The Meetings Industry Association can confirm that business events can still take place where they follow the pre-existing COVID-Secure guidelines, following clarification on last week’s ‘Rule of 6’ announcement from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the Meetings Industry Association (pictured) said:
“Throughout the course of the pandemic we have lobbied rigorously to demonstrate the harrowing impact COVID-19 has had on the industry, so we are delighted to have received confirmation today that business meetings and events holding up to 30 people can continue.
“While this is welcomed news, the lack of clarity provided to venues and event organisers respectively over the course of the last week does however hold significant implications which government must recognise. In the four days that have passed since the Prime Minister’s announcement, 76.5% of venues recently surveyed confirmed that this has led to direct event cancellations, with some cancelled events equating to values upwards of £50,000. This business reflects not just much-needed revenue, but a lifeline for many venues.
“Through our UK Venue survey last month we already know that venues have averaged a £2,398,600 loss of business to date, which coupled with restrictions on operations and the generation of revenue has led to some 126,000 job losses since the pandemic began. For a sector left at standstill for so long cancelled business can no longer be borne, with the impending end to the government furlough scheme forecasting a further 140,00 job losses.
If venues cannot open for business at larger capacities soon then they simply must be funded, before this £70bn economic driver is simply no more.”