Cherish your elective event decision but make sure you don’t lose your deposit, says Mash Media MD Julian Agostini

Did you vote in your most recent election?  I must confess that I didn’t and it’s a constant point of consternation with my wife…  and rightly so, I guess. My flippant argument has always been that whoever is in power, it hasn’t really affected my life or, at least, the decisions I make for my business and my family.

I’m aware that I should vote, if only to respect the process. Thousands of people have died fighting for the right or freedom to vote, to have that choice, and so it’s appalling that so many of us abuse the privileged position that we’re in. Yet if you told me that I’d lose the right to vote, I’d be there at the polling station to ensure that I retained the choice.

Money gives us choices, so we’re told, and although most people aren’t motivated by money alone, everybody would surely like to have an option in any given situation?

We have been living in a world of no choice for the last 14 months, irrespective of money and no-one would want this as a permanent lifestyle. Social media has been awash with how this existence, with imposed restrictions, is no kind of life. 

Does this mean, therefore, that as event organisers we can all sit back and wait for visitor attendance to burst its banks for all of our forthcoming events?  I don’t think so.

It’s human nature. The one thing that absolutely everybody wants is what they are told they can’t have. All the while people couldn’t go to events, our organiser and event stock rose, but once all barriers are down, we will have to fight just as hard as we always have to get our visitors.

How many people were desperate for the pubs or restaurants to reopen yet hundreds of restaurant owners and landlords have seen numerous bookings not honoured.  Terrible but it’s reality and we have to accept it.

We’ve already experienced this at Mash Towers, here’s how:

We have 5 exhibitions coming up in the next 5 weeks which are

  • A-Livex; a brand new event in an unusual format to help the re-start of our industry, 20 May at the Royal Lancaster, London
  • Event Production Show at Farnborough 26-27 May, England, the first indoor exhibition in the UK for over a year
  • Confex, the first regathering of the events industry of any scale for well over a year, 22-23 June, London
  • The Publishing Show, a brand new launch, 22-23 June, London
  • The PA Show, a community that books thousands of events, all year round so gets our industry 22-23 June, London.

I have given a little description to demonstrate why you would think that these registrations would be through the roof with people desperate to be there.

Indeed, throughout the lockdown, we have had so many messages about exactly that; can’t wait to be there, see you and the whole industry there, as soon as we’re allowed etc. etc.

However, the reality is that the markets have reverted to normal behaviour almost immediately, a small upsurge but not that exciting. Lots of the normal feedback of ‘too busy’, ‘diary clash’ etc. It didn’t take long.

This is in no way a criticism, by the way, just a reminder that it is as it always has been. I’m glad that we’re going first in the UK to remind everybody business life will return to normal more quickly than you may imagine.

Don’t expect a honeymoon period, we all were wishing for it all to be back to normal and our experience is that it’s exactly that. We all have to work just as hard for our visitor; normal…. be careful what you wish for, I guess.

Hopefully, see you at one of our events.