Event organisers urge PM to provide aid

Event organisers urge PM to provide aid

Operators in the event management industry are calling on Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to help salvage the industry which has been hit hard by the new coronavirus outbreak.

Upathum Nisitsukcharoen, president of the Event Management Association, said the agency would submit a letter to the premier through the Prime Minister's Office tomorrow to ask for remedial measures for event organisers and related businesses.

The measures include the government's 50% co-payment subsidy for the monthly salary of their employees for the next 4-6 months or until their businesses return to normal conditions and deferment of social security contributions from employers and workers for six months.

For employers who have had to temporarily halt their business, their unemployed employees should be entitled to unemployment benefits at a rate of 50-62% from the Social Security Fund.

Mr Upathum said that after the government announced new restrictions such as ordering the closure of convention centres and hotels and prohibiting business operators to arrange events with 20 participants or more, most businesses and employers have been adversely affected. Moreover, the Social Security Fund's unemployment benefits do not cover the business losses of event organisers.

"During the first outbreak, about 200 event organising companies out of 500 across the country closed down," he said. "However, the third wave has aggravated consumer sentiment and more companies in various industries such as automobiles and consumer products are expected to stop their sales campaigns because they don't want to waste money to promote products during a time of weak purchasing power. We expect at least 100 medium-scale event organising companies --which have a revenue of between 60-300 million baht per year -- to throw in the towel this year."

Mr Upathum said the number of unemployed workers in the events industry for various roles including lighting and sound, booth and venue arrangement, superstars, singers and companies that provide camera and other equipment would reach 200,000-300,000 this year. Big event organisers are also expected to experience losses in business this year, he said.

"By the end of last year, the association had expected that the industry in 2021 would be on par with the previous year. However, with the fresh wave, we expect the overall industry in 2021 to contract by over 50% to 3 billion baht,'' said Mr Upathum.

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