Insight: Issue 64 (29th September)
The Live Events Reinsurance Scheme is *finally* here.
In other news: Edinburgh’s EICC has hailed a ‘return in confidence’ for in-person conferences; there has been no evidence of recent major events sparking a rise in COVID cases, including TRNSMT; we’ve got 4 top tips for hosting post-pandemic business events; and Samsung is taking steps towards human-like AI by ‘copying and pasting’ the brain onto 3D chips. Which is as terrifying as it sounds.
Reinsurance Scheme for events officially opens
Last week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries officially opened the long-awaited Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. Worth over £800 million, the scheme will support live events across the UK – including concerts, festivals, conferences, and other business events – that were at risk of being cancelled or delayed due to the total lack of COVID-19 cancellation insurance.
This intervention aims to support the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic by giving event organisers the confidence they need to plan for the future. Considering the live events sector is worth more than £70 billion annually to the UK’s economy – and supports more than 700,000 jobs – our only question is, why the hell did it take so long?
The scheme will run until the end of September 2022. Full guidance can be found here.
Edinburgh’s EICC heralds ‘return in confidence’
Next up, some good news for our friends at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre – the venue’s bosses have hailed a ‘return in confidence’ since securing a string of high-profile conference wins for 2022 and 2023. This upbeat announcement comes after the EICC recently welcomed in-person conferences back to the venue, with the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine’s annual conference taking place at the start of September. Marshall Dallas, Chief Exec of the EICC, commented:
“It’s great to see a number of major national and international conferences set to take place, and what’s notable is the definite feeling of a return of confidence in business travel across the events industry as a whole.”
*Collective sigh of relief from event profs everywhere*
‘No evidence’ of spike in cases after TRNSMT
More good event news for Scotland – according to Prof Jason Leitch, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, there has been no evidence that recent major events have sparked a rise in COVID cases. This includes TRNSMT festival, which saw 50,000 music fans descend on Glasgow Green a few weekends back. Health boards had expressed concern in the run-up to the event about the potential for the festival to become a ‘superspreader’ and impact the NHS – although, Prof Leitch suggested on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that the recent high infection rates may have peaked.
But don’t go declaring the pandemic over! He hastened to add that ‘vaccinated crowds are safer than unvaccinated crowds’ – so get those jags booked if you haven’t already.
4 tips for hosting post-pandemic business events
Lockdown is in the rear-view mirror (hopefully for good, but TBD) – though in-person corporate functions are still facing reduced attendance for obvious reasons. So, what can event organisers do about it? GrowthBusiness has 4 top tips:
- Upgrade your in-person events. Essentially, this means make them hybrid! By incorporating a virtual element into your live event, you’ll be allowing delegates to fit attendance around their own schedules – which means wider reach and better engagement for you!
- Put event sustainability first. Event organisers should be mindful of the fact that consumers are becoming increasingly savvy about environmental issues. By pivoting to virtual, you’ll be cutting carbon emissions *and* keeping your delegates happy. The very definition of a win-win.
- Gather bespoke event data. Virtual events yield a lot of data. And we mean A LOT. We love data as much as the next bunch of event profs – but the truth is, not all of it is helpful. To avoid over-saturation, companies should make sure data collection is tailored specifically to business objectives and event goals.
- React to a new form of engagement. The uptake of hybrid events has led to a new kind of engagement, one that is built upon accessible and flexible digital content. Since hybrid is here to stay, companies should consider creating a new role within their staff – Chief Engagement Officer – whose sole responsibility is fostering digital engagement and making the most of the data.
…Where do we apply?
Samsung to ‘copy & paste’ brains onto 3D chips
And last but not least, a bit of nightmare fuel for you… Tech firm Samsung is taking steps towards human-like AI, proposing a method that would ‘copy and paste’ a brain’s neuron wiring map to 3D neuromorphic chips – essentially ‘reverse engineering the brain’.
This could lead to artificial intelligence systems that behave like real brains, including the flexibility to learn new concepts and adapt to changing conditions. According to the researchers, this may even include fully autonomous machines with true cognition. If that terrifies you, you can take comfort in the fact that this research is as complex as it sounds – and the tech needed to mimic the human brain is still a long way off.