When we exhibited at Confex at the end of February, the topic of Coronavirus was only just beginning to be discussed. Existing and prospective clients who attended the show, were very much looking forward, with positivity, to the year ahead.
January and February were both really busy for the team here at Premier, we delivered our largest event to date, with 11x artics and a team of over 200 people on-site and with a fully booked March and a good order book for the rest of the year, we were very much looking forward to a year of growth.
Then came COVID-19 and everything changed, and quickly! We saw our first event cancelled on Tuesday 10thMarch and from there, a tsunami of other events followed suit and by the end of last week we had no live events booked in until May and we believe given the current situation, these May events will go the same way.
So, with no sign of any invoiceable work on the horizon for the next 3 months, we have been forced to make some drastic and unfortunate changes to the company in the short term that we want to make you aware of.
Firstly, Premier is going nowhere. Ben, our MD, has spent the last 18 years of his life growing what was Ben’s Mobile Discos to what is now one of the Midland’s leading production and event management companies. We are not going to be taken down by a virus!
So what’s happening?
We made the very difficult decision last week to furlough all but 6 members of staff. So, we are currently operating the business on a skeleton team, to allow us to keep the business trading and to safeguard the jobs of all of our staff in the longer term.
Of course, the main focus of the team at the moment, is cutting costs as much as possible. But rest assured, we are not going to go bust, we are actually in a very good position, with a healthy balance sheet and relatively low overheads.
We will do whatever it takes to get through the next few months and are actively looking at any opportunities that present themselves during this time. We firmly believe that events will return and when they do, Premier and our industry, will be ready to step up.
As a team, we are using this time to catch up on all of our admin, learning new skills, updating our website, as well as re-organising our warehouses. We are always so busy that things like case studies from past events are never written, the same with blog posts, so you will notice a lot of these over the next few months!
We are still taking new orders and our warehouse is open for collections and returns should anyone require them. With many events postponed, as opposed to being cancelled, we are expecting a busy end to the year.
To our talented and committed colleagues, thank you for your understanding and support! We are immensely sorry for having to put you through this and will support you in any way we can during these next few weeks. But rest assured that we will do everything in our power to get you back to work, on full pay, as soon as possible.
And to all of our clients out there, current, past and prospective, thank you for the enquires, the bookings and your partnership over the years, it means so much to us and we can’t wait until all of this is over and we can get back to what we do best, which is delivering exciting and engaging events on behalf of our fabulous clients!
We will get through this as a company and as an industry.
Let’s all stick together,
Ben & Claire
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