Event Industry Advisory Group Update - January 2022
Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) held its first meeting of the new year on Thursday 13 January, its twenty-eighth meeting in total. Key areas discussed, included the First Minister’s latest update to the Scottish Parliament, the ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 restrictions being applied to events, development of the Scottish Government’s revised strategic framework, event sector support and funding.
The Group heard from Scottish Government officials who gave an overview of this week’s FM statement. EIAG members provided feedback in response, including: seeking clarity on changes being made to the COVID-19 status app so organisers can effectively inform stewards; what action should be taken if an attendee has expended the 10 days self-isolation but still has a positive lateral flow test; and the need for clarity around protocols for international supporters attending matches. The group also highlighted challenges such as restrictions on hospitality, the impact on resources as a result of staff having to self-isolate, funding support for event organisers and suppliers, customer confidence and clear communication, plus the need for long- term thinking and scenario planning.
Scottish Government officials acknowledged these concerns and welcomed the feedback. Officials also provided information on development of an updated strategic framework, due to be published in the coming weeks. EIAG members were invited to provide further feedback over the coming days into development of the framework in relation to events.
Ongoing financial support was also discussed, with EventScotland providing an update on the work being done to distribute the £19.8 million of funding for the events sector confirmed by the Culture Secretary Angus Robertson on 3 January. Up to £11 million of the £19.8 million will initially be used to provide top-up payments to eligible businesses who have previously received funding from either the Event Industry Support Funds or the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund, with businesses being contacted from Monday 24 January. Work is also continuing with Scottish Government and the EIAG to determine the best way of distributing the remaining funding to support to those event businesses continuing to experience cancellation or postponements in February and March, or who may have previously not had access to COVID-19 event funding support.
An update was also provided on the recently launched Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers being delivered by Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland to help freelancers who are experiencing immediate financial hardship as well as the upcoming Cancellation Fund for Culture Organisations.
A summary meeting note will be published soon from the meeting. Further outputs from the group and representatives from the sector can raise any points for consideration by the group by emailing EIAG@eventscotland.org. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for 3 February 2022.