By Liz Clark.
Over the last several months, I’ve become well acquainted with the government programs designed to help support our industry in this time of need. In some ways, you could say I’ve become the ‘’go-to’’ when fellow eventprofs have questions about the support that’s available and the eligibility requirements to gain access to that support.
As I grew to understand these programs better, I came to appreciate the gaps leaving so many of our small businesses behind. So I reached out to friends, peers and industry leaders to find out if anyone was actively lobbying on our behalf. That’s when I learned that, despite all the internal conversations going on within the industry, we didn’t have a single voice or clear message we could rally behind.
“As I grew to understand these programs better, I came to appreciate the gaps leaving so many of our small businesses behind.”
So I reached out to some friends who work in government and asked if they could offer some advice to help me create a single message that would resonate with those in charge.
To start, we created a panel of eight stakeholders: Pegasus hospitality, Château Le PARC, Arlington Estates, the Avenue Banquet Hall, The Social Rose, E&B Event Decor and Toben Food by Design. Together we created two proposals and a provincial petition so we could show the government the broad support of the industry.
Since then, we’ve continued to add to the original eight, including good friend Jackie Van Overdijk, Roma’s Hospitality Centre, Pearl Convention Centre, Legends Entertainment and met with several levels of governments, along with those advising them, with some success. We have a long way to go and the only way we’re going to get there is by coordinating our efforts, coalescing around a clear message and working together to create attention for our industry and our cause.
To that end, we’ve created save_theeventindustry on Instagram, a Facebook page, launched a new working group: Small Business Event Services Association (SBESA) and scheduled bi-weekly clubhouse meetings with the intent of growing support for this movement.
We’ve also reached out to event-focused media like Canadian Special Events and industry influencers because the bigger our megaphone, the better our opportunity to achieve our goals.
If you’d like to help be a part of this, or if you’re part of a group actively working to gain much-needed support, reach out and let’s talk because we’re stronger as one.
Liz Clark is the owner of Chair Decor, a growing specialty custom linen and table-top accessories company located in Southern Ontario. Her focus on customer service and the hard work of her team have helped Chair Decor grow into one of the premier vendors in the industry and the in-house specialty linen vendors for some of the very best venues across the GTA