Insight: Issue 53 (14th July)
FYI, lots of important updates in today’s insight!
In today’s news: the PM has outlined more details around the elusive final stage of England’s roadmap; the Scottish FM has outlined Scotland’s move to Level 0; the HBAA is calling on the UK government to address event staff shortages with visa flexibility; the events industry is being encouraged to take action on climate change ahead of Glasgow’s COP26 conference later this year; holographic AR exhibitions are coming to a museum near you; Essence Fest is sharing their secrets on harnessing the power of hybrid events; and we’ve got 19 event styling ideas to really knock your socks off.
Updates for UK businesses affected by COVID-19
The PM has outlined more details about the final stage of England’s roadmap – the elusive ‘step 4’ – which is expected to start on Monday 19 July. The government will remove all remaining legal restrictions on social contact, and will offer guidance to businesses on how they can help to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Nightclubs will finally be able to reopen, and large events – like music concerts and sporting events – can resume without any social distancing requirements or limits on attendance. The government will also no longer tell people to work from home, meaning businesses can start to plan a return to workplaces if they wish. Here’s hoping we all remember how to socialise…
Additionally, on Tuesday the Scottish FM announced Scotland’s pathway to Level 0, which will also commence from midnight on July 19. This means outdoor seated and open space events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 2,000 people and outdoor grouped standing events are advised to operate with a maximum capacity of 1,000 people, with seated indoor events are advised to operate with a maximum of 400 people and up to 200 people allowed at weddings and funerals. We’re slowly getting there Event Profs!
HBAA calls on UK govt for visa flexibility
“HBAA strongly believes that every industry hit by staff shortages should unite to press the government for visa flexibility“ – so says Juliet Price, HBAA’s Consultant Executive Director, in support of the CBI’s call to relax Brexit immigration rules. This comes after years of the HBAA saying that the quality of the UK’s events sector would be threatened if the government did not address the imminent shortage of trained staff. Price continued:
“Now our industry is one of many to be facing major threats to service delivery as the powerful combination of Brexit, lockdown, furlough and travel restrictions has created a harsh reality. Attraction and recruitment of new talent is becoming tougher, and coupled with experienced staff leaving to work in other sectors, the issue is compounded.”
You can read the full statement here.
Climate change and events: ‘Do more, act earlier’
The events sector is being encouraged to take action on climate change, ahead of the vital COP26 conference, taking place at the SEC in Glasgow later this year.
The call came at a special event last week, where representatives from the UNFCCC, the UK government, and the SME Climate Hub discussed the importance of the industry showing evidence of the sustainability steps being taken prior to the global conference. More info on the meeting here.
Deep-tech company to bring AR to 20k students
In geeky tech news, students in the UK and Thailand will get the chance to enjoy museums through holographic augmented reality exhibitions that bring history to life. Perception, a deep-tech company, has partnered with Imperial War Museums and the Science Museum Group to bring these AR experiences to 20,000 students.
The collaboration is set to bridge the technical and cultural worlds, combining cutting-edge desktop AR facilities with prized artefacts from both museums. Unsurprisingly, museums have struggled this past year, with COVID-19 lockdowns leaving people unable to visit exhibitions – but technologies such as AR are the holographic light at the end of the tunnel, giving them the chance to bounce back and reach a wider, global audience.
9 hybrid insights from Essence Fest
Surprise content, strategic partners, and a sense of place and mission – these were just some of the things that led to the success of the recent Essence Festival of Culture, which took place over two weekends, June 25–27 and July 2–4 2021.
The hybrid event offered elements of Essence magazine’s wildly popular in-person festival, as well as the all-virtual version that it hosted in 2020, which proved to be a magic combo. Carmen Jones, Experiential Director at Essence Communications, shared her top tips for harnessing the power of hybrid – and these are a few of our favourites:
- Focus on your content. Don’t let worries about attendance consume you; instead, craft a can’t-miss event program that will naturally attract attendees.
- Give your audience options. On-demand content is one of the perks of hybrid, so make sure to let people watch the event at their leisure, as well as in real time.
- Exceed expectations. Take a page out of the Essence playbook and go above and beyond; they designed a concierge-style service with staff on bicycles bringing food, drinks, and gift bags directly to attendees. Who wouldn’t want that?
19 creative event styling ideas
You know we like to round off these insights with a little bit of inspo – so grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and behold these venue transformations courtesy of Event Planner.