Insight: Issue 61 (8th September)
In today’s news, the vaccine passport debate rages on. . .
Plus: the Meetings Industry Association has updated its contract and cancellation guidance; the Business Visits & Events Partnership has shared its Shape of Events report, and the results ain’t pretty; when choosing between live, virtual and hybrid, there is only one wrong choice (dun dun duuuuuun); and the events industry is officially setting off towards Net Zero.
Vaccine passports to be required for large events in Scotland
Amidst a surge in COVID cases north of the border, Nicola Sturgeon has announced that vaccine passports are to be required for large events in Scotland. The new scheme is set to be introduced later this month, and will be signed off by MSPs this week.
The rules mean that event-goers over the age of 18 will need to show proof of double vaccination to be allowed entry to nightclubs, unseated live music events with more than 500 capacity, unseated outdoor gigs with more than 4,000 capacity, or any event with a capacity of over 10,000. The news was met with criticism from the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), who declared that the changes ‘will cripple the industry’.
Meetings Industry Association shares updated contract guidance
Next up, the Meetings Industry Association (MIA) has updated its contract and cancellation guidance to help mitigate the impact of COVID on future bookings. The latest version of the step-by-step guide details all the actions venues should take to ensure they are being totally transparent, reasonable, and fair through their cancellation policies.
The MIA is continuing to strongly advise that a specific COVID-19 clause is used in all contracts, and are also encouraging venues to always ask their clients to seek adequate insurance cover – which that is now *finally* available for business meetings and events courtesy of the UK government. You can read the contract guidance in full here.
BVEP publishes Shape of Events report
The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) – the umbrella body and advocacy group representing the UK events sector – has published its Shape of Events report, which was compiled using responses from over 300 event profs and organisations from across the industry. But be warned, it paints a pretty bleak picture…
BVEP found that overall event activity was down 95% across the UK during the past 12 months. It also estimates the UK events industry lost £57bn of value from the pre-pandemic level of £70bn. Plus, 17% of event businesses permanently ceased trading during 2020 and 126,000 jobs were lost during the same period. However, the report also suggests that the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and innovation across the entire events sector. Simon Hughes, Chair of BVEP, commented:
“This report shows both the devastating impact that the pandemic has wrought on the UK events industry over the past 18 months, but also how resilient and adaptive we have shown ourselves to be. Most importantly, our report shows the significant opportunities that can be there for all of us in the future, if we continue to work together as a single united industry.”
You can download the report for free here.
Live? Virtual? Hybrid? There’s only one wrong choice
Since Scotland opened up at the start of August, COVID cases in the country are soaring. The result has been a chaotic and volatile environment in which event profs are struggling to optimally balance their event objectives with attendee preferences and constantly changing safety guidance from the government.
So, what are event planners to do? Smart Meetings has broken down the options – live, virtual, hybrid – and shared the current state of popular opinion around each format. They’ve also highlighted the only wrong choice, which is *spoiler alert* doing nothing at all.
Events industry sets off towards Net Zero
And last for today, the ICCA (the global meetings industry association) has announced the launch of a new initiative – Net Zero Carbon Events – which aims to connect the events industry to the rapidly growing movement towards net zero by 2050. The hope is to provide a collaborative commitment that all corners of the industry can act on.
In November 2021, world leaders will meet in Glasgow at COP26 to present how their countries will achieve the 50% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 – in order to deliver on the Paris Agreement. In advance of this meeting, for-profit and non-profit organisations from all sectors are setting forth their own pathways towards this goal, and the ultimate goal of net zero by 2050.