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Chart of the week: will vaccine proof be needed for events?

The event industry is changing rapidly. Each week we illustrate how this is happening and what it means for your business.

Organisers are increasingly likely to require proof of vaccination to attend one of their in-person events, according to a survey.

Findings from the latest PCMA Convene survey shows 36% of planners will require attendees, staff and visitors to show proof of vaccination in order to participate in a face-to-face or hybrid event.

This number is calculated only using answers from respondents who said yes or no to the question – the PCMA survey also included an “n/a” option.

Only 27% of respondents using this measurement said they would require documentary proof when the poll was previously carried out in June.

Behind the figures

Industry professionals have been growing increasingly concerned over the spread of the Delta variant and how that will impact their business.

A number of airlines have been reporting a raft of corporate travel cancellations as well as a drop in bookings, blaming this on the resurgence of coronavirus.

It is not surprising then that more organisers would want to highlight safety measures they are taking.

ExpoPlatform previously highlighted how two Las Vegas events – including of world’s most influential technology trade shows – will need to prove coronavirus vaccination status.

The Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces CES 2022, is also considering proof of a positive antibody test as an alternative for entry to the “world’s most influential” technology trade show.

A digital offering will coincide with the in-person programme for those unable to attend the January show in Las Vegas physically.

Meanwhile, the 2021 NAB Show in October is to require proof of Covid-19 vaccination status due to health concerns.

This is in line with two recent studies – by the UK Government and Freeman – which have set out that mass gatherings are safe, but caution is required.

Looking forward, International Confex in London this week has set out a number of options to gain access to the venue.

It is requiring either double vaccination documentation, a negative lateral flow test within 48-hours before attendance or proof of the presence of Covid-19 antibodies.

What does this mean for organisers?

The return of in-person events is great for the industry, but this study suggests an increasing number of organisers have concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.

Producers have had to be able to adapt quickly to changes over the last 18 months which has brought with it new skills and experiences.

It is now important to build these learnings into an overall strategy to pandemic-proof budgets, offering an alternative in case of cancellation or travel restrictions.

A hybrid format allows an organiser to deliver for audiences in-person and virtual. Here’s how it works:

Accessibility: Even sectors which can’t wait to return to in-person events have parts of their workforce who are unable to. Some are can’t due to health or personal reasons. This includes people who choose not to vaccinate or have been unable to. Having online options alongside your physical event is a good way to open doors to those who can’t attend.

Monetisation: Potential for monetisation through virtual has been historically under-valued by exhibition organisers, who now need to re-balance the pricing of digital and in-person in their budgets. This can ensure that even when people are unable or unwilling to travel, a healthy amount of revenue can still be brought in.

Engagement: The greater accessibility offered by virtual events means there are endless opportunities to get more people signing up. Hybrid events allow you to significantly increase audience participation by reaching the right people across the globe – even when industry expectations have changed.

For more on this download ExpoPlatform’s Hybrid Blueprint ebook.