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Hosting corporate events in a post-Covid world

Event Hire Association (EHA) suggests that hosting your corporate event outside will suit all delegates in a post-Covid world.

It goes without saying that the UK events industry has taken a huge knock over the last year. Hundreds of conferences and exhibitions have had to be cancelled, and the effects on the suppliers involved have been deeply felt, not to mention the loss to the UK economy. More than 845 major exhibitions have been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions, resulting in a £8.6bn loss to the UK economy.

The Government’s response to the plight of the events industry during the height of Covid-19 restrictions seems to suggest that the impact events have on the UK economy has been underestimated.

As anyone who works in events knows, the industry forms part of an interconnected web of other related industries. Events facilitate trade, attract inward investment and are instrumental in driving visitor economy, hospitality, attractions, and the development of the arts.

The Events Research Programme

However, the first tentative steps are being taken to revive the industry through the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP). Under the ERP pilot conditions, there is no restriction on visitor numbers and no social distancing requirements so the challenge for resuming the conferencing and events industry safely is not only reassuring delegates that are nervous about attending live events, but helping many businesses that may still be reluctant to hold or attend an event even when the roadmap out of lockdown is complete.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, there will likely be a number of people who may prefer to continue with social distancing and other measures, particularly those who fall into a vulnerable category. Factors such as seating arrangements and the type of venue and its location need to be arranged to accommodate delegates in a manner that is deemed to be safe and reassuring for everyone involved.

Take your event outside

To ensure the industry is ready to get up and go once restrictions allow, one of the options being proposed by Event Hire Association (EHA) involves increasing the use of marquees.

If Government restrictions should take a sudden change of direction, marquees can be easily increased or decreased in size a few days before an event. In any case, marquees can allow ample space for social distancing if necessary, allowing vulnerable guests to be easily separated, whilst still taking part in the event.

Marquees can be set up almost anywhere, such as in a historic garden or a smart city centre space. Using a venue with attractive grounds or gardens will also encourage guests to make use of outdoor space, limiting the potential for the spread of infection, and there are endless possibilities for how marquees can bring the outside and inside environments together.

Tipis for example, typically have an attractive undulating open side, allowing a natural cohesiveness between the interior and exterior. They can be hired singly, but multiple tipis can also be joined together.

Stretch tents are a similar alternative and can be made into almost any shape to fit with the surroundings.

With all restrictions hopefully being removed this summer, events’ organisers and visitors are tentatively making plans once again.

With some businesses resorting to online virtual events as a temporary solution during the height of restrictions, reports show that nearly 90 percent of visitors to an exhibition planned this autumn are likely to return in person make plain the fact that there’s a high level of bottled-up anticipation to get some face time with each other and enjoy some quality events.

With so much flexibility when it comes to structure, interior design and catering, any corporate event held in a marquee can be a truly unique one.