(Pictured above: Bob Heck, CEO of Freeman; and Douglas Emslie, group chief executive, Tarsus Group plc)
The tradeshow and exhibitions industry coalition, Go LIVE Together, has raised upwards of $500,000 to support legislative actions that will aid the industry and its workforce in recovery from the wake of COVID-19. With more than 1,700 partners—representing approximately tens of thousands of companies with U.S. operations—the operating committee achieved a notable fundraising milestone in support of its mission to protect the well-being of an important sector of the American economy.
“Despite being completely shut down since March, with an uncertain outlook, the industry is rallying around Go LIVE Together. The momentum we’ve gained in our fundraising efforts speaks to the indomitable spirit that permeates throughout our industry and the desire for our sector to be heard,” says Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman and member of the GLT Operating Committee. “We are grateful for the generous contributions from SISO, IAEE, CEIR, EDPA, ESCA, ASAE, MPI Foundation, PCMA and others. We pledge to strategically allocate these funds to activities aimed at delivering meaningful results for a community that is anxious to get back to work.”
Specifically, the funds will aid with advocacy efforts to support industry recovery and to help government officials at the local, state and federal level understand the true impact events have on economies and job creation.
Go LIVE Together champions the following relief provisions:
- A Business Tax Credit to encourage attendee and exhibitor participation. An incentive to offset qualified expenses related to show participation, travel, accommodations and more.
- The Clean Start: Back to Work Tax Credit. Help businesses offset the personnel, supplies and equipment costs associated with implementing essential safety guidelines that adhere to the best medically-backed scientific practices for the safety and well-being of participants and overall public health.
- The Pandemic Risk Insurance Act (PRIA) or Pandemic Risk Coverage in Event Cancellation Insurance. Planning for business events begins over a year in advance, including contractual agreements with venues, hotels, speakers, exhibitors, staff costs and much more. With a lack of visibility on reopening plans, the industry is calling upon Congress to provide communicable disease coverage in event cancellation insurance to offer the coverage necessary for organizers to maintain solvency.
- The Travel America Act. By allowing businesses to offset related travel expenses, businesses and consumers across the country will more readily participate in conferences and events.
- The RESTART Act. This bipartisan legislation would help businesses by providing six months of funding to cover payroll, benefits and fixed operating expenses.
Exhibitions and tradeshows serve as a massive incubator for innovation and economic growth. Their impact on jobs and the economic fabric of American cannot be overstated. Advocating for recovery funding is essential—not only to the events industry—but an integral part of accelerating the U.S. and global economy. B2B events contribute nearly $1 trillion to the U.S. economy annually and touch every primary sector that makes up the U.S. GDP, including healthcare, technology, agriculture, consumer goods, transportation and many more. In 2019 the industry impacted close to 7 million jobs and directly employed 3 million workers. The livelihood of millions of union workers, general laborers, riggers, strategists, marketers, project managers, concession stand workers, entertainers and many others rest in the balance. With 99 percent of companies serving the events industry being small businesses (less than 500 employees), and many of those being women and minority-owned, they are among the most vulnerable to economic disruption.
Go LIVE Together comprises a coalition of 1,700 partners representing thousands of companies and independent contractors with operations in the U.S. and 112 other countries. The coalition has assembled to ensure that the industry is enabled to follow standard safety guidelines, and when the health crisis is over, the voices and concerns of the live events industry are addressed in local, state and federal recovery funding related to COVID-19. The live events industry is a diverse, valuable and vibrant ecosystem that contributes more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy and employs millions of workers. Please join our efforts in advocating for what we all already know to be true—nothing in the world will ever replace the power and the need for live events.
Let’s Go LIVE Together! Engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn using #GoLiveTogether. For more info on the coalition or to show join in support of its mission, visit: www.golivetogether.com.