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Meetings Industry Association expresses caution at lack of guidance

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has expressed concern that the announcement by Boris Johnson ahead of the Step 4 reopening on 19 July has pre-empted any official government guidance for the events industry.

All the same, it has welcomed the news that the business meetings and events sector could potentially fully reopen from 19 July, which is expected to be confirmed on 12 July.

Jane Longhurst (pictured), chief executive of the mia, said: “While it is hugely positive news, we do have concerns that the announcement has pre-empted any government guidance that we understand is due to be issued as a result of the Phase 1 pilots. 

“Without the guidance, the announcement appears to be reactionary rather than an informed government and science-backed decision around the safety of events. Business meetings and events are safe – something the mia has maintained from the outset of the pandemic.

“We understand that any forthcoming government guidance from the Pilot events won’t be mandatory, but we do know that the sector will be keen to implement everything it possibly can to ensure the safety of customers and employees.”

Hygiene

Longhurst said that the meetings industry has already made “significant progress” enhancing hygiene and infection control measures to ensure business meetings and events venues can clearly demonstrate their protocols to risk adverse bookers with the introduction of AIM Secure.

Longhurst added: “It is essential that our ongoing dialogue with government that has made huge strides in the last sixteen months, is maintained not only to rebuild the sector, which has been hugely affected by the pandemic, but to demonstrate how business meetings can aid the UK’s economic recovery.

“Tools such as our recently relaunched miaTouchstone business intelligence tool will play an essential role in this as well as helping to shape industry-level strategies for the future prosperity of the sector.”