DALLAS —Today Freeman officially launched Go LIVE Together, an online resource and rallying point for a coalition of associations, companies and professionals, as the events industry grapples with the sweeping effects of the pandemic and how to shape the road to recovery.
More than 80 founding members from 113 countries are part of the Go Live Together coalition, said Bob Priest-Heck, Freeman’s CEO. “At this moment in time, it’s not about competition, but about working together and collaborating as never before.”
As Priest-Heck sees it, focusing on what it will take for people to feel it is safe to come to events is a top priority. “Together we need to figure out industry standards and protocols for things like cleaning and event design.”
A second priority is to build awareness of how trade shows are critical to the country’s economic recovery. “The value proposition of events is phenomenal. Not only do events serve to build knowledge and social connection, they drive commerce of all kinds,” Priest-Heck said. “If we can get people back to trade shows safely, we’re helping the broader economy — planes will be flying, restaurants will be open. Everybody benefits. Trade shows are a fundamental part of American business, and that’s the message we want to get out to legislators.”
To that end, Go LIVE Together is focused on preparing for U.S. local, state, and federal recovery legislation, “so we are ready to drive recovery once the health crisis is behind us,” Priest-Heck said. “This group will advocate for funds to offset the added costs of hosting an event post COVID-19, and for funds to incentivize people to attend live events when it is safe to do so.”
The idea for Go LIVE Together arose from Freeman’s early advocacy efforts on behalf of trade shows. “People started approaching us asking, ‘What’s next?’ after we shared Freeman’s internal advocacy around the initial federal pandemic relief effort [the CARES Act],” said Sue Sung, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy. “We quickly saw the need for an industry-wide response, which is why we started Go Live Together. The response has been overwhelming.”
Founding members of Go Live Together span the global ecosystem of trade shows and events. A complete list can be found at golivetogether.com. To become a member of Go Live Together, go to golivetogether.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We are proud and excited to be a founding member of Go Live Together,” said Gabrielle Weiss, Trade Show Executive’s Vice President and Editor-in-Chief. “Collaboration is critical for the trade show industry to reset for the future, and Go LIVE Together is a great example of how we can do that.”
One advocacy effort being supported by Go LIVE Together is the Trade Show & Events Recovery Act, put forward by Trade Show Executive Media Group. Click https://tradeshowexecutive.com/archive/industry-news/trade-show-event-recovery-act-putting-people-back-work/ or https://www.golivetogether.com/trade-show-events-recovery-act to read about this proposed legislation and how you can support it.