Some of the global meetings sector’s biggest associations have called on governments to harness the power of business events to stimulate economic recovery.
The Business Events are the Fast Track to Recovery white paper gives examples of what countries are doing to support the return of events as the coronavirus pandemic recedes.
It highlights Germany, UAE, Spain, Canada, and Singapore as outliers in their recognition of business events as distinct from events in general, who have all taken steps to boost the sector.
Initiatives have included special exemptions for a licence to operate and travel, multinational green lanes, and allowing vaccinated B2B event travellers to forego quarantine.
The report – produced by AIPC, International Association of Convention Centres, ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association, and UFI, Global Association of the Exhibition Industry – calls for governments to implement the following solutions:
- Foster awareness of the importance of business events to fast-track economic recovery.
- Strengthen the view that business events are not the same as other types of events in terms of character and risk profile.
- Improve communication flow between government officials and business events industry.
- Improve B2B business events industry corporation on inspection and adherence to safety. protocols to increase public trust.
- Work towards wider communication with the public ‘to solidify trust’ in the safety of business events.
The coalition believes business events will be a key driver of recovery, both locally and internationally, by bringing communities, markets and industries together face to face.
Sven Bossu, CEO of AIPC, said: “With the world of organised events opening up again, collaboration is more important than ever. The bridges built over the last two years have allowed to create a joint vision on organised events. This vision now needs to be nurtured and further developed, allowing all stakeholders in the organised events industry – including regulators and authorities – to boost collaboration, innovation and trade. This new paper is the next step in doing so”.
Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, said: “The business events industry is in need of a guiding strategy to showcase the importance and economic impact of our industry and the position paper demonstrates the reality. The G3 effort is intended to serve the worldwide industry with a roadmap to keep the industry moving forward. It’s a document that can shed light on opportunities for collaboration and innovation.”
Kai Hattendorf, managing director and CEO of UFI, added: “We have seen the speed of reopening gathering pace, and this is very encouraging. However even when we are fully open once again, we still have some work to do. We need to ensure that government and policymakers do understand and appreciate the value we being to their economies, which is not the case everywhere so far. However, we can help shape this conversation, to position our industry in the collective minds of governments around the world and give it the recognition it deserves. It is a great opportunity.”
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.