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Safe Re-Opening of Venues on the 1st of October:

15 Sep 20203m read

BUSINESS EVENTS – CONFERENCE CENTRES AND EXHIBITION SPACES

Back in July, the government announced that Business events, conferences and events centres will be given the go-ahead to reopen on the 1st of October if social distancing and other COVID safe measures are adhered to. Though there was a caveat, this is subject to the results of a number of test events. On the 8th of September, the ministers responsible for events, Nigel Huddleston announced that he had attended one of these test events and that all had gone well, though he wouldn’t give an absolute commitment.

When the government first announced that business events were to re-open they laid down some general guidance, here. In a nutshell:

  • 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

Additionally, if you consider your venue to be a community centre, exhibition hall and conference centre than all must wear face coverings, see here.

In all cases venues must carry out a risk assessment, there are lots of online resources for this, here is one from the Meetings Industry Association & here for advice from the Health & Safety Executive.

Furthermore, most venues must now retain records of all who visit most sites, see here

The government has announced that they are going to make this a little easier with dedicated QR

codes for all venues see here

COMMUNITY VENUES

The story for multi-purpose community venues is much better, subject to acting in a COVID safe way they can essentially do whatever they like, see here.  In the government’s words

‘Managers of community facilities will have discretion over when they consider it safe to open for any activity permitted by legislation and may decide to remain closed if they are not able to safely follow the advice in the relevant guidance, to make the space COVID-19’.

Core Principals are:

  • Abide by current social distancing measures
  • Make use of multiple exit and entry points
  • Mange the arrival & departure times
  • Queue management
  • Follow recommended cleaning regimes
  • Collect contact details see here

As ever the devil is in the detail, it is imperative that you follow government advice, do check the.gov.uk website.

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHICH VENUES FALL INTO WHICH CATEGORIES?

What is not clear is the definitions of different venues, see here for some detail. In a nutshell, it is very hard to categories of different venues and different event types, essentially it seems to be up to the venue to make their own determination! I would emphasis that we are not lawyers, these are our views, at the end of the day all venues have to make their own determinations as to what is and isn’t right for them.

If you are a venue we urge you to list your venue on our website here, listing has lots of huge advantages:

  • We can place events with yourselves more easily, last week alone we placed 30 individual bookings
  • It increases your venue’s visibility on the internet
  • It means we can feature you in our regular emails to 20 000 + buyers

If you are looking for meeting or conference space then please get in touch, here. Never has the value of a venue finding agent been great.

  • Venue prices are moving massively, some are putting up their prices to claw back some coronavirus related losses, some are reducing prices to try to get whatever business they can in. WE WILL SAVE YOU MONEY (here and here)
  • Contracts have got ever more complicated, with coronavirus clauses, massive variations in contract terms etc. WE WILL SAVE YOU TIME. (here)

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