If you haven’t heard of the Live Events Coalition, it’s time you did. The group–created just this past spring in light of the pandemic and its affects on the live events industry–has two major goals. Its first goal is to provide support and resources to the live events industry community. Its other goal: to call attention to the impact this pandemic has had on the business of live events and ensure that our industry is included in the National conversation and Federal relief aid packages.
I reached out to the president of the Live Events Coalition in D.C., Nancy Shaffer, to get a better understanding of how the group works, what they’re up to, and how all of us can help get involved and make a difference. Five big takeaways right here!
1. The National Live Events Coalition Is Designed To Lobby and Advocate (It’s a 501C6)
One of the things that makes the National Live Events Coalition so unique is that they are a registered 501C6. If you’re not familiar with the terminology, that means that as an organization, their primary purpose is to advocate and lobby on behalf of their members (similar to a chamber). While there are other incredible groups in our industry working to educate and elevate our businesses, many of them are private 501C3 groups, which means that technically they can’t go out and lobby or spend resources advocating for legislative change in the same way that the National Live Events Coalition can.
2. There Are Also 20 State Coalitions Advocating on the Local Level
Whereas the D.C.-based Live Events Coalition is focused on the federal level (eg, lobbying Congress to include our industry in federal aid), there are also 20 separate state coalitions. Contrary to what you might think, those coalitions are not simply chapters of the national organization. They’re actually separate coalitions created and developed to lobby on behalf of their state’s needs. In other words, they’re lobbying their state representatives, senators and governors while the national events coalition is lobbying at the federal level.
3. The Live Events Coalition Works to Develop Messaging That All of Us Can Use
Another benefit of having the Live Events Coalition and the individual state coalitions is that the national group is focused on developing messaging for our industry to use when we talk about the impacts of the pandemic. So for example, a couple weeks ago, you may have seen the black-and-white images posted by planners and others in our industry using the hashtag #iwishiwasthere. And then there were the staged events that took place last week in DC, NYC and are set to take place in San Diego, LA and Denver in the next week. Both of those campaigns are the work of the Live Events Coalition.
4. They’re Making It Easy For Us to Advocate for Federal Aid
Go to the Live Events Coalition website and you’ll find a template that you can use to request federal aid on behalf of our entire industry. (Linked here as well!) The letter also attributes every letter using your city and state to let your state representatives know what’s going on in our industry and helping to hold our legislators accountable.
5. Becoming a Member Will Keep You Updated and In-The-Know Now (and Later)
While the organization was created in direct response to the pandemic, the group plans to be around for years to come. From providing resources and amplifying stories from the industry to rolling out unified messaging across the country, becoming a member means that you’re a part of an advocacy group dedicated to giving our industry more visibility and a voice at the state and federal level. To volunteer, become a member, and learn more, visit the Live Events Coalition website.