How Europe, the Middle East and the USA are combatting COVID-19

A packet of the latest information on how global destinations are responding to COVID-19. New certificates and accreditations, isolation of entire regions, innovative campaigns.


How Europe, the Middle East and the USA are combatting COVID-19
Photo SKKP

In order to restore the organization of live events and help the meeting industry, Slovenia has started a standardization process for event organizers and venues. The Safe and Healthy Meetings & Events certificate issued by the Slovenian Convention Bureau in cooperation with the National Institute of Public Health of the Republic of Slovenia is based on a comprehensive guide containing measures and recommendations for reducing health risks related to the spread of COVID-19. In order to qualify for certification, organizations must apply 65 different measures to guarantee maximum participant safety.

Facilities, hotels and event service providers from across the North East of England have launched a joint new #ItsTyneToMeetAgain campaign to help rebuild the region's business events industry. The Newcastle Gateshead Convention Bureau's social media campaign focuses on the industry professionals. They create videos and photos using their smartphones to promote the event space, the staff working there and the measures they have taken to ensure the safety of staff and visitors.

The German Ministry of the Interior has classified the visit to the country as “essential travel”, demonstrating the key role that exhibitions play in the economic recovery after COVID. Fair participants from all countries may enter Germany for such events, provided that they have valid visas, if necessary.


Abu Dhabi has created a world-class "safe zone" for some 2,500 people on Yas Island. It was closed and completely isolated from the rest of the Emirates for five weeks. In line with the principles of the "Go Safe" certification program, the health and safety procedures undertaken by the event staff included COVID-19 testing every 72 hours and 14-day isolation periods. The Culture and Tourism Department - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is planning to develop this concept with the return of tourism and other events in the coming months.


Convention centers in Las Vegas, Florida and Chicago have received GBAC Star accreditation. Facilities receive this accreditation when they demonstrate that they implement the highest COVID-19 cleaning standards in the industry and can safely receive guests and host events. The program is supported by 10 industry organizations including: the International Association of Venue Managers, International Facility Management Association, International Association of Exhibition and Events, Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association, and Go Live Together Coalition.

Information from Asia and Australia:


PCMA and the Korea MICE Association announced a two-year strategic alliance aimed at equipping their members with the skills and competences to live after COVID-19. A key component of the partnership will focus on delivering the Digital Event Strategist (DES) PCMA course in Korea as well as other training programs that will help professionals adapt to the new business environment.


Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) provides Penang hotels with social media support to promote their offer during and after Malaysia’s closure. The project complements the Privilege Penang program that was launched in June.


On September 18, 2020, the Seoul Tourism Organization (STO) organized its first virtual fam trip for journalists specializing in business events. The virtual tour consisted of five "places", each of which represented various charms of Seoul - a conference room where journalists have access to educational sessions, a virtual promotional booth, a lounge area allowing networking, and a virtual theater to watch presentations of cities related to business events.


Business Events Perth (Convention Bureau Perth) has announced new financial support to encourage companies to host business events locally. A grant of up to AUD 30 (USD 21.50) per delegate is available, depending on the duration of the event and the number of delegates attending the event. The state government also launched a WA recovery plan with the value of AUD 5.5 billion (USD 4.01 billion) in order to help Western Australia recover from COVID-19. It includes AUD 150 million (USD 109.5 million) to support the travel industry.


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that AUD 50 million (USD 36.6 million) will be allocated to supporting the Australian business events industry. In the new grant program - Australian Business Events, organizers of meetings, congresses, incentive programs and exhibitions / fairs will be able to apply for grants for up to 50% of the cost in advance (between AUD 10,000 {USD 7,320 and AUD 250,000 {USD 183,039}). The funding is part of the government's AUD 1 billion (USD 731.98 million) COVID-19 relief and repair fund that supports sectors affected by the pandemic.


The New Zealand government has announced a support package of NZD 50 million (USD 33.3 million) to promote domestic tourism through business events. The injection will go to nine major regions across the country through the Regional Events Fund. The fund is an addition to the previously fund for national events announced by the government. Twenty of the 200 events receiving support there are conferences and business events.


BESydney (Business Events Sydney) has launched an online initiative called "Anticipating Tomorrow: Global Insights Series". It brings together leading researchers, business pioneers and government to share insights from experts around the world. The series of meetings brings together information, ideas and people and shows the role that global conferences can play in helping Australia rebuild a stronger economy.


The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has confirmed the introduction of a "Smart Badge" in order to ensure the safety of business events and help Canberra attract new business events to the region. The "badge" worn by the meeting participant as a watch, lanyard or helmet clip - is registered with a QR code and maps its location in a specific area of the event. The Smart Badge technology will be available free of charge to those planning meetings in Canberra.

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Author: KCB/ SKKP
News author: Małgorzata Rajwa
News Publisher: Biuro Kongresów EN
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