Home Coronavirus Updates BVEP asks DCMS to class business events separately from ‘mass gatherings’

BVEP asks DCMS to class business events separately from ‘mass gatherings’

by Martin Fullard

The Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) will advise the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to differentiate business events from the term ‘mass gatherings’, Exhibition News can reveal.

In a briefing document outlining the work carried out by the events industry’s umbrella association, BVEP, for the DCMS, it suggests that there should be a distinction between ‘organised events’, such as exhibitions, conferences and cultural events, from ‘mass gatherings.’

So-called ‘mass gatherings’, which entered the national lexicon in March, has become a blanket term for any congregation of the public, without acknowledging the specific purpose of the event. The events industry, which includes meetings, conferences, exhibitions and outdoor events, is worth £70bn to the UK annually and supports 700,000 jobs.

When lockdown restrictions are eased, the prime minister’s exact words will matter, and the BVEP is concerned that the term ‘mass gatherings’ is too ambiguous and will prevent the events industry from being able to begin its recovery.

In the document, provided by advisors Davies Tanner, the BVEP will advise the DCMS that ‘organised events’ can be managed, in ways such as attendee flow, the capacity to track and trace attendees, and be able to respond to public health requirements far more quickly than other large unorganised gatherings could be managed.

With a large portion of the public still concerned about the risks surrounding Covid-19, despite any future easing of lockdown restrictions, events organisers will need to take extra measures in matters of hygiene and people management.

The BVEP is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations including the Event Industry Alliance (AEO, AEV and ESSA) as well as government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.

The BVEP and DCMS continue to meet each week.

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