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Border rules deepen divide of industry recovery

This edition of the Week in Events highlights how border rules are deepening the divide of industry recovery. Shanghai has suffered another blow after a major show decided to relocate due to coronavirus travel restrictions, while we’ve reported the success Singapore has seen by opening up. We also take a look at the metaverse fashion week which featured global brands and how the hospitality industry is doing its part for Ukraine.

  • Border rules deepen divide for industry recovery
  • Treasury rejects appeal for industry fuel aid
  • Catwalk hits the metaverse
  • Hospitality auction for Ukraine
  • Berlin gets events business funding boost

Border rules deepen divide for industry recovery

Shanghai is the latest events destination to be hit by travel restrictions as the divide deepens between where our industry is recovering and where it is stalling.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that its 78th AGM and World Air Transport Summit will now take place during June in Doha, Qatar.

IATA put the decision down to continuing coronavirus-related restrictions on travel to China and comes after Shanghai brought in new lockdown rules as cases rise in the city.

Hong Kong has also seen a number of shows relocate due to its tightened borders, with Singapore being the beneficiary as the Government opened the country back up for business.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said: “It is deeply disappointing that we are not able to meet in Shanghai as planned. In the meantime, we are pleased to be returning to the dynamic aviation hub of Doha.

“This year’s AGM will be an important opportunity for aviation’s leaders to reflect on the shifting political, economic and technological realities facing air travel as the industry’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic gathers pace.”

This will be the second time that the global gathering of aviation’s top leaders will be held in Qatar, having also taken place there in 2014. The body represents some 290 airlines, making up 83% of global air traffic.

Informa Markets has moved Jewellery & Gem WORLD (JGW) from Hong Kong for a “special edition” in Singapore this year, with relaxed borders cited as one of the reasons for the decision.

Cosmoprof Asia will be also held in Singapore instead of the special administrative region, as it would make the experience “more convenient” for exhibitors and visitors who want to attend in November.

Treasury rejects appeal for industry fuel aid

The Treasury has rejected an appeal to make concessions over its red diesel ban which will see events industry bills soar.

Live shows are now prohibited from using rebated diesel and rebated biofuels in generators and site plant machinery, meaning organisers are expected to see their fuel bills rise by at least 50%.

Red diesel and some biofuels, including hydrotreated vegetable oil, are taxed more favourably when compared to the white diesel used in road vehicles.

Tom Clements, president of the National Outdoors Events Association, had written to the Chancellor calling industry-specific support – but this was rejected.

Helen Whately, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said in a letter: “With regard to wider Government support for the events industry, the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme supports live events such as music festivals, sporting and business events that are at risk of being halted or delayed due to an inability to obtain Covid-19 cancellation insurance.

“Over £800 million in cover is available to purchase alongside standard commercial events insurance for an additional premium.”

“I appreciate you may be disappointed with this response, but I do hope it at least explains why the Government is making these tax changes and the action we are taking with regard to the concerns you have raised.”

This final part was in relation to Chancellor’s Spring Statement announcement that it is cutting fuel duty on petrol and diesel by 5 pence per litre for a period of 12 months.

Catwalk hits the metaverse

Fashion week in the metaverse? Yes, you read that right. Some of the world’s biggest names in the business took to virtual reality to hit the catwalk.

More than 60 brands and hundreds of new looks were showcased during the four-day Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW) event,  along with four after parties and numerous prominent artists.

It provided a glimpse into the future of how our industry might work to utilise this new technology for exhibitions.

The show was free to all on Decentraland but visitors could buy NFTs of the fashion brands using the platform’s cryptocurrency.

Exclusive digital events were also part of the MVFW with runway events, tech demos and meets with designers were part of the VIP events.

Fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger showcased its spring 2022 collection virtually and opened a digital store for visitors to buy NFTs connected to the label. 

The designer also joined in a panel discussion to talk about how the industry could operate in the metaverse.

Hospitality auction for Ukraine

Hospitality industry representatives have created an auction of experiences to help raise funds for Ukraine.

A range of prizes have been donated by organisations to the good cause with aim of providing much needed support to the country during its fight against Russia

Hospitality Auction4Ukraine has seen items includes such as a suite and cocktails at the Savoy, a private dining experience for 12 guests at Corrigan’s of Mayfair as well as a stay at Claridge’s.

Proceeds will be donated to the Disasters Emergency Committee, which is operating in Ukraine and neighbouring countries to help meet the needs of refugees and displaced people.

Hospitality Auction4Ukraine will close at 9pm on 14 April and can be accessed here.

The move follows the launch of Events With Ukraine, a free resource providing an up-to-date account of Russia’s illegal invasion of the country and its brutal attacks on innocent people.

It sets out the history, culture and important role Ukraine plays in the modern world. The most important part is this website shows how eventprofs can help.

Many organisers, associations and individuals have already taken action in light of Putin’s war, but we can do more. Please share this resource among your friends and colleagues as we Stand With Ukraine.

Berlin gets events business funding boost

The German capital has been given €290million funding boost as part of plans to kickstart the city’s tradeshows.

Measures include B2B marketing campaigns aimed at generating visibility for Berlin as a tourist destination and as a location for exhibitions and conventions.

ReStart Berlin includes more than 30 tailormade measures intended to offer relief to affected companies and help boost their business.

Almost all Covid-19 restrictions in the city have now been lifted meaning participants will now be able to attend major events, without providing a negative test or proof of vaccination.

Mayor Franziska Giffey said: “Our city is a magnet for people from all over the world. Berlin is already one of the most important economic, cultural and scientific locations in Europe. 

“With the gradual return to normality and our restart programme for the Berlin economy, we want to actively stimulate and specifically support the hotel industry, gastronomy, the trade fair and congress business, retail, event management and the cultural industry for an economically strong, attractive and vibrant Berlin.”

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