DALLAS — Go LIVE Together has launched a grassroots advocacy campaign to support business event recovery legislation. “This is not about one company, but a whole industry,” Hervé Sedky, President, Americas of Reed Exhibitions, and current SISO Vice Chair, said in a recent SISO webinar. Working in conjunction with the Events Industry Council (EIC), this coalition seeks to drive congressional backing for legislation vital to the recovery of business events from the devastating impact of COVID-19. Helping draft legislative language for tax credits to encourage exhibitors and attendees to participate is just one key goal.
According to the EIC, small businesses make up 99% of this industry and employ 6.6 million people; these companies need business events to start again as quickly as it is safe to do so. Sue Sung, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Freeman and Director of the Go Live Together coalition, speaking during the SISO webinar, also discussed the importance of advocating for tax credits to get exhibitors and attendees back to events. “Without it, they won’t come back,” she said.
“A tax credit to incentivize attendee and exhibitor participation will be critical when the time is right for a return to live events,” said Bob Priest-Heck, CEO of Freeman and member of the Go LIVE Together Operating Committee. “We are asking our community to join us in amplifying this message to legislators because, by making our voices heard together, we can play a meaningful role in protecting and rebuilding the business events industry.”
The advocacy campaign, working with members of the business events community, provides turnkey tools and solutions to help with reaching out and liaising with elected officials to ask for the support of a temporary tax credit proposed by Go LIVE Together. The tax credit is intended to help defray the participation costs of in-person business events, especially for the 1.4 million small businesses that rely on this critical sales and marketing channel. This proposed tax credit, under consideration for inclusion in the next phase of coronavirus response legislation currently being negotiated by Congress, is in addition to the extension and expansion of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other funding necessary to keep the industry treading water.
“The Events Industry Council convened the APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force to serve the industry at one of, if not the most, trying times in our history,” Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council, said. “Our values are firmly rooted in the common belief that our industry drives economic growth, builds communities, educates and advocates in support of our global economy. We all have a role to play to share the value of our industry and the way in which live events will contribute to our recovery. By offering our borderless solidarity and participation in these efforts, we honor our commitment to our global workforce of 26 million and to the future of our industry.”
To learn more about advocating on behalf of the industry and reaching out to your congressional leaders visit www.golivetogether.com.
Reach Hervé Sedky at (203) 840-5800 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Reach Bob Priest-Heck at (214) 445-1234 or email@example.com; Amy Calvert at (202) 367-1232 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Sue Sung at Sue.Sung@freemanco.com.