How are event organisers keeping delegates safe at live events?

How are event organisers keeping delegates safe at live events?

With the vaccine rollout continuing apace and the re-opening of the events sector tantalisingly within reach, we take a look at where in the world events are happening this year, and what measures organisers are taking to keep delegates safe.


Mobile World Congress (MWC) was one of the first events to be cancelled when the pandemic struck back in February 2020, but now it looks like it could be one of the first back. The organisers, GSM Association are hoping to welcome 50,000 people to their event from 28 June to 1 July in Fira de Barcelona. They will also welcome many more for the online element; their tagline for the event is: ‘Get business done – In Barcelona, or from wherever you are in the world’.

The organisers are taking what they call a ‘multi-layered’ approach to creating a safe environment for all. Physical attendees will need to provide a negative Covid-19 test and repeat that test every 72 hours. There will also be contact tracing, touchless environments, occupancy monitoring, upgrades to facility infrastructure, increased medical staff and physical distancing. The plan builds on the comprehensive Protocol on Safety and Prevention against COVID-19 currently being implemented by Fira de Barcelona.


The 14th UIA Associations Round Table Europe is set to take place as a hybrid event this year – from 18th to 19th November at the Prague Congress Centre. The event brings together international associations to network and share best practice, and the organisers say they will adapt their face-to-face event to consider the needs of a hybrid audience.

This includes involving digital attendees in as many aspects of the face-to-face event as possible, including having them join their in-person colleagues for dinner in a ‘zoom restaurant’ in the Prague Congress Centre.


Australia has fared relatively well in the Covid crisis, and cases there have been declining since last August. The two-day Hospitality Design Fair will be held at ICC Sydney on 1-2 June 2021 for an event that brings together creative professionals from the hospitality interiors industry for product discovery, inspiration, education and networking.

As well as working closely with ICC Sydney and New South Wales Health to ensure the safety of all attendees, exhibitors and staff at the event, the organisers have created their own event-specific Covid safety plan. The plan includes scanning attendees as they enter to control delegate numbers, extra-wide halls to allow for physical distancing, the mandatory use of facemasks, and signage to encourage non-contact greetings. Attendees must also download and activate a COVID-safe app on their mobile device before arrival and show this before gaining access to the event.


A little later in the year, the UK’s largest cleaning and hygiene event, The Cleaning Show, will take place in ExCel London from 2-4 November.

The event supports the #ProjectConfidence campaign and the government-approved All Secure Standard framework of Covid-19 guidance for business events. With over 7,000 cleaning professionals and plenty of press in attendance, the organisers, the British Cleaning Council and Quartz Business Media hope this will be an opportunity to “shout about the critical role the industry has played in the fight against COVID-19 and to showcase the innovations that will keep businesses, hospitals, schools and facilities safe”.

A comprehensive safety document, the Quartz Secure Standards Document, has been produced for the event, detailing the role of visitors, exhibitors and employees in keeping everyone safe. Standards laid out include the mandatory use of face masks, on-arrival temperature checks, pre-packaged food and beverage, and regular PA announcements reminding everyone to keep physically distanced.

And, as you’d expect from a cleaning show, the venue will undergo extensive cleaning prior to opening, with high-touch points regularly disinfected throughout the day by a dedicated high-touch point cleaner.

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