MIA responds to PM’s announcement to Events Industry

Jane Longhurst, Chief Executive, MIA responds to the Prime Minister’s announcement that majoy business meetings and events can restart from 1 October 2020:

Following Friday’s announcement that major business meetings and events can restart from 1 October, subject to pilots, we are delighted that the government has been listening to the sector and recognises our ability to open and operate safely.

While the Prime Minister’s announcement is one welcomed by all in the industry, we continue to communicate closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to gain clarity on the latest developments and what this means for you and your business.

Event venues, excluding exhibition and conference centres, are now allowed to hold meetings of up to 30 people if social distancing can be maintained and the venue can demonstrate that is has followed COVID-19 guidance. To demonstrate that it has adhered to the latest guidance, venues must conduct a risk assessment and are advised to carry out all the steps in our reopening guidance. To provide the necessary assurance to government and confidence to delegates that these steps have been followed, it is recommended that venues obtain AIM Secure accreditation and VisitBritain’s ‘We’re Good To Go’ standard.

From 1 August, exhibition and conference centres will be allowed to open their doors for showcase purposes only, with small groups of up to 30 people able to view the facilities and develop plans for future events on-site. Exhibition and conference centres should strictly not be open to host and deliver events during this period, with selected pilot venues set to support a full October reopening.

From 1 October it is then expected that events of all types, including trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions and conferences, will be allowed to operate at capacities compliant with social distancing of 2 metres, or 1 metre with mitigation. Where such events involve prolonged speaking, any mitigation must include particular attention to the ventilation of the event space and will be subject to the latest advice from Public Health England.

As a sector that has conducted itself with the upmost diligence and perseverance during this challenging period, we are confident that we will demonstrate our ability to host and deliver events both safely and effectively, supporting a highly anticipated return to business.

As we continue to communicate with government, DCMS and other industry bodies to lobby the most supportive outcomes for business meetings and events, further updates will be provided in line with additional developments and announcements as and when we receive them.