Insight: Issue 60 (1st September)
Somehow. . .it’s September already?
In today’s news: data from the government’s pilot events programme suggests that large events can run safely; case in point, Exhibition Centre Liverpool has safely welcomed 60k visitors since its reopening; Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange has been snapped up by industry giant, Academy Music Group; ECOS has issued a plea to event companies to put the planet first; and we’ve got 85 of the geekiest gadgets money can buy. Just for fun.
Data from UK pilots prove events can run safely
First up for today, the government has announced that data from 37 trial events – which took place during a four-month period as part of its Events Research Programme (ERP) – shows that large events are safe to attend but caution is still required, of course.
There were a few outliers. Four ERP events were associated with more than 1k cases: the Euro 2020 final (Italy vs England on 11 July); a Euro 2020 semi-final (England vs Denmark on 7 July); Latitude Festival (40k attendees); and Tramlines Festival (also 40k attendees). The government has suggested that these events took place during a period of ‘higher underlying community prevalence’ and that the football matches drew significant numbers of ticketless individuals to the area surrounding Wembley Stadium (an understatement if ever there was one) which likely contributed to the increased infections.
BUT for the majority of the pilot events, the resulting COVID-19 case numbers were ‘largely in line with or below’ community infection rates.
Exhibition Centre Liverpool welcomes 60k visitors
Case in point, Exhibition Centre Liverpool has safely welcomed over 60k visitors since reopening. Following the lifting of all restrictions in England on 19 July, the venue launched its COVID Excellence Pledge to all clients and customers – which includes enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures, cashless payments for retail, optional check-in QR codes, and digital signage to display hygiene messages.
Most recently, the expo centre hosted the UK’s biggest Indoor Funfair, which attracted families from all over the UK for 12 days of fairground fun. John Lowery, Director of Events & Attractions, spoke of his gratitude and relief at the success of the event, concluding:
“The excitement and enthusiasm from all our visitors was fantastic and we can’t wait to come back again next year.”
Music industry giants snap up Corn Exchange
Now for some good news that’s a little closer to home – Edinburgh’s music scene has been given a massive boost after one of Britain’s biggest venue operators swooped in to snap up the Corn Exchange. The takeover by the Academy Music Group – which already runs O2 Academy venues in Glasgow, Brixton, Brixton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle – is expected to see a huge surge in the number of gigs in the city.
As a sign of the exciting things to come, the company has already spent more than £500k to install a new PA and lighting system – ahead of the first show under the new owners, which takes place this Friday. And FYI, the Corn Exchange will also be renamed O2 Academy Edinburgh to signal the start of this brand-new era.
ECOS urges companies to put the planet first
Now, cast your mind back to the very first COVID lockdown… Remember when there were no cars on the road, there were no planes in the sky, pollution levels had plummeted, and the internet was flooded with ‘nature is healing’ memes?
Well, in true human fashion, those environmental improvements were all very temporary. That’s why Chloé Fayole – Programme & Strategy Director for The Environmental Coalition On Standards (ECOS) – is pleading with event organisations not to revert to taking the planet for granted. Sharing her expertise with Meeting Media Group, she offers tips for achieving company-wide sustainability goals and reducing the ecological footprint of events. So waste no time, it’s well worth a read.
85 of the geekiest gadgets money can buy
And something fun to finish us off – Science Focus has put together a list of 85 of the most interesting and innovative bits of tech out in the world right now.
Whether you want to level up your listening experience with the latest speakers and headphones, ramp up your fitness regime with the newest watches and hi-tech trainers, or enhance your home entertainment experience with an eye-popping TV – there’s something for *literally* everyone.