Like many Scottish businesses operating within the live events sector, Edinburgh based YOURgb Events Ltd is taking stock following the unveiling of Rishi Sunak’s Winter Economy Plan.
Sunak stated it was ‘fundamentally wrong’ to hold people in jobs that only exist inside the furlough scheme. The main issue being faced by the live events sector is that the majority of the jobs within it - covering event formats such as festivals, live music, theatre, dinner dances, fundraisers, conferences, location filming, stadium events and weddings - do, at this time, only exist inside furlough due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sunak said that ‘we need to create new opportunities’ which support ‘people to be in viable jobs’, and as YOURgb Events continues to strive to do just that, the wider questions remain - is it going to be enough and what will happen to the professionals with presently ‘unviable’ jobs that will be viable as soon as live events, production and the arts return?
Since COVID-19 hit, YOURgb has utilised an eclectic skill set within their team and acted quickly to innovate and pivot their services into the digitally lead world. YOURgb has been assisting clients with translating their live events into engaging and meaningful online experiences, along with promoting their bolstered services such as digital animation, copywriting, tv production, brand design, social media management and PR.
Gilly Bain, Director of YOURgb said ‘In early March I outlined YOURgb’s worst-case scenario of COVID-19 to my team, along with an ambitious plan to get us through my then projected 6 months of restrictions – and we’ve done it. However, we have at least another 6 months to go - the severity of COVID-19’s impact on the events and arts industries now far exceeds those initial fears and thoughts.’
YOURgb delivered 6 large scale online events during the initial 7 weeks of full lockdown and has recently been selected to organise and market two major online events after innovative pitch processes for clients based in the UK and internationally.
‘I am relieved we identified opportunities and took quick action - it was challenging, and we took risks - we really are doing as well as I could ever have hoped. I’m proud of what we are producing, however our ‘new normal’ production volume is still nowhere near our ‘normal-normal’. In my view Sunak’s Job Support Plan may help on some level, but generally speaking it is simply not enough to prevent mass redundancies in our sector. It’s devastating.’
YOURgb was appointed to brand, design, develop, manage, launch and market The Massive Get Together – an online variety show of TV production quality, which saw 10 UK charities uniting and joining together to respond to the devasting effect the impact that COVID-19 is having on the third sector. With over 4,000 tickets sold pre-event, the campaign has raised over £60,000.00 so far. The Massive Get Together is being re-played for the enjoyment of everyone on Thursday 1st October at 20:00 via Facebook Live, YouTube and at www.TheMassiveGetTogether.co.uk.
YOURgb supported on all stages of the virtual event process including idea conception and strategy, brand design, bespoke platform and technical production, merchandising, talent sourcing and management, script writing, social media, content capture planning and implementation, and finally the management of the live COVID-19 compliant in-studio production for the live stream with hosts Gaby Roslin and Amanda Byram.
Secondly, following a formal tender process and competitive pitch to clients based in London and Paris, YOURgb Events was successful in winning a global online event; Women4Climate Tech Challenge 2020 - a C40 cities initiative. The Women4Climate Tech Challenge is an international contest open to women designing innovative, climate-focused tech solutions and the role of YOURgb is to provide a platform and visibility to the 10 women finalists to showcase their initiatives to an accredited international judging panel and create world-wide press coverage. This event will soon be available to watch on the C40 YouTube channel.
Commenting on winning the C40 contract Gilly said ‘Our job was to translate the live event format to a virtual global audience and stream it live over various time zones and languages, ensuring that all 10 finalists could personally showcase their projects. The women involved in the challenge are absolutely incredible and working with C40 was a dream for team YOURgb - the event tackled gender diversity and climate change together – it was exceptionally rewarding to work on.’
Gilly has recently been appointed to Scotland E.P.I.C. (Scotland Event Producers Independent Committee) which encourages openness and communication between businesses in the event production and supply industries across Scotland, with an emphasis on assisting each other with surviving the COVID-19 cancellations and restrictions whilst also activating the #WeMakeEvents campaign in Scotland.
On 30th September 20:00 the latest #WeMakeEvents activation will take place where event professionals from more than 20 countries will STAND AS ONE – to creatively express the challenges the events industry is facing, and the numbers being impacted by it professionally.
YOURgb Events is based in Edinburgh but works on projects internationally. Their core services are online event production, pre-event advancement, logistics, brand strategy, content capture, graphic design, social media, PR and marketing. Prior to COVID-19 YOURgb specialised in live – and in person – event production.