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‘Priority should be in-person shows’ – The Week in Events

Your weekly event news roundup from ExpoPlatform – in-person shows are becoming increasingly attractive to planners, which is why an industry leader has said they should be a priority. Also, an update on anti-terror measures for UK venues, a new board announced for an industry representative body and more.

Going forward ‘the priority should be in-person events’

The head of the world’s largest technology exhibition has urged others in the event industry to follow their lead in holding in-person events moving forward.

Fears had been raised the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2022) in Las Vegas may be forced to cancel due to concerns about safety for attendees due to coronavirus.

Despite this the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA) event managed to open in-person with full health protocols in place and has been described as a “phenomenal success”.

The show saw more than 2,300 exhibitors as well as around 45,000 industry executives, buyers and tech enthusiasts.

Now, CEO of CTA Gary Shapiro has urged other planners to see them as an example as to how live shows can be run as we struggle with uncertainty and restrictions.

He wrote on LinkedIn: “After almost two years, our nation’s leaders, and increasingly leaders around the globe are adjusting to a new status quo that involves living with this virus.

“Ultimately, I am convinced we did the right thing in choosing to move forward with CES 2022 as an in-person event.

“Not only did we adopt leading healthcare measures, but we provided a critical platform for the thousands of companies – many of them small and medium sized businesses – who rely on CES.

“We also showed leadership, helping industry to define a ‘new normal’ as we learn to live with the virus.”

Read our guide on how to make better in-person Smart Events in 2022.

His comments come after Roger Dow, CEO of the US Travel Association, described the opening as an example for other organisers to follow.

The show had faced particular difficulties towards the end of last year when large companies announced plans to withdraw from the in-person component of CES. 

Gary claims the organiser was then placed on huge pressure by commentators online to hold the exhibition entirely remotely.

But he said that the cancellations from traditional exhibitors also “created opportunities for small companies to shine”.

They were confident to go ahead due to the health measures they had put in place such as requiring all attendees to be vaccinated.

Despite these rules a number of attendees were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus.

However, Gary described these developments as not “surprising” given the rate of infections across the US.

The ‘year of meeting up’ as planners inclined towards in-person

In-person show are becoming a much stronger focus for event organisers in the year ahead as 97% favour live, according to new research.

Findings from etc.venues show that 28% of organisers have planned events only in this format for 2022.

This is higher than 20% who said in July 2021 they plan to host only in-person shows this year.

A total of 97% of event professionals are also said to be “increasingly inclined to meet in person”, according to the fourth biannual survey from the event venue provider.

Adam Simpson, director of marketing for etc.venues, said: “While virtual and hybrid are here to stay for the foreseeable future, the driving urge among event planners to return to live only events continues to grow as their appreciation of their value increases now that they have started to go back to them. We think 2022 will be the year of meeting up.”

The study found that 70% of organisers are eager to meet their colleagues face-to-face more often this year.

Moreover, 46% said they value the more interactive and engaging nature of in-person meetings and another 42% considered them an effective way to build relationships.

New board for Events Industry Council

A new board has been announced for this year for a leading representative body in our sector.

The Events Industry Council revealed the new make up of the panel with Cathy Breden, chief operating officer at International Association of Exhibitions and Events (IAEE), now taking on the position of chairwoman.

She will now be tasked with helping the body create new research and products to support the sector in its recovery globally.

Cathy said: “Over the past year, I have seen first-hand how the guidance and information published by the EIC has benefited the global events sector in its recovery.

“I would personally like to thank the entire 2021 board, in particular Mark Cooper and Paul Van Deventer, for their dedication in what has been a tremendously challenging time for us all.”

She will be supported by incoming chair-elect Sherrif Karamat, president and chief executive officer at PCMA.

UK venues may need to enforce anti-terror measures

Venues could have a legal duty to enforce security measures for terror attacks under UK Government plans.

An 18-week consultation for the so-called Protect Duty was updated last week.

It comes as a response to the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, which saw 22 people killed as they left an Ariana Grande concert.

Ministers will seek to introduce the legislation to Parliament at the earliest opportunity, according to the Home Office.

There is currently no law forcing organisations or venues to consider security measures at the vast majority of public places.

A consultation launched in February 2021 found that seven in 10 of the 2,755 respondents agreed those responsible for publicly accessible locations should have measures to protect the public from attacks.

First venue on island of Ireland to achieve top green certificate

A meetings venue has become the first on the island of Ireland to receive a top accolade for sustainability.

The International Convention Centre (ICC) Belfast, together with sister entertainment venue, Waterfront Hall, has been awarded the Green Meetings Silver Award.

It means it has become the first meetings and events venue on the island of Ireland to receive the accolade.

Julia Corkey, ICC Belfast chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be the first venue on the island of Ireland to be awarded the Green Meetings Silver Award. This is a significant achievement for the venue, particularly as we welcome events back to Belfast and Northern Ireland.”

The Green Meetings accreditation, launched by Green Tourism in 2021, was designed specifically for meetings and events venues.

It provides the opportunity to demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and highlight the high environmental standards in place.

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