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December 28, 2021
If you’re planning an event these days, you need to allow at least three months before your event date to ensure you leave enough time to secure the venue, props and all other elements required to make it a success. Assuming your suppliers are responsive to your initial enquiry, and available for your event, the countdown has already started…
Products which are personalised can take anywhere from two weeks to two months or longer to produce.
If your design is complex and/or your brand is a prestige company and requires several levels of management to sign off, this can add days, even weeks to your commissioned item as you receive the first draft, request and obtain approval and then send back to the supplier for revision two or even three times.
Make sure you have your mandatory Pantone or CMS brand colour guidelines available and logo artwork created – and in the format the supplier requires (check the product description for whether they need PDF, AI, jpg or EPS files) – to expedite your order.
Don’t forget, your product is unlikely to be the only project your supplier is working on. If your product is produced overseas, this will add even more time.
Take note of the holiday periods which could affect the timely supply of your product.
In Australia, many suppliers such as printers and manufacturers close from the third week of December up to mid-January for the Christmas break. This will add at least three weeks to your planning time.
So if you place an order for a personalised item in mid-December, it’s likely they’ll be unable to start work on it until mid-January, meaning it might not be ready anywhere from early February onwards.
If you plan to order items from China, you must include their ever-increasing number of public holidays. While it must be noted that with Covid-19, many Chinese firms have been reducing the number of days they are closed for business to obtain as many orders as possible, the Chinese New Year week typically involves them closing a week prior, and a week afterwards, adding up to three weeks production delay.
Let’s imagine you return from Christmas holidays to your company in mid-January 2022, and obtain client approval on a quote for a Chinese-manufactured special event item order a week late. Thanks to Chinese New Year week starting on 30 January, but in practice, closing a week earlier, your order would not commence until around 14 February.
Will you have enough time to produce it overseas? Are you willing to spend time and money sourcing the same or similar item in Australia?
Covid-19 has pushed freight capacity to breaking point.
If you order anything from India and China, for example, sea freight timings have been extended in many instances from three weeks to three months.
Many suppliers right now who were expecting their Chinese shipment to dock in late November 2021 have been shocked to discover it will not arrive until late February/March 2022.
A number of Australian delivery companies such as Australia Post and TNT have recently gone on strike, refusing to collect pickups; most courier companies have experienced massive demand which means they simply cannot deliver as many items as quickly as they used to.
The impact on freight has also greatly increased delivery fees. If you did not plan ahead and need your product now, you will be paying an exorbitant amount for urgent air delivery. At worst, you may pay for expedited freight and still not receive it in time.
Covid-19 and the lockdowns experienced – particularly in Melbourne – greatly affected most event companies with some closing down permanently.
Those who managed to stay afloat let most staff members go, and many of these experienced event industry employees have left the industry entirely.
With many event businesses working with reduced staff capacity, they simply cannot fulfil the number of events as in 2019.
The continuing cloud of Covid-19 has not helped event companies’ confidence to undertake widescale hiring, nor potential employees to enter the industry.
Many event hire businesses – including My Event Décor – sold off event hire props during lockdowns to ensure cashflow. Items which were rarely hired and/or showed signs of usage were liquidated. Many have not been replaced.
Covid-19 enforced long lockdown periods with no events, and then during other periods, a maximum cap on guest numbers, such as 100 instead of 400 to meet space restrictions.
This meant having hire items in sizeable quantities and/or products whose sheer dimensions took up expensive rented warehouse space proved no longer feasible for many event hire companies.
Today, there are fewer prop hire companies. In some cases, only one or two businesses now rent that prop item or there are simply fewer quantities to hire. If you see an Instagrammable item for your event you simply cannot delay hiring it.
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