mia encourages sector to be track and trace prepared

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The Meetings Industry Association is urging the sector to ensure it has appropriate track and trace procedures in place, following the government’s announcement that it will be mandatory for venues to register their delegate’s information from tomorrow (Friday, 18 September).

Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “As it will be mandatory for venues to provide delegate contact information without delay from Friday, it is essential that the sector uses the appropriate tools to collect the information in line with GDPR regulations as part of the measures to ensure they are COVID-Secure. There will be fixed penalties for organisations that do not comply.

“We are therefore strongly recommending that venues use both the NHS COVID-19 contact-tracing app, which is set to launch across England and Wales on 24 September and offers an onsite QR code check-in capability, as well as our tool that enables organisers to pre-screen delegates with a health declaration prior to the event.”

To assist the sector, back in July the trade association launched its own miaTrustedTrace tool, which has already been widely adopted by the sector. In the last 21 days alone, the dedicated tool that has been developed by the wedding planning platform ‘Guides for Brides’ to specifically manage the process, has been utilised across 104 events.

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All venues need to do is access the free tool from the mia’s website and, as part of the event planning process, load the necessary event information. The system then produces a link to a dedicated event area which can then be shared with the event organiser to ensure all the relevant delegate contact information is collected correctly.

On the day of the event, the venue can use the system to cross-check the delegate list accordingly, ensuring a precise record of attendees is held. After 21 days, the data is automatically deleted in line with GDPR regulations. However, should an attendee test positive in the meantime, all delegates can be notified in an instant to take appropriate precautions. Details are also securely sent to NHS contact tracers to adhere to the “without delay” requirements.

Jane added: “The sector has to play its part in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. In addition to providing a check-in capability by displaying the NHS COVID-19 contact-tracing QR code prominently in their venue, it is essential that we also provide confidence to attendees that everyone is being health screened prior to an event, and delegates fully understand all of the necessary protocols by using the miaTrustedTrace tool. Venues could be fined if they fail to ensure their premises remain COVID-Secure.”

Max Hayward, Head of Hospitality Operations at Villa Park, said: “AVFC Conference and Events has found the Meetings Industry Association’s miaTrustedTrace a great tool to manage all of our customers’ contact information in advance and on the day. What was important was to find something that was easy to use for both the team and our customers, and this has proven to do just that.”

Visit https://www.mia-uk.org/miaTrustedTrace for more information.