.
We are proposing to the government that instead of having a ceiling of 100, it should be more about venue versus people proportion. So we are suggesting that there should be a four square meter per person formula which can be applied. It can work to make sure that there is enough physical distancing. EEMA has also come up with the SOPs which we have taken a pledge to follow.
KJS Gurna, Treasurer, EEMA and Director, Bellset Entertainment Pvt Ltd
I am of the opinion that the limit on the number of people should be in terms of the size of the venue or in terms of how much space is required to conduct a safe event. Let's say 4 square meter per person and likewise. The Live Experiential industry has been without work for the last six months and this has to come to an end, otherwise the industry will continue and there will be massive job losses.
To save 2% of the population we will be putting 20% of the population out of work and the economy will suffer an irreparable damage. The government has to open up the events and the wedding industry otherwise we all are heading towards an uncertain future. The need is to follow the strict norms of safety and learn to live with corona.
Rituraj Khanna, CEO, Q Events
As of now it is 100, but that doesn’t suffice our needs. We have a backlog of 6 months and we have had heavy losses, our staff is waiting to join back. But with the kind of budgets we will be getting for these events, it will be impossible for us to bounce back. The government needs to allow us according to the areas we are using for our events. This decision will make more sense.
Ramlila in Delhi has been announced, the KUTCH festival too has been given a go ahead, metros have started and people are all out now.
Hotels in Rajasthan, Agra and Delhi are sold out, there is no venue available on auspicious dates. Looking at all this, I’m hopeful that we should get a positive reply from the government.
Anoop Singh, Founder, Aakar Wedding & Events
The new norm introduced by the Government that social gatherings will now have a limit of 100 people is a welcome move. However, the guest list totally depends on the area of the ceremony. If the area holds the capacity to host 100 members at a time along with taking into consideration the social distancing policy then I feel there is no harm in the new announcement.
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