Main Event ready for resumption of entertainment sectorWednesday, June 09, 2021
BY KELLARAY MILES
AS COVID-19 containment measures continue to subdue entertainment activities in the country, event management and production company Main Event Entertainment Group Limited (MEEG) said it is ready to service events in the lucrative entertainment industry as soon as the sector resumes.
“We are ready and raring to go. The controversial event [Mocha Fest] which happened last weekend shows that Jamaica is still in demand. I think it has also proved to Government and everybody else that we should stop restricting locals and instead get our entertainment ecosystem going.
“It's not just about Main Event and the amount of staff that we have, but we have developed an ecosystem and it's important for us to get it back up and running,” said Solomon Sharpe, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of MEEG during a recent edition of the Mayberry Investor Forum.
He said that with the successful staging of large events such as the ISSA GraceKennedy Boys' and Girls' Athletics Championships, it has become even more evident that activities and even some hosts, including those in corporate Jamaica, were ready – making his company even more ready to execute these events.
“My word to the Government [on reopening the sector] is to get things moving before the economy crumbles. We are an important part of the economy that provide a lot of jobs that a lot of people are depending on,” Sharpe said whilst also recommending the need for appropriate space, good venues and proper management among the critical things which must be considered before a reopening.
After a downsizing of operations and the implementation of cost management strategies the company, despite a dip in its usual earnings, still managed to keep its business buoyant, pivoting with initiatives ranging from virtual to drive-through events.
“Our virtual events have gone tremendously well as we are making a little money. When we do big events such as the recent Rum Festival [among other digital productions], business has been able to keep moving and our team kept alive,” he said, noting howeverthat these events were not without drawbacks based on the restrictions associated with these types of forums.
For its three-month period ended in January the company earned approximately $8 million in net profits – an improvement on the lossses sustained in previous quaters along with $175 million in revenues and $541.6 million in shareholders' equity. It also closed the period with a lesser but solid asset base of $810.4 million. Sharpe attributed the strength of the business, amid fallouts from the pandemic, to the company's preparation and readiness. This he said stemmed from early positioning along with emphasis on agility and resilience training to boost capacity.
“We are a very dynamic organisation so we spent a lot of time developing these things which make us ready to flip the switch at any time and based on that, we are now in a stronger position,” he stated.
In his future outlook, the co-founder and CEO said that while it was difficult to predict the post-COVID-19 environment, he was anticipating a gradual yet sharp recovery of key activities mainly as some major local, global sporting and other live events have already started to take place. He likewise expressed great optimism for a positive rebound of the tourism sector over the coming months, which he believes will help drive activities and significant revenue for his company.
Further commenting on the benefits to be derived from a recent partnership with Supreme Ventures Limited, which last month acquired a 10 per cent stake in the company, Sharpe said the move was a win-win.
“When you put the number one entertainment company in the Caribbean with the number one gaming business in the Caribbean it speaks volumes. I believe it will create a lot more opportunities for creatives out there,” he said.
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