At the China Speakers Bureau, we keep a close eye on event organizers and how they prepare for the coming year, in the post-coronavirus period. We see two broad movements: definitely, a part of the gatherings is turning to virtual events, like for example the Felixstowe Book Festival.
More troublesome is the black swan scenario taken this week by Stage Entertainment, organizers in Europe of larger musicals like Tina, Anastasia, and Lazarus to delay their productions till March 2021. For most annual events, like the Olympic Games, a one-year delay might sound obvious, but stalling ongoing shows and events sounds more troublesome.
We do see a reluctance among most of our clients to move towards online events: much of their current business model is based on organizing local entertainment and events, flights and hotels, activities that will disappear at virtual events. But we do see their clients, larger corporations, and international organizations, internally moving to online activities. We do not see yet similar movements for their external activities, but when the choice is between going online or delay till March 2021, or even longer, action is going to be needed.
Even when the fear for a second wave of the Covid-19 will be unfounded, resuming larger meetings might only start after the summer, preparing for a COVID-21 will be on the agenda for many.
Currently, we are exploring alternatives to keep the business for our speakers also going. We have not yet made any drastic decisions, but are happy to discuss those alternatives.