UK government gives live events the green light

Boris Johnson’s revised guidelines for Covid-19 mean that businesses can anticipate the return of live events and conferences in the UK.

The UK government’s latest announcement has green-lit the return of business events and conferences in the UK. In a press conference on Monday, UK prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed that live events can be run with reduced capacity limits, in accordance with the government’s three-tier system.

This supports 2021 events like April’s Plant Based World Europe, which is being held in London’s Business Design Centre. This is currently the country’s first business-to-business food show to go ahead in the new year.

Government guidelines confirmed that, within the tier system, live events can go ahead in areas deemed within tiers 1 and 2, provided they run at a maximum 50% capacity. For indoor events, like the plant-based expo, that means around 1,000 people can visit the show every day, which is well within the Business Design Centre’s capacity of 5,300. “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,” said Plant Based World Expo in a press release.

The live food event’s organiser, JD Events, is following guidelines set by the Association of Exhibition Organisers. “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,” read the release.

Owing to the nature of food shows, the organisers have created a range of specific measures to ensure that tasting and sampling of food is possible at the live event. These include serving individual portions to individuals in disposable and compostable single-use trays.

In September, the Business Design Centre — which has been at the forefront of implementing coronavirus-secure practices — hosted the first pilot event to demonstrate event safety to the UK government. Equipment like heat scanners will be installed at live event venues to check the temperatures of visitors upon entry, and face masks will be required, depending on the government’s guidelines in April.

Event organisers and venues have praised this announcement as a vote of confidence for an industry ready to restart. These guidelines are expected to develop even further in the coming months, and organisers anticipate that the nationwide rollout of rapid testing and deployment of vaccines will only strengthen the case for live events.

Read our story on why a pandemic is the perfect time to launch a food event like Plant Based World Europe.

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