How Covid-19 is Affecting Events & Staffing Businesses

March 12, 2020
The secondary effect of coronavirus is hitting hard on the events and staffing industry nationwide. Read on to understand the impact of the businesses affected and tips for companies to operate safely and efficiently.

The conversations and concern surrounding Covid-19 seem to be spreading even quicker than the virus itself. The world is experiencing the repercussions on all levels, personal, social and economical.No matter what industry you find yourself working in, you've been feeling the effects of the outbreak.

As we're not scientists, we won't be discussing the Covid-19 outbreak itself. But as consultants in the on-demand and gig economy staffing industry, Ubeya has been witnessing the fluctuating effects of Covid-19 on the staffing agencies, event companies and catering businesses working in the temporary employment sphere.

Why Are So Many Events Being Cancelled?

There is widespread uncertainty across many different sectors, including the events and staffing industry.

As concerns mount, concerts and festivals around the world are suffering the secondary effects of Coronavirus as more are cancelled out of public health safety reasons.

COVID-19 is spread amongst people in close proximity. It is understandable that events with mass gatherings could increase the chance of an outbreak.

Companies whose core business is events - anywhere from conferences to sports and music festivals - will need to put in a considerable time and effort to ensure that these events are both successful and safe despite the surrounding concerns.

A Concise List of Cancelled Events Across The Globe

Cancelled events in Europe & Middle East

After the major outbreaks in Italy and Iran, current sporting events have been cancelled. Italy has officially banned all cultural events and public gatherings until April.

France has declared that all events with more than 1000 attendees are shut down.

Sporting events in Greece, Spain and Portugal will still be taking place but without spectators in the stadiums for the next two weeks.

Cancelled events in Asia

Nearly all of the events in China, Japan and Korea have been cancelled. Sporting events like the Hong Kong and Singapore Sevens have been postponed.

The drastic measures some of these countries have taken like isolation and lockdown have helped to slow the spread of the virus.

Cancelled events in the United States

The United States is witnessing the cancellation of some of its biggest events. The SXSW festival and Miami's Ultra Music Festival have all been terminated. SXSW actually laid off 50 employees from their permanent staff on March 9. Coachella has been postponed until October .

What about professional sports leagues? The N.B.A. has just suspended its season after a player was tested positive. The March Madness tournament will be limited to select locations in order to concentrate safety efforts. Other leagues are preparing to play games with a stadium of spectators.

What about one of the biggest questions of all - the Olympic Games? As of now, the Games will go on, and the Committee is currently discussing holding the competitions without live spectators.

The reality is that the events world will continue to see an increase in cancellations until further notice in regards to the outbreak. The United States finds itself in a particular situation, where the need to take safety precautions is balanced against the concern for drastic measures. However currently, the situation is not a drastic as in Asia and Europe and for now, it seems, the show will go on.

What Can Staffing & Event Companies Do to Cope with the Covid-19 Crisis?

While the situation is definitely challenging, there are clear steps and action items that businesses can take in order to ensure a safe and successful event.

The current position in the United States and other countries worldwide is that "the show will go on." Shutting down all events is not necessary.

Now more than ever it is important to take responsible steps to make sure safety precautions while still going about business as usual. Events and culture are a normal part of society, and now more than ever people could use a balance on normality.

Tips for events & staffing companies regarding Covid-19:

1. Keep up to date with the latest information

Fact checking is important. While there is certainly plenty of media coverage, it is important to make sure information is extracted from reliable sources. Monitor developments and advice from the government, public health sector and World Health Organization (WHO).

2. Create a reliable method of communication with the team

Make sure you are able to communicate the latest news to your team to ensure that everyone stays informed and up to date on any important information or changes. Miscommunication can lead more to a staff member showing up late for the job.

Ubeya has recently noted a rise in the use of the system's group chats. Staffing and event companies are taking advantage of easy channels of communication to inform staff about new hygiene procedures and fill in shift gaps when team members are under the weather.

Consider appointing a single team member or captain to monitor the flow of information and keep the rest of the staff updated.

3. Increase hygiene standards

As an employer, you are responsible for making sure that your staff are aware of the protective hygiene standards they should be following. Increase awareness of personal hygiene and effective hand-washing amongst both your staff and your attendees. Make sure to communicate this via the platform that you use before, during and after the event.

Increase accessibility to hygiene with readily available stations to wash hands, running water, soap and hand dryers. You can provide temporary hand wash stations and anti-bacterials gels around the event space.

4. Prepare for possible scenarios

Develop a clear plan for how to deal with Coronavirus at your events.

What happens if there is a suspected case amongst your staff? Or amongst your attendees?

Make sure your staff know how to properly respond to different scenarios and how they should interact with clients or attendees. Put backup plans into place in case staff need to be quickly replaced. Consider the financial ramifications if the event is cancelled altogether.

Learn how events and staffing companies are using Ubeya to grow their business during this time.

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