Has COVID-19 exposed the vulnerability of event daily wagers and vendors like never before?
While the entire events industry is going through a challenging phase, the plight of event daily wagers and vendors is so critical that it needs immediate attention.
The daily wage workers are that strata of the event industry without whom no event is possible. They are the pillars and the basic foundation of any event and their services and support helps in the making of successful events.
For their survival, it is important for them to get paid on a daily basis. The Covid-19 lockdown has the most daunting impact on such people whereby most of them have to fight for survival on a daily basis.
Many event agencies are trying to support event vendors and daily wage workers, but the entire cycle of revenue has been greatly troubled in the past weeks.
We spoke to some key stakeholders about the myriad challenges faced by daily wage workers in this lockdown and here is what they had to stay:
Nanni Singh, Chief Executive, Showcase Events:
With the closure of all on ground activity, be it events, construction, or just about anything else, the daily wage workers are struggling to sustain themselves and their families. They are truly and very badly impacted.
Vendors associated with event agencies are going through a lot of grief. They have no work, thus no revenue generation. However, several have overheads, leaving them in the unfortunate position of having to downsize their teams. Similarly, it's very hard for event agencies to be able to take care of their own teams and also the vendors. One small way in which we're helping in our professional capacities is releasing any and all pending vendor payments, so that they have some funds to tide them through these unprecedented times.
Event vendors have turned towards the government for help and relief packages so that they can further lend best possible support to the daily wage workers.
Bhavesh Thakkar, Jess Ideas Pvt Ltd
Over the last few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the venue construction industry has come to a catastrophic halt. Our primary collaborators- Event management companies, government bodies and industry associations are proceeding with precaution but are facing the same issue as us- uncertain cash flow. We at Jess Ideas understand the challenge that everyone is facing in these unprecedented times and we are keen to work with the government towards the containment of the virus and "flattening of the curve" by erecting Hangars and quarantine centres-but to help, we must survive.
Maintaining liquidity in the company is the primary focus for large vendors and has affected payment to sub-vendors and daily wage workers. Many of them were dependent on several Chinese companies for their products and used to make payment on an easy instalment basis.
Jaideep Patel, Vinayak Video Vision Pvt Ltd (vendor to many event agencies)
We are working with our association and have requested all not to lay off anyone but to give the best possible salary as per the company capacity. As this will go on for at least 6 months, salary has to be provided to all workers regardless of their services to ensure their survival in this hard time.
Dipti Shah, Founder/Head of Event & Alliances, White Salt Entertainment
We understand the troubles and are trying our best to help both- them and ourselves. However, everything comes with its own limitations. While pleas are being submitted to the government, the fact remains that we will truly be able to help them only once we receive a stimulus package ourselves. There has been a cascade of cancellations and a few postponements. Cash flows have stopped. Events have been wiped off our calendar during the peak time with little to no certainty in the near future. Besides, the uncertainty has been forcing most organizations to rethink their payroll structures, replan operational costs and most importantly landscape potentially viable cash flow systems that will help us stay in business.
Manish Mavani, Director, Sound & Light Professionals (vendor of professional production equipment for events)
We have had cancellations of various projects starting from the first week of March & now we do not have any bookings on our calendar for next 9 months, I say the business that I am in as a technical supplier/solution provider of events & entertainment is more of a luxury & not a necessity in such difficult times. So the business will be one of the worst affected as we are the first ones to stop and would be the last ones to start.
Around The World