Covid restrictions drag events and weddings business

by NURUL SUHAIDI / Pic by BERNAMA

THIS year is poised to be a better year for the wedding and events industry. 

After many postponements, cancellations and very limited numbers of attendees, wedding ceremonies and live events are starting to pick up again. 

However, according to Events Wizard Sdn Bhd events director Loh Tjun Hong, while inquiry for the live events is increasing, some clients are still considering the virtual option as the scepticism of a fully physical event is still present. 

“Overall, our current momentum is approximately 15% of regular engagements compared to pre-pandemic level,” Loh told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR). 

Despite a signal to branch out of the storm, he said the recent surge of the Omicron variant in the country potentially presents a new threat to the industry. 

“The events industry is an organised business in nature and we have been adhering to numerous standard operating procedures (SOPs) throughout the past months,” he said. 

He added that to minimise the risk and avoid another closure, organisers and attendees must be mindful of potential threats and practice self-discipline during events. 

“For example, wedding event planners must have structural guidelines and proper enforcement in executing safe and successful events,” Loh told TMR, adding that it is about time industry players be bold and proactive in promoting physical interactions to further boost the industry and overall operations. 

Meanwhile, ALIFE (Arts, Live Events and Festivals Association) president Rizal Kamal contended that the return of events alone will not be able to keep businesses afloat since the current SOPs are not entirely business-friendly. 

“Even though live events may proceed safely, restrictions on the number of attendees will limit revenue since the costs are higher with smaller returns. 

“If this restriction persists specifically for live events, we expect more than 70% reduction in activities for 2022 compared to pre-pandemic years.