COVID-19: Business events get the green light

Business events and conferences will be allowed to resume from 1st October, as long as rates of infection remain at current levels. New guidance, published by the Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport and the Association of Event Organisers, has been designed to help event organisers, venue operators and participants in the UK understand how they can work and host business events and conferences and keep both their guests and staff safe.

Following the announcement, a number of pilots will take place at event venues across the country to plan for a return to large-scale events and test how best to implement social distancing practises.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "Business events and conferences are a key part of our visitor economy and this is an important step in getting them back up and running safely.

"Pilots will help inform our plans for the return of the sector in October with guests and staff adhering to social distancing and measures introduced to reduce close contact."

The sector is worth approximately £32.6bn to the UK each year, and represented a quarter of the 38 million international visits to the UK in 2018.

Business events and conferences: New guidance (Source: UK Government)

The guidance makes clear that the following measures should be considered to allow for safe resumption of business events and conferences:

Attendees will need to pre-book and pre-register to attend events

Contactless registration systems will be introduced at venues to reduce waiting times and limit contact between organisers and guests

A digital first approach will be adopted to eliminate the need for physical badges and lanyards

Paper handouts and gifts will no longer be offered

Entrance to event or conference spaces will be staggered to reduce queuing and overall capacity will be limited to ensure social distancing can be maintained

Events will be planned around one way systems for visitors

Spaces between exhibition booths will be increased and aisles widened to achieve social distancing requirements

All venues will also have enhanced cleaning procedures, with hand washing and sanitising facilities at frequent intervals

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