The live event industry has been thrown for a loop in Georgia, and around the world as a whole. When the pandemic first began, event promoters were forced to cancel or indefinitely postpone events, resulting in significant financial losses. Now, as restrictions begin to ease in states such as Georgia, the event industry is slowly starting back up again.
Ismail Sirdah is the owner and founder of Lulu Promotions, an event promotion company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Lulu Promotions has grown to become the largest promotion company within the Spanish and Latino market place and one of the most dominant event companies in the state of Georgia. However, like the event industry as a whole, the company has been directly impacted by COVID-19. Mr. Sirdah provides his insight into how live events in Georgia have been affected by the pandemic.
Cancellations and Postponements in Georgia
According to Ismail Sirdah of Lulu Promotions, he views the impact of the pandemic in two phases. The first phase that hit Georgia was the cancellation and postponement of events. Back in the spring when the pandemic first came to North America, the initial reaction to COVID-19 was to cancel or postpone any and all live events. At the time, this was required in many states, including Georgia, as larger gatherings were banned. For many event promotion companies including Lulu Promotions, this was an extremely troubling time. However, Sirdah stepped up and swiftly did his part to ensure the public was notified about and refunded for any events that had to be cancelled.
Sirdah developed a plan for making it through this trying time. First, he removed any cancelled shows from his company’s events calendar and the calendars of any of their venues. Second, he communicated with his ticket holders frequently, keeping them up to date on the latest COVID-19 restrictions that related to events in Georgia. He reached out via email, social media, and the website to ensure everyone was informed. Third, he made sure that all advertising campaigns were updated with the latest information, such as the new date of an event that had been postponed. Finally, Sirdah updated the company’s credit, refund, or exchange policies, as many people were looking for their money back. He wanted to make the refund process as simple and seamless as possible in order to retain customer loyalty for the future. These considerations are important for other event companies to think about when coming up with an action plan to deal with the current situation.
Ismail Sirdah on COVID-Friendly Events in Georgia
Currently, COVID-19 restrictions in Georgia have eased, allowing event promoters like Ismail Sirdah to start hosting events again. However, COVID-friendly events look a little different than before. That is because there are still COVID restrictions in place in Georgia. Sporting events, concerts, weddings, and the like are currently allowed, but the number of attendees is limited.
The most important restriction that Lulu Promotions must be aware of is that gatherings cannot exceed 200 people. In addition, wearing a mask or face covering while in an enclosed public place is strongly suggested in the state of Georgia. This is an important consideration if you plan on hosting an event indoors. The CDC has also published guidelines for hosting safe events during COVID-19. Ismail Sirdah believes these should be adhered to in order to prevent the spread of the virus. In addition, Ismail Sirdah has arranged to have temperature checks for all staff and assistants working events hosted by Lulu Promotions. Other guidelines for live events in Georgia include having frequent handwashing and hand sanitizing stations on-site, putting up signage reminding guests to stay six feet apart and wear a mask, and making clear that if anyone feels sick, they should stay home.