One of the most important factors in the recovery of the events industry is confidence among corporate clients and attendees that they can meet safely once lockdown restrictions are lifted.
In our latest micebook talks, we found out how hotels, destinations and airlines are preparing for the ‘new normal’ and what measures are being taken and safety protocols adopted to minimise risk….
Our panel featured Accor Director of Meetings, Events & Leisure, Northern Europe; Dana Lewis, Exclusive Collection Managing Director Danny Pecorelli; All About Flights Groups Director Kathy Bradley; and Meet Bristol Convention Bureau Manager Amy Bramhall.
Despite there being no government guidelines for how to safely manage events (VisitBritain is reportedly working on some Covid-19 guidance for destinations and venues and UKHospitality has published a series of guidelines aimed at supporting the safe reopening of hospitality venues), many events suppliers are being proactive and investing in new technology to provide a Covid-safe environment for staff and guests.
Exclusive Hotels which owns properties including Pennyhill Park and South Lodge, has invested in thermal imaging cameras that will take guests’ temperature discreetly upon arrival.
Danny Pecorelli said the group has also gone through every single meeting room in each of the properties and worked out a safer capacity based on a 2m distance. The group is estimating between 30-50% of previous capacity depending on the formation of the meeting space, so a room that would usually hold up to 100 people would now allow 30-50. “We have made commercial decision to keep costs the same for clients initially,” he added.
Dana Lewis explained how Accor has put an accreditation programme in place called Allsafe, which planners can look out for. “It’s a very comprehensive programme covering all parts of the hotel and including safety and hygiene training for all staff within the hotels.”
While venues can put in social distancing measures, it’s not so easy from an airline perspective according to Kathy Bradley. But she added: “I believe the interior of a cabin is probably going to be on one of the safest environments you have been. The high-efficiency filters they use are among the best in the world. The air is refreshed every two to three minutes, which means the air in cabins is cleaner than in supermarkets.
“The future success of the aviation industry will depend on how airlines and airport authorities react so you can be sure that behind the scenes they will be doing everything they can to ensure the safety of passengers from temperature screening, to enhanced cleaning of cabins, PPE equipment for staff and in some cases, customers.”
Supplier roundup – what the major hotel groups are doing
On a wider scale, most of the large international hotel groups have implemented new health and hygiene protocols to make sure staff and guests are protected, from enhanced cleaning procedures, to luggage cleaning, face masks, social distancing etc.
For more information on what the following hotel groups are doing, click on the links below: