Major events service providers have had it rough since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in March 2020. As a part of the COVID-19 containment measures, the government suspended all kinds of social gatherings and music concerts among other others.
Elvis Ssekyanzi, the proprietor of Silk events, one of the biggest events service providers in the country, says that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he would get at least 15 books in a month. He, however, says that his sound equipment, tents and chairs are gathering dust in the store because of the suspension of major gatherings.
According to Ssekyanzi, before the lockdown he could supply more than 20,000 chairs at a single event, but now such gatherings are restricted to only 20 people, which have locked them out of business. He is worried that the government may not lift the suspension of major events soon.
Mambo from O.J events based at Nurmack building in Kampala recounts that prior to the COVID-19 related restrictions they used to have like four events on average each month. He, however, says that it currently takes them two to three months to work on four events.
O.J events used to supply like 300 chairs at some functions but currently only supply like 15 or 20 chairs, which isn’t profitable. He revealed that they currently supply 50-seater tents to only 20 people who are allowed at events.
Andrew Lyadda, who deals in printing invitation cards for events and other related services said that before he could print like 1000 invitation cards for some events and nowadays only does between 20 and 30 cards.
The Nasser Road-based events service provider is puzzled because the sellers of the papers used to print the cards sell them in rims. He says that his employees who used to assemble machines and tents are wallowing in poverty since they haven’t worked in a very long time.
Dominic Mpagi, who runs a decoration shop says that prior to the COVID-19 era, he could take up like four (4) events a month but currently gets one or two orders a month.
The equatorial mall-based decorator said that it is next to impossible for events organizers to spend much on decoration with only 20 people in attendance. He wants the government to lift the suspension of public gatherings under strict observance of the Standard Operating Procedures.
Derrick Mazinga, the proprietor of Delight Décor used to work around 10 events each month. He, however, says that currently only works around four (4) events or even less.
The Nurmack building based events service provider, says that due to the few numbers allowed to attend the events, their clients also want to spend little yet the services providers incur almost the same costs like before.
He cited an example of the décor they use on high tables, saying it is not any different from what they used in the past.
At Fotogenetic the marketing manager showed, on CCTV, trucks, tents and other items lying idle in the parking yard.