Towards the new norm, how the event industry is prepping to roll out

Posted on  August 29, 2020 

Categories:   Community response

It is without a doubt that one of the badly hit industries since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic is the events industry. The year 2020 has been one of the most terrible years for event organizers. While some key areas of the economy are gradually opening up for business, the event industry has had to do with smaller numbers, translating into lower revenues. But what does the future of the new normal hold in store for them?

Mrs Joyceline Akuamoah-Dotsey, Owner of Lyndel Events and Makeovers, in an interview said that the outbreak of the pandemic stalled a business that was gradually picking up in the Ho municipality. “You have people come to your shop for make-overs for their photoshoots, birthdays and day-time face-beats among others. People were gradually warming up to wearing make-up unlike before when it was worn to only special occasions. We had lots of calls for make-up,” she said.

She said COVID-19 grounded the business to a halt. “There was no reason for which you had to do a make-up. There were no birthday parties, no programmes that needed our services. It was really terrible for us,” she said. Mrs Akuamoah-Dotsey said unlike other businesses that could survive during the lockdown, the make-up business as an everyday thing suffered badly. “It’s something you do daily, you don’t do it and put it down to re-use later. We didn’t find it easy at all.”

But she says business has started picking up since the restrictions were relaxed a bit. Though they are not at their peak of business, people are gradually attending events for which their services are needed. She said there were still others who were sceptical (rightly so) about attending some of these events.

But to ensure that she and her clients were all safe from the pandemic which spreads mostly by close contact, she has taken some measures to safeguard them all. A move that is quite costly to her operations. Aside putting on the facemasks at all times during the make-up sessions and sanitizing her hands before and after the session, she has also invested in some disposable makeup brushes, which are the main tools for the job. “I mostly use the disposable brushes on my clients, after which I give it to them.  And for those that are non-disposable, I disinfect them in warm water and lime in readiness for the next client. We are not taking chances at all,” she added.

Regina Dziedzom Amexo, an upcoming fashion designer based in Ahoe, a suburb of Ho said business was tough for the months of March through to April as nobody was sewing to grace any social gathering, but somewhere around June, business picked up a bit as customers, mostly would-be brides and grooms patronized the business to hold their small sized weddings of no more than 25 guests allowed at the time. But a bunch of her customers, mostly wedding guests still stayed put awaiting the lift of the ban.

Luckily the introduction of locally made nose masks made from local fabrics helped to somehow revive the business during its trying times as individuals, political parties and businesses trooped in to sew their unique masks. She therefore resorted to sewing face masks for the time being. In Ms. Amexo’s distinct case, she still has measurements of some of her old clients. These, she still uses as a precaution to protect herself and them.

Sought after photographer in and out of the Volta region, Mr Jones Anlimah said as an emerging business trend in Ghana, photography was doing quite well in the industry though not at the level they wanted it until coronavirus came to dash the hopes of the budding venture. “There were no social lives…for which one needed the photography services. For more than four months there was no business for me”. He said this was partly because of measures put in place to curb the spread.

But he said business has started picking up since the ease on the lockdown and social gatherings. He noted that people have started organizing and attending social events for which their services is being employed once again. “In the last couple of weeks, I have had the opportunity to shoot two weddings,” he said.

In ensuring that all parties were safe in the gradual opening up of social life in Ghana, Mr Anlimah said his job was one of the few that had minimal or no contact with its clients, but to be on the safer side he uses zoom lenses to do his shoots in adherence to the safety protocols. “If I want a posture, instead of touching my clients to do what I want, I mimic the pose for the client to follow.” While never  forgetting his nose mask and hand sanitizer.

By Sumaiya Salifu Saeed