The CHS Group has insisted that it will go ahead with its new CHS Birmingham event, which is scheduled to take place at the ICC Birmingham (pictured), 27 October.
The new event was launched in autumn 2019.
Despite not having a restart date for events from Government, the organisers insist they no longer want to “sit around and wait” for guidance. The Conservative Party annual conference is due to take place at the same venue just two weeks beforehand, 4-7 October, and to date has not been cancelled. A note on the Conservative’s website reads: “At present, planning for the Party conference is continuing. We will keep this under review in light of the outbreak of Coronavirus. Any decisions taken will be guided by the latest science and medical advice and Government guidance.”
The Conservative Party conference is thought to be worth £20m to Birmingham, which underlines the importance of the business events industry to regional economies.
According to Government guidance, business events are not currently permitted to run, and while safety guidance for conference and meetings venues has been published, guidance for exhibitions still sits in the Cabinet Office awaiting final approval. The CHS Group, however, insists that the event can be a part of a “kick-start for the industry”, which it says will allow businesses to do business again, and deliver growth opportunities for its visitors and exhibitors.
Emma Cartmell, CEO of the York-based CHS Group, commented: “It has been a really horrible period for the industry, and we have seen so many opportunities to do business lost over the last few months. We want to be of service to our visitors and exhibitors, and to create a business environment that is most beneficial to them. To do so, we feel the need to commit to live.”
Cartmell is confident that by autumn the landscape will be different, and events will be able to run. She added: “Restrictions will loosen as we enter the autumn, and we’re working with the venue on health and hygiene procedures that reduce risk. But we’re also looking at ways to make the event ‘uniquely CHS’, business-focused, productive, entertaining and fun. We feel we have the support around us to deliver this.
“This is isn’t going to be a normal, pre-Covid event. Things will feel different. It won’t be about crowded aisles, bustling networking areas. It will be about business being done and CHS Group adding in a degree of flair and creativity. We’re committed to creating a great event.”