Back in February, Taylor Lynn Corporation MD Liz Taylor reflected on the practicalities and moral dilemmas a vaccine passport scheme would pose for event professionals. Now that the Covid pass scheme has come into law in England, Taylor shares her thoughts on what this means for event planners...
When I spoke about vaccine passports almost a year ago, it was with a certain amount of trepidation. What seemingly offered hope for the industry that I have lived and breathed for 36 years, then on its knees, also felt like it went against what I stand for personally and professionally.
Now, with Plan B in action and vaccination status required to enter larger events and nightclubs, I’m still not enthusiastic about the idea. I’m no anti-vaxer! But I do believe in freedom and choice. Vaccine passports for me are restrictive and quite honestly, I don’t believe they stop Covid from spreading at an event.
I take my responsibility as an event planner very seriously and of, course we will follow the new rules. We’re a resilient bunch. However, we have already built-in processes at all of our events that require people to take a lateral flow test and give us proof of a negative test before they attend. This option, putting more responsibility on the individual, I feel is actually more effective and I welcome that the Government has included this in the measures as an alternative to vaccine passports.
I do feel as event planners we should be allowed to do our job. Prior to Plan B, we were already doing everything we could. Most events are operating at massively reduced capacity. Social distancing measures, masks and sanitiser are still in place at the majority. And there are other things you can do within the format of the party to limit mixing. Seated cabaret-style entertainment. A focus on great food over dancing and mixing among groups. Satellite events with smaller parties. All formats we’ve been asked for and have delivered.
One big concern I do have is that already there are rumblings about a Plan C – with even further restrictions on the sector. This would be absolutely devastating for the industry at this point and something I urge the Government not to introduce.
What I do know, is that at the moment there is still a huge appetite for events. Luckily, the announcement hasn’t rocked public confidence and we’ve not been subject to last-minute cancellations. In order to keep the hospitality businesses open, we need planners, venues and guests to work together. If you’re choosing to go to your Christmas party, then please do test before you attend to protect yourselves and others.
As event planners we know there are ways that parties can still happen safely. With careful planning and thought about entertainment, it is very possible to have an in-person Christmas party and enjoy it in a Covid-safe way.
A good event planner will communicate full what safety measures are in place to reassure guests that the party is Covid-safe, but guests should never feel like they can’t ask questions. For company bosses, if you have people who feel nervous about attending, especially those in vulnerable groups, speak with your event planner about alternative ideas to make them feel included. We’re all in this together, after all.
M&IT Expert – Liz Taylor
Photo Credit: Liz Taylor of TLC
An entrepreneur and businesswoman, Liz Taylor developed an award-winning event management company which has been at the forefront of the live event industry for over 30 years, organising high-profile business and private events across the UK and Europe. Her clients include TV personalities, blue-chip business, music icons, sports stars, ground-breaking entrepreneurs, actors, prime ministers, global business leaders and royalty.
M&IT editor Paul Harvey is a journalist with more than 15 years of experience. He began his career in the local press, working for various titles across the north. Since joining M&IT in 2013, he has become a trusted and respected voice in the sector, championing event professionals and reporting on all aspects of the events industry for the brand.