So what does an event photographer do when the entire country goes into lockdown and the event industry comes to an almost-overnight halt. In this episode, I interview my father, Trevor Connell. Trevor owns an event photography business and publishes Australasian Special Events, a news and information service for the event industry.

Trevor shares with us how the pandemic affected his business, how it’s affected the industry as a whole, and how it showed him a great opportunity for the industry to be able to hold live and recorded events through online delivery.

In this episode:

  • Who is Trevor and what does he do?
  • What Trevor thinks has been the biggest challenge to the event industry since COVID-19
  • In the event industry, they talk about a “Black Friday” which is the 13th of March where the event industry was announced to be shut down.
  • “The following Monday after that weekend, all of our business for the next six months had gone. And so everyone in the industry had to very quickly turn around and come up with a strategy to get through the next six months.”
  • “The first things we saw were events going online. “
  • “There has been a massive difference to how we’re attending events. And what I’ve found personally is that we can actually have more of our team members attend these events now cause they’re online.”
  • With his company, Event Pix, six months of work essentially disappeared overnight. It was okay for him as he and his assistant were able to get JobKeeper. But for his 50 photographers around Australia, it wasn’t exactly the case. He advised them to go get registered with Centrelink.
  • The frustration and uncertainty as the pandemic took hold
  • The hurdles that Trevor faced
  • Innovation and change in the events industry
  • Event companies diversified into other fields such as putting their trucks to use as fleet operators
  • The venues are least able to adapt
  • The biggest challenge for the industry now is the four-square-meter rule. Venues can only have 20 to 25% capacity.
  • Trevors solutions to the social-distancing rules that affected the event industry
  • Live casting for weddings, funerals, and business events
  • Event Pix business model of ‘vox pops’ and social media clips helped with their adaptability
  • An online delivery model is essential for all in the training industry
  • How does Trevor see the future in 6 to 12 months for the event industry and delivery for any events?
  • Online events for conferences and awards
  • An opportunity to access more people
  • It will be a while before international students can return to Australia in large numbers
  • According to Trevor, what people haven’t really worked out yet with using online as a delivery method for events, although there are methods for it, is monetizing these online events. This is particularly because, with the younger generation, they are used to getting everything for free.
  • “I think there is a big opportunity out there to be able to educate the industry and educate people who are delivering training and who were using that as a method to get new clients.”
  • Trevor’s biggest achievement and learning through the process of adapting to the pandemic
  • “There’s been so many new ideas that have come up different ways of delivering training,  different ways of delivering events, which I think is going to propel us forward with how we’re going to be delivering events in the future.”
  • “You imagine if this had happened to us 10 years ago, we wouldn’t have coped because we wouldn’t have been able to get it all online.”
  • What keeps Trevor motivated
  • Trevor started his own podcast talking with people in the event industry