Rick Stainton (Smyle) has this week written and shared an open letter, offering support and advice to smaller businesses as they cope with the challenges of recovering from Covid-19. The offer comes in conjuntion with 5 other major agencies who have agreed to be part of the initiative.

This is a fantastic initiative, demonstrating community across the industry. We encourage smaller agencies to make the most of it, and larger agencies to support in any way they can. We would also like to take this moment to echo the offer we made to freelance filmmakers. We are offering free EVCOM membership until the end of 2020, and introductions to some of the major film agencies who are part of the EVCOM Membership. Find out more here.

Read the full letter here:

Following recent discussions with a few of my industry peers, I would like to propose an informal offer to the smaller and more vulnerable agencies/businesses/venues in our industry that need some urgent, free and informed support/advice on how they adapt and plan to get through the next stage of this widespread hit to our live events industry.

I have been on a number of forums recently and clearly there’s a lot of businesses that just need to confidentially talk through their current situation and glean any advice they can from larger businesses that perhaps have more experience, resources or just simply have been able to develop a route map.

In addition, with the furlough scheme unwinding married with a recessionary scenario imminent, if I was currently running a smaller agency in a more vunerable position with a lack of depth in strategic experience around me, it’s clearly a lonely place to be.

So I believe if a few experienced agency heads running leading agencies in the industry offered me 30 mins of their time on a 1 to 1 basis it would be hugely helpful, just to get some perspective, clarity and not feeling alone on this.

It’s humbling to confirm that having reached out this morning to Julian Pullan – Vice Chairman at Jack Morton, Michael Wyrley-Birch – CEO of TRO, Jonathan Emmins – Founder at Amplify, Russ Lidstone – Group CEO of The Creative Engagement Group and Jeremy Rees – CEO at ExCel London, they all confirmed their commitment to join me on this within a matter of hours.

As a group, we feel we have a responsibility at least to offer our experience to any small event agency, supplier or venue leader who would like 30 mins of our time on a 1-1 call over the coming weeks.

I have no idea if there will be none, a trickle or many takers but if we only help one business it’s worth it – my feeling is there may be an understandable pride and confidence battle here to have already reached out pro-actively from their side – so if we reach out first then we dissolve that sentiment at time when as an industry we can and should be there for each other.

So if you would like to take us up on this opportunity, please email me at rick@smyle.co.uk and then I can connect you with the most appropriate member of our group for a 30 minute call.

Thanks again to Julian, Michael, Jonathan, Russ and Jeremy for their support on this simple and hopefully effective initiative and appreciate your magazine’s support on publishing this as a matter of urgency.

Speak soon

Rick Stainton

Founder and Group Executive Director – Smyle Group

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