Live event businesses begin to book events, hire staff back in preparation for state's reopening

Posted at 9:55 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 22:55:21-05

Governor Greg Abbott's announcement to reopen Texas at 100% has people in the live show industry excited to get back to work.

It's been nearly a year since the pandemic forced people home. The shutdown forced many live event business owners, like Paul Kocel of Summit Group Event Services, to hit pause on their shows.

"We just looked at every single contract that we had for 2020 that were planned prior to March. One hundred percent of those were canceled. We're excited to have the opportunity to come back. It's like this little glimmer of hope that we haven't had in a while," he said.

Summit Group Event Services specializes in mobile stages, sound systems, lighting, video rigs and more.

According to concert trade publication, Pollstar, the pandemic cost the industry more than $30 billion.

"It's really wrecked this industry. We've lost the stage hands, we've lost a lot of the people that are contract workers. They've had to go off and find other jobs. A lot of people have moved to other states where there's work," said Kocel.

Thankfully, following Gov. Abbott's lift of COVID-19 restrictions, calls have poured in for Kocel from people planning to host live events.

"It's an opportunity for families to come together and really enjoy life, and that's really what we're supposed to be doing. I think festivals and events this year are just gonna signal an opportunity for people to come together and kind of celebrate with one another of how we succeeded, what we learned, but I'm sure there's also gonna be a lot of grieving for the loved ones we lost," said Kocel.

Kocel says as events kick back up, he'll be looking to hire for multiple positions, including stagehands, audio and lighting techs and video directors.

"We're always accepting resumes. We're always looking for contract workers, so folks who are ready to get back to work, send us off your resume because now's the right time. For so long you may not have been able to get a spot at the table because there's been people sitting there for 10 to 15 years. Well now the seats are open so come on, send us some resumes and applications and let's take a look," he said.

If you're in the industry and feel like you'd be a good fit, contact Summit Group Event Services on social media.