The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has delivered a set of strategic principles to the Australian government that intends to instill confidence in country's business events industry so that COVID-19 (coronavirus) restrictions can be safely lifted and the industry can rapidly restart.
The news coincides with the unveiling of the three-step plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions by Australia's government last week. While welcomed by BECA, the industry body and its Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee are now seeking to work closely with officials to ensure a robust and sustainable distinction can be made between highly organized and managed business events in controlled settings from mass gatherings – to further expedite the industry’s recovery.
The development of COVIDSafe Guidelines for Business Events by BECA will underpin the distinction and allow for the rapid restart and reinvigoration of business events and the many businesses, industry groups and associations that rely on these for success. A recent study shows the Australian economy is set for a $35.7 billion loss over the next 12 months, as the impact of COVID-19 on these businesses bites.
The new guidelines focus on five key areas, providing advice on managing a business event during the planning phase, the event itself and following the event. The guidelines, according to BECA, will be applied, adapted and implemented in a fit-for-purpose way across the business events industry to ensure the highest levels of COVID safety. They will updated and reviewed as knowledge of the virus grows, health advice develops and the industry gains experience in best-practice safety and hygiene regimes.
The COVIDSafe Guidelines for Business Events will:
- Ensure personnel and personal safety
- Enable physical distancing
- Increase health and safety measures
- Implement maximum gathering controls
- Encourage and enforce measures
Chair of the Business Events Council of Australia, Dr. Vanessa Findlay, said in a statement that the government’s three-step framework "is a positive step forward for the business events industry." She added that there is recognition from the Australian government, that with the right operating environment, larger gatherings can again take place.
“The establishment of the Safety and Hygiene Subcommittee is an important step in this process," she Dr. Findlay say. "Clear industry guidelines for hygiene and safety will provide Government with the confidence to lift restrictions and for organizers to rebook and hold events as soon as possible. We’re also working with individual state and territory jurisdictions to ensure clarity and consistency across the country, so that delegates can travel interstate to attend business events.”