ERA in 2020 by Sarah El-Rasoul

2020 is going down in history books, what an incredible journey it’s been but thankfully the ERA remains a stable with not too much disruption along the way in fact, it’s been the opposite!

The membership has pulled together supported, trained and mentored in a way that we hadn’t planned. As we entered March it quickly became apparent that in reality it wasn’t going to be possible to hold our annual conference at Sadler’s Wells Theatre. The speakers were set, tickets had been sold and as we looked at the boxes of goodies, ready to be filled in the ERA bags the reality hit. Shock horror we would have to cancel.

Many other organisations of course were going through the same scenario. We decided to make the decision right away even though everything was very much up in the air!  Sadler’s Wells have been amazing and very supportive throughout.  There is no doubt COVID has had such a devastating effect for the events/arts and theatre industry and we thank them massively.

So what would we do next, we needed to support and help out the membership as the weeks went by it was becoming apparent that job losses were on the way. We pulled on our bank of trainers and network and quickly brought together a plan to run webinars, and some roundtable workshops.  We were all adapting to the new way of working from home and meeting via zoom, teams, go to and many more.  Webinars were popping up everywhere and members could be “zoomed out” but we pushed ahead planning a format of events each month and we had a great response interacting with our members and many new faces joined us throughout the year.

We even managed to host the ROTY award online so a big thank you and shout out to our trainers this year, Balazs Paroczay, Mark Williams, Invenias, Jim Stroud, Iker Jusue, Vanessa Raath, Todd Davis, and Gordon Lokenberg. They have brought us some really great content whilst we have all been trying to battle our way through this strange landscape. In addition our gold sponsors Invenias by Bullhorn and Cluen and our silver and bronze sponsor Not Actively Looking have continued to support us in these uncertain times we thank them for this because without them we could not provide free webinars with such amazing trainers for our membership.

As we draw a close on this year, memberships are stable, membership is stronger with many of our core membership drawing together helping and supporting each other. Proving what a great network the ERA can provide.  The year has impacted massively on our industry but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

We are looking forward to continue this support for our members into 2021 it may still be a challenging year but we hope much improved with a different working landscape and hopefully an exciting one. Thanks to all our members for their continued support.

There is no doubt that 2020 has impacted massively on our industry but we are feeling positive for next year and excited to be making plans now for a “virtual conference” and the ROTY award and more webinars, a mentoring programme and much more throughout 2021. See you there!