On 17th July 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that conferences and exhibitions will be permitted in England from October 1, providing a series of pilots are successful.

Johnson said: “From October, we intend to bring back audiences in stadia and to allow conferences and other business events to recommence – again, these changes must be done in a Covid Secure way, subject to the successful outcome of pilots.”

The Association of Event Organisers (AEO), the Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Events Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) published a guideline to ensure a safe return to live events. This guideline has been approved by UK government. The aim of the new guideline is to establish common standards of health, safety and operational planning, management and on-site conduct for the events industry.

The guideline includes four main aspects: Social/Physical Distancing, Cleaning & Hygiene, Protect & Detect and Communication.

Another aspect is the risk assessment. The three associations AEO, AEV and ESSA provide a template to identifying the contact points where, when and how transmission at the event is most likely to occur and assigning the controls best able to reduce the risk of transmission.

Fulfilling all the rules won’t be easy for the exhibitors but it is absolutely necessary to protect the visitors. It demands a huge amount of planning and rethinking.

This announcement is a relief for the entire exhibition industry and a small step back to normality.