As the world took a hit and stepped back with the world pandemic, sports events were one of the most affected industries by quarantine and Covid-19 restrictions.
How deep was the impact of the pandemic on the sports events’ sector?
Will the sports events’ industry be able to recover?
Is this recovery starting already?
All these questions and more answered by Achille Obougou, Director of ISL Experience, as he prepares the comeback of ISL’s international trips and events!
- What is ISL Experience and what role does it play inside of ISL?
ISL experience creates individualized packages according to our clients’ needs. We take care of every single detail and work with the best soccer clubs/associations in Europe to create unmatched events.
The Experience department also provides an international travelling and playing opportunity to all the players in our academies and camps in the US.
In addition, we work with other clubs, colleagues and associations who are external to isl
- How long have you been directing ISL Experience and have you ever imagined a scenario such as the one caused by COVID-19?
I have been the director of isl experience for the last 7 years.
No, this caught us all by surprise. I did chat a lot about this with my partners and providers and none of us expected a “crush” like this.
- What was the impact of the pandemic for ISL Experience?
Everything clashed last march 2020 when we were running an event of more than 600 people in Barcelona. Since then it hasn’t been possible to do another event.
- How did you keep the ISL Experience team and brand “alive” during the pandemic?
We have not stopped working since last march. The team has been focused on customer service, communication, looking for alternatives and solutions for our clients and partners, and always working on different scenarios due to the constant changes of the pandemic’s regulations .
Nevertheless, for the 20-21 season we had more than 700 clients confirmed and willing to come to our different programs. We would have been able to secure a good spring semester with multiple events. However, the situation in Spain and the UK was uncertain and the smartest choice was to postpone those events for the safety of our clients.
- What do you consider was the biggest challenge for ISL Experience during the pandemic?
My main concern was the communication with our clients and providers/partners. For me it was key, despite the evident difficulties, to keep all our clients and providers/partners satisfied. Understanding everyone’s situation and looking for the best solution. We built strong relationships with them for years and now it was the time to be present and effective.
- How are you planning ISL Exprience’s comeback and can you tell us the trips/events you have coming up?
If COVID-19 restrictions allow us we will be back in october. We have already planned more than 15 events from october 2021 to july 2022. All these events are sold out at the moment so we are extremely excited for this upcoming season!
- What are the new challenges and risks when organizing events in the post COVID-19 world?
The main challenge is to secure the safety of all the participants. With government guidelines changing all the time and new variants of the virus out there, we have to be informed and prepared before running an event.
- Do you believe the events sector will recover from the consequences of quarantine and COVID-19 restrictions? Will events ever go back to what they were before the pandemic?
I do not think “recover” is the word as many people have lost their jobs and houses due to the pandemic. However, the sector will adapt and change to this new situation to be able to provide experiences that change people’s lives again in a memorable way. .