Insight: Issue 74 (8th December)
Another week, another insight!
In today’s news: the Scottish government has shared guidance for mitigating the risk of coronavirus transmission at Christmas parties; opinion is divided on whether festive work gatherings should even go ahead, with some ‘fun-starved’ employees determined to party on (we’re looking at you Downing St); a survey from UFI, the exhibitions industry body, reveals that demand for digital services from event organisers is at an all-time high; another big-name comms agency has jumped on the ‘Net Zero Carbon Events’ bandwagon; and we’re sharing some seriously cool tech from last week’s Beyond Expo. Expect flying cars, AI for days – and, yes, even robot dogs…
COVID: Christmas party guidance for Scotland
We’re one week into December, and already people only have one thing on their minds…Christmas! That said, the new variant Omicron has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works – so what are the latest rules for companies planning Christmas work parties, and families and friends planning festive get-togethers?
The official guidance in Scotland is clear – there are no limits on social gatherings in homes or public spaces, compared to a year ago when this type of gathering was banned. However, the Scottish government is still urging everyone to take lateral flow tests before socialising in any way – and that is a mighty good idea. They’ve also shared some easy ways to reduce risk of transmission when you’re out and about:
- Keep a safe distance from people not in your household, especially indoors – the greater the distance the greater the protection.
- Meet outdoors wherever possible (Scottish weather permitting).
- Open windows if you meet inside (again…Scottish weather permitting).
- And avoid crowded places (AKA, an excellent excuse to do your Christmas shopping online).
Some UK firms cancel Christmas, others party on
It seems that opinion is divided on whether Christmas parties should go ahead. The Guardian reports that Omicron has led many businesses to call off their yearly events, while some ‘fun-starved’ staff are determined to carry on regardless.
A survey by the COVID-testing company Prenetics of 2,000 office workers concluded that about 52% of workplaces had decided not to hold the usual annual knees-up, and the online bookings platform Design My Night says cancellations went up by 14% after the government announced masks would be compulsory in shops in England.
But the flip-side is, plenty of people are determined to press on, on their own terms! So it’s a tale of two Christmases – and nobody is quite sure what the ending will be.
(Although for this guy, the ending will be a hangover.)
Survey shows high demand for digital services
As the uncertainty around Omicron continues, the demand for digital services among event organisers is at an all-time high. That is one of the core findings from the second edition of the Industry Partners Benchmark Survey from UFI, the global association of the exhibition industry.
Developed by the UFI Industry Partners Working Group, the survey benchmarks and assesses the relationships between industry partners/suppliers and exhibition organisers/venues, with around 190 companies contributing to the project. It also identifies areas for improvement with regard to collaboration – in this case, better communication between service providers and industry partners.
If you’re curious about the other findings, you can access the full report on the UFI website.
DRPG signs pledge for ‘Net Zero Carbon Events’
We’re pleased to report that another big-name company has jumped on the net zero bandwagon. Global creative comms agency DRPG has signed the ‘Net Zero Carbon Events’, which commits organisations to achieving net zero by 2050 (at the latest) and halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – targets that were laid out in the Paris Climate Accord. CEO of DRPG, Dale Parmenter, commented that wider efforts are needed across the events industry to really make a difference:
“This pledge acts as the perfect next step in our road to a greener industry and we are confident in our own goal of becoming a net zero business by 2025.”
More information about the initiative can be found at netzerocarbonevents.org.
Robots and flying cars at Beyond Expo!
And just for fun – get a load of the awesome tech at Beyond Expo, a three-day tech summit and exhibition that took place last week at the Venetian Convention and Exhibition Center in Macau.
The event attracted more than 300 exhibitors, promoting everything from artificial intelligence and biotech, to smart cities and flying cars. Our personal favourite bit of tech? The robot dog, of course.