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Oxford events industry launches first hybrid event

Hewick Events has launched Oxford’s first hybrid event since lockdown measures were eased. Oxford Events Real Chat, which is being run in collaboration with Boys and Girls Promotions, is an open forum for those delivering events in the Oxfordshire area.

The local events industry have collaborated on Zoom every Tuesday since April to communicate, collaborate and share ideas of what the future of events will look like in the county.

According to the research undertaken by Experience Oxfordshire in their Visitor Economy: Covid-19 Business Impact Study, the reduction in spend from tourism related activity has showed significant losses of between £112.5m and £137.5m, with monthly losses rising further as the year progresses into the peak visitor spend period.

The events industry contributes significantly towards this loss. Oxford’s events industry aims to support attendee confidence, which will minimise the impact on local businesses across Oxfordshire.

Individuals will come together at the Kings Centre, Oxford's largest conference and event centre on 30 June. This will be the first hybrid event in Oxford since the pandemic and the group will follow social distancing guidelines, whilst others will meet virtually through Zoom.

Amy Hewick, events consultant, Hewick Events, said: “Essentially, we are delivering a hybrid event on a budget. We know companies will be conscious of spend whilst we head towards a recession, and therefore we would like to show that events can be delivered semi virtually and Oxford is open for business."

Chris Jones, owner, Boys and Girls Promotions, added: “The venues that join the call have shared they are still taking new bookings and we want to increase the confidence to attendees that we can deliver safe, socially distanced events. We have been collaborating together since lockdown and therefore, we are in a stronger position than before.

“It is times like this that Oxfordshire need to come together and support local businesses to get back on their feet. With the Oxford events industry collaborating every week, they will be in a good position to deliver safe events once government restrictions are relaxed. For now, the industry needs to gain confidence from their peers to show that the resilient industry is used to adapting their event plans to be able to deliver successful events in the future.”