Online Consultancy Offers Free Remote Working Consultations

Hybrid teams, characterised as part office and part remote working, are not a new phenomenon, but are set to become the new normal for office working post COVID-19. As UK Government urges businesses to encourage their workforces to return to the office, many in the events industry have begun to experiment with flexible home working patterns.

Lorna Watkinson, founder of online consultancy Vibrant Thinking, maintained: “There are huge benefits to organisations adopting this new way of working, including increased productivity, motivation and retention of employees. But there are also challenges to set this way of working for success.”

“To create a successful hybrid organisation means moving away from old structures, processes and methods of communication and being prepared to explore a new way of working. It means being prepared to be agile and adaptable as you try new approaches to discover what works and what doesn’t.”

Vibrant Thinking is offering a free one-hour consultation for anyone facing these challenges, a move which has been welcomed as the industry navigates this ‘new normal’.


Scotland Launches Multi-million-pound Industry Support Fund

VisitScotland has announced a £6 million fund to help kickstart its events sector following the pandemic. The fund comprises a one-off hardship grant of £10,000 to support businesses in the events industry, including suppliers working to organise, stage and deliver business, corporate, cultural and sporting events and festivals.

Funding will be awarded on a first come, first served basis and will support businesses which meet eligibility criteria and have not received Scottish Government sponsored COVID-19 related funding from other schemes.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Event, commented: “The events industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic as one of the first industries to stop and it will be one of the last to restart. There is a desperate need for support and this Scottish Government fund will help a number of businesses in the short term until we can start to run events again.”

Online applications for the fund will remain open until 14th September 2020.


HBAA Takes Stand Against Venues’ COVID Costs Burden

Venues should not have to shoulder additional costs according to industry body HBAA following a survey on venue attitudes to commercial terms following the COVID-19 crisis.

The survey of 35 member venues, including 18 venue groups and 17 independent venues, revealed that nearly all are still planning how to handle the additional costs resulting from social distancing and extra cleaning. The poll also revealed that many venues are seeking to introduce new wording that specifically addresses pandemics and Government advice to limit potential loss of revenue.

Juliet Price, Consultant Executive Director of HBAA says: “This is a shared cost and one of which contributes to guest, employee and delegate safety so it is paramount today and for the future. These costs shouldn’t and can’t be automatically absorbed by venues.”


Accor Appoints New Area GM Luxury Brands Scotland and Ireland

John Keating

Multinational hotel group Accor has announced the appointment of John Keating as Area General Manager Luxury Brands Scotland and Ireland.

Keating retains his existing role as General Manager of the five-star Fairmont St Andrews hotel and golf resort in Scotland. Since joining the Fairmont group in 2015, he has hosted the annual qualifiers for the Open Championship in St Andrews, managed a multi-million-pound refurbishment of the hotel and conference space and implemented business and hospitality apprenticeship initiatives.

His new role extends to oversee the latest Fairmont acquisition, Carton House in Ireland, in addition to future luxury brand developments in Scotland and Ireland.


New Environmental Standards Body Leads Industry’s Green Recovery

12 leading event agencies have put their support behind the creation of isla, a new industry organisation supporting businesses to implement consistent standards of environmental impact, measurement and management of events.

isla has outlined its objective of “accelerating the event industry’s transition to a sustainable future” with collaboration between agencies, brands, suppliers and in-house departments. The organisation looks to initiate change by facilitating knowledge sharing within the events community, provide education and training, while also creating robust measurement tools, allowing events to track progress against standardised sustainability metrics.

While isla will be an independent organisation, it has already secured the support of event agencies including:  Amplify, Brandfuel, Cheerful TwentyFirst, DRPG, emc3, George P. Johnson, Jack Morton Worldwide, Owl Live, Set Creative, Smyle, WRG and XYZ, who have committed to its standards of measurement. It will also be working with other third parties to reduce what it sees as the barriers to sustainable events, including the use and waste of materials and the lack of circular design within the production process.

Anna Abdelnoor, isla co-founder, said: “We’re calling for more to join our movement; from within the agency community, in-house organisers within business, and from venues and suppliers  who want to help their clients in delivering sustainable event programmes. It’s amazing what can be achieved when we work collaboratively.”


Industry Welcomes Sustainable Solution to COVID-secure Events

As COVID-19 safety regulations are tightened, a new protective screening solution offers a safe environment for organisers, exhibitors and delegates preparing for a return to large-scale events.

Expo Shields can be configured to suit a wide range of environments, providing essential protection within live events, catering areas and meeting spaces, a patented magnetic click system allowing quick and easy installation onto any desk without tools.

The lightweight and versatile PET plastic screening systems are manufactured in the UK and are fully recyclable, a feature which has been welcomed by event planners who wish to reduce their carbon footprint during a national climate crisis.