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HBAA launches confidence campaign Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30

HBAA has launched the ‘Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30’ campaign in a bid to restore planner confidence following confusion over government guidelines.

A new survey, conducted by HBAA, revealed that planners remain confused over government guidelines on meetings, including the number of delegates allowed to attend meetings in England.

Currently, the government guidelines state that up to 30 people can attend meetings but as Guy Mason, managing director of Brief2Event put it, “The confusion in the marketplace regarding permitted numbers is stopping planners from having the confidence to even contemplate any sort of meeting or event.”

Then confusion, Mason said, comes from venues obtaining false information from local councils regarding numbers of delegates, and then passing this information onto planners.

“Daily we are arguing with venues that are given false information from local councils regarding numbers of delegates. With more than 70 per cent of all meetings being for 30 delegates or less, clarity is essential. This HBAA campaign is leading the way to rectify perceptions and get the industry back up and running,” Mason added.

HBAA consultant executive director Juliet Price

Among the survey respondents, which were a mix of meeting and event industry professionals, 71 per cent revealed they also had concerns over employee and delegate safety, with 65 per cent stating they will only run online meetings for the “foreseeable future”.

However, the free-to-join ‘Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30’ campaign aims to promote planner confidence with regards to safety and clarify Government guidelines, “by demonstrating why people want to meet – and should meet – shoulder to shoulder – in line with the prescribed measures,” HBAA consultant executive director Juliet Price explained.

“There are many reasons why meeting in person is absolutely essential, from productivity to creativity, to positive mental health. However, we completely appreciate and acknowledge that we must follow the government guidelines which are subject to rapid change, aligned to infection rates.

“Our industry must continue to unite to build customer confidence in resuming booking and attending small live business meetings, as these will pave the way for the eventual return of safe and secure larger live events in the future.”

As well as building confidence, the ‘Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30’ campaign will concentrate on communicating and supporting government regulations while providing facts and showcasing that booking permitted venues can offer delegates tangible assurances.

The full report is now available to download from HBAA’s website along with more information on the ‘Meet Safe, Meet Smart 30’ campaign here.