• Jessica Bautista

Quarantine Diaries: Furlough in the Events Industry

It’s been over 2 months since I’ve been made furlough with my company and you would think this break would be amazing (don’t get me wrong it is) but I do love my job and it’s been hard some days to just do nothing.

Before I fully get into this post, I want to give a small disclaimer that I, in no way want to be political or get into the political sides of this pandemic and I do know how privileged I am to be in the place I am at and this post is purely sharing my own personal experience as an events manager during this time.

As we all know, in March we were officially told that we were on a restricted lockdown, where all clubs, bars and restaurants (and more) had to close and with anyone in events, you know that not only would we need people at our events, we would also need venues, such as pubs and restaurants to be open to host them in to begin with.

To being with, I was still working on the admin side of the events safely at home for 2 weeks, which was nice - although not the same as having the events weekly, but it still gave a great sense of routine within my days, but when I was made furlough I knew my routine will drastically change.

As we continue through our days in ”lockdown”, we have been told that some restrictions will be lifted, some already in place with unlimited amount of exercise, getting to meet with another person from a different household but still social distancing and now starting from today, schools will be opening and on the 15th, non-essential shops can reopen? Forgive me if I missed any out of have the wrong info (this is all based on what I have last heard) Given that we get to the next phase, this does mean selected bars, restaurants, etc. can start to open and of course that is good news for us BUT with everyone else and everything so far, there is still a lot of uncertainty about when “normal” will come back for us. The one thing that we do need to understand at this point is, things are opening for the good of the economy, not because it’s safe to do so - as hard as that is to swallow, it’s true and with that factor, just because bars, pubs and restaurants may begin to open, it doesn’t mean that people will go or if we do start up our events again, that they would attend.

Which is all completely understandable but again, not great for the events industry and if you‘ve not heard or seen my events, you would not know the capacity we have our events at. Our biggest venue fits around 500 guests, I know, evening reading that number of people in one space gives me slight social anxiety.

I don’t know about you, but with the lack of social events for the past couple of months, it has made me very nervous to be around people in general, let alone the thought of being in one area with A couple hundreds of people and of course, that is going to become an obstacle for when “normal” comes along.

I have no idea what the rest of this year will bring or how long this will last, or what will even happen to our industry in these next couple of weeks, but I’m trying not to think about the negatives too much, as my mental health is my biggest priority right now, but until I know more on the next steps, I am looking forward to getting back into work, to a new routine and to do what I love the most - organising and planning as an events manager does.

Are you in the events industry? How have you been effected by this?


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