Insight: Issue 73 (1st December) | Cameron | Event Management, Production & Design

Insight: Issue 73 (1st December)


The countdown to (COVID) Christmas begins!



In today’s news: Nicola Sturgeon calls the new Omicron variant a ‘challenging development’ in the seemingly never-ending coronavirus pandemic; the UK government has published its final report from the Events Research Programme; read a round-up of the smash-hit tech summit from Digital Events News; peruse the top event predictions for 2022; and discover the coolest tech gifts you didn’t know you needed (and probably still don’t).


Omicron variant is ‘challenging development’


Speaking at an emergency briefing on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon called the emergence of the Omicron variant the ‘most challenging development of the pandemic for quite some time’. The briefing came after six cases of the variant were detected in Scotland, in addition to the three already confirmed in England. All six infected individuals in Scotland are isolating, but none have required hospital treatment to date – and, so far, there is nothing to suggest community transmission of Omicron is ‘sustained or widespread’.

In other COVID news – as of yesterday, all overseas travellers arriving into the UK will need to take a PCR test on day two of their trip, and self-isolate pending a negative result. However, Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford have written to the PM requesting that rules are tightened further – to require all international travellers to self-isolate for longer, and take an addition test on day eight after arrival.

Right now, no-one knows what this new variant is all about – but the advice is to get your vaccines and boosters as soon as you can, and take a lateral flow test before heading to the pub or popping out to do your Christmas shopping!


UK govt publishes final ERP report


Next up – last Friday the government published its final report from the Events Research Programme (ERP), which saw scientists and researchers develop a large body of publicly-available evidence on coronavirus transmission at large gatherings, to aid the reopening of live events in a COVID-secure way (which *may* have to be taken with a pinch of salt now, thanks to Omicron). The report summarises the findings of a transmission study from the third phase of the ERP, revealing that outdoor unstructured ERP events – specifically festivals – posed the highest transmission risk.

The report explores numerous factors that are likely to have contributed to the higher transmission risk at these events – including high rates of unvaccinated attendees, community prevalence of the virus at the time, and the behaviour of attendees leading up to and after the events. It also provides further analysis of risk factors and makes recommendations for venues and event organisers – urging ongoing consideration to ventilation, occupancy, and movement within a venue:

“While ventilation can reduce the risk of long-range airborne transmission, it does not eliminate the risks posed by other modes of transmission amongst close contacts (i.e. surface and droplet transmission). Appropriate mitigations are best adopted as part of a hierarchy of controls such as an enhanced ventilation strategy, requiring the wearing of face coverings and reducing crowding.”



Tech summit in UK is a triumph


In less virus-y news, delegates have declared the recent Digital Event News tech summit a success – after two days of lively discussion, networking, and productive one-to-one meetings between technology providers and event planners around the future of virtual and hybrid events.

The summit opened with a keynote from Google’s Marketing Director, Matt Kaufman, and was followed by a panel discussion on the ever-evolving digital event supply chain. Day two saw a panel of tech suppliers continue the conversation and agree on the need for honesty, transparency, and objective-led relationships with all companies developing virtual event programmes.

Missed out? You can read more about the smash-hit summit here.


Event predictions for 2022


It feels like it was 2019 five minutes ago, but apparently 2022 is right around the corner? With that scary thought in mind, Event Industry News has shared their event predictions for the year ahead – and these are some of the highlights:

  • Virtual events will provide a bridge between annual, large-scale in-person events. They won’t be seen as an either/or – but rather as an essential marketing tool for a long-term, live event strategy. 
  • Even at in-person events, keynotes will be delivered remotely to a live audience. This will open up more opportunities to hear from speakers who don’t want to fly around the world unnecessarily.
  • All sessions, including breakouts, should be filmed to use as secondary content after a live event. The very definition of a no-brainer!



The coolest tech gifts you didn’t know you needed


Since it’s December 1st, we thought we’d round off with the coolest tech gifts you didn’t know you needed, courtesy of Vice. These are a few of our weird-but-wonderful favourites:

  • Yoga pants that are smarter than you. Smart yoga pants exist, and they’ll guide you through yoga poses using vibration and audio technology.
  • A Bluetooth beanie. Why wear a hat *and* headphones when you can combine them?
  • An instant cocktail machine. Because making cocktails manually is for suckers.
  • A smartphone sanitiser. Essentially a germ-killing chamber for your phone. Because, pandemic.



*Adds to basket*