by Abigail Stevens
The latest announcement from Downing Street has green-lit the return of business events and conferences in the UK. In a virtual press conference on Monday, Boris Johnson confirmed that live events are back on the table and able to run with reduced capacity limits according to the UK’s 3-tier system. This positive news supports 2021 events which are already set in the calendar, including JD Event’s Plant Based World Europe show that is arriving in London next spring. Currently the first B2B food show set to go ahead in the new year, the government’s new guidelines will allow JD Events to safely deliver a successful event for the food and beverage industry.
Guidelines from the government confirmed that within the tier system, live events can go ahead in tier 1 and tier 2 areas, provided they run at 50% or less capacity. For indoor events such as Plant Based World Europe, this means that approximately 1000 people per day can visit the show, which is well within their venue’s 5,300 capacity. This will allow an abundance of key decision makers, buyers and research and insight managers to explore the absolute best that the plant-based market has to offer.
JD Events are ensuring that the event follows guidelines set by the Association of Exhibition Organisers (AEO). Every visitor must register online and print or download their pass in advance to avoid queues at the entrance of the show, and a one way system for all major passageways with crowd marshals will be in place to avoid congestion. Due to the nature of food shows, JD Events have also created a range of additional specific measures to ensure that the tasting and sampling of food at the show is possible. For example, individual portions will be served for individuals, using disposable and compostable single use trays.
The Business Design Centre, the chosen venue for Plant Based World Europe, has been at the forefront of implementing COVID-19 secure practices. In September they hosted the first pilot event to demonstrate event safety to the UK government. Equipment such as a heat scanner will be employed for their events to check visitors’ temperatures upon entry, and face masks will be required depending on the government’s guidelines in April.
Event organisers and venues alike praise the latest announcement as a vote of confidence for an industry which is confident it is ready to restart. They also anticipate that the guidelines will be developed further in the coming months, and that nationwide rollouts of rapid testing and the deployment of vaccines will only serve to strengthen the case for business events making a full return.