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What does Boris’s roadmap mean for the events industry?

21st June 2021 could be a very momentous day. Could it be the day that we finally return to normality after almost eighteen months of turmoil, felt both personally and professionally across the world, due to COVID-19? We can’t wait to hug our loved ones and see workers flooding back to offices and jam-packed events, once it is safe to do so! So, what does Boris’s roadmap mean for the events industry?

A four step plan

The basis of the roadmap out of lockdown is a four step plan, with each stage coming no sooner than five weeks after the last. The first stage in this plan will begin on 8 March when schools will be returning to classroom learning. Not much else will change at this point in terms of events. However, the rule of six outdoors will return from 29 March and many outdoor sport and leisure activities can return.

If we make it to 12 April, when the following four measures will be considered, then the country will move to step two:

  • The success of the vaccine rollout
  • The effectiveness of vaccines
  • The impact of infection rates on hospital pressure
  • Whether new or emerging variants of the virus increases risk.

If these four factors are at a level deemed acceptable by the government then we will see hospitality given the go ahead in an outdoor setting, all retail, personal care and indoor leisure facilities opened and domestic overnight stays allowed. Most notably though, events will be piloted at this time. We don’t know yet what this will look like but we will be keeping a close eye on any further developments.

Step three in the phased easing of lockdown will see the biggest change for the events industry. On the 17 May (no earlier but possibly later depending on state of play regarding the risk factors listed above) indoor and outdoor events will be given the green light. These events will come with restrictions, indoor events will be capped at 1,000 attendees or 50% of capacity, outdoor seated events at 10,000 or 25% of capacity and other outdoor events capped at 4,000 or 50% of capacity.

This could mean that many corporate events, exhibitions and conferences could go ahead from as soon as 17 May. However, more guidance is still required on exactly what type of indoor events will be permitted. The pilot events in April are likely to be carried out with rapid testing to mitigate the risk of infection and it is likely that we will know more once these events have gone ahead.

The big date in everyone’s diary though is 21st June. This is when the country will begin to feel most like it did before COVID-19. There will be no limit on social contact or the number of attendees at “life events”, larger events will be given the go ahead and all remaining businesses will be open. If the roadmap proves successful in maintaining a low R rate, as well as a positive result for the three other tests, life may return to as close as normality as we will get.

The world will never be the same following the coronavirus pandemic. We will carry some incredibly positive things that have come out of this new way of life into the future but we have also endured incredible loss on so many levels. It has been an extremely challenging time for all industries, especially the corporate events industry and we cannot wait to show the world how resilient we can be. We won’t take little things for granted anymore like a meeting over a coffee or 90 minutes of peace on the train to London. We can’t wait to be at networking events, exhibitions and getting orders out to all of our amazing clients packed full of merchandise to allow you all to show off your brand.

It is vital to get ahead of the game and get your orders in now to secure your promotional products with plenty of time before the spring/summer rush. We are nearly there, the light is shining very brightly at the end of the tunnel. We are here, we are ready and we can’t wait to get moving on what we predict will be a very busy summer for etc. Branding!