June 25, 2020
Rockin Reception
Join our Rockin Reception on 25 June 2020 at 20:00
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MPI UK & Ireland CommuniTea
Join our first CommuniTEA, Thursday 4th June, 3.30pm-4.15pm
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Covid-19 Update



stay home

On behalf of MPI UK & Ireland, we hope you and your families are keeping healthy during these times. The last few weeks have been challenging to see the impact that the Coronavirus outbreak has had on our businesses, communities, industry, and personal well-being. The next few weeks bring a harder challenge as we lockdown and make our social circles even smaller. Our thoughts and sympathies are extended to this entire MPI community and we want you to know that we are here for you. 

MPI prides itself on its ability to create networks and share education and this current situation does not change that. We encourage you take advantage of the virtual communities and education that we provide our members on https://u.mpiweb.org/home .

Now, more than ever, we must stand together and help one another through these unsettling times. We have already seen amazing things happening, such as hotels and convention centres converting into temporary hospitals, virtual weddings, social distancing concerts and balcony-singing. If there’s one thing we know, it’s that our industry is about people connecting with people. While we will be in isolation for at least the next few weeks, the meetings and events industry will recover and come back stronger than ever.

Stay healthy and stay strong, 
Your MPI UK & Ireland Chapter Board

Connect with Us




Join our CommuniTEA, Thursday 4th June, 3.30pm-4.15pm


Who else feels like they are drowning in news…and fake news?  Fed up of hearing the words ‘new normal’, ‘unprecedented’, ‘new reality’?  And finding it really tough to predict the future post-pandemic events’ world when there are so many conflicting reports out there?


Are you with me?  Well, get the kettle on, pour yourself a mug of tea, sit back and join your MPI friends to chat, vent, share and listen to what’s happening with our great network of members on Thursday 4th June from 3.30-4.15pm. 


As you know we’re an association who brings people together.  At the heart of MPI is our strong belief that ‘when we meet we can change the world’.  For those of you who have come to a live meeting, you know how beneficial it is to network and talk.  We can’t meet physically at the moment, so the next best thing is a zoom meeting.  And for those of you who here ‘doom’ instead of ‘zoom’ – don’t worry, this is MPI UK & Ireland, we know how to plan a great meeting and we hope to give you the best organised video call you’ve been on! 


We understand your diaries change, meetings overrun or (if you are really lucky) finish early…so this is a relaxed pop-in to our ‘CommuniTEA ROOM’ when you can, be late, leave early – everyone is welcome anytime.


Our CommuniTEA will always feature an insightful guest speaker for a few minutes before we all split into small groups.  You’ll get the chance to meet other members, chat about hot/current topics and get a real sense of what’s happening in our industry.


June’s guest speaker is our president Judy Elvey.  MPI UK and Ireland chapter are partners of BVEP https://www.businessvisitsandeventspartnership.com/.  This umbrella organisation represents the business visits and event sector and are on the ‘inside’ talking to government.  And Judy’s going to give us all the latest news and insights from BVEP.


Our new monthly CommuniTEAs have been designed to bring our MPI family closer together, so they are a member only event. If you’re a member you’ll receive an invitation to this from Emma on Wednesday 27th May.  Emma will be our new VP of Community in July.  If you’re not a member but would like to join please contact us via administrator@mpiuki.org


If by Thursday 28th May you have not received your invitation please contact Emma – emma@warwickevents.co.uk


We’re so looking forward to seeing you all next Thursday and every first Thursday of the month for some fabulous CommuniTEA!




5 Steps to Working Safely


The main item from the Tourism Alliance Update on 19 May 2020  was the BEIS publishing generic basic guidance on working safely in any environment after concerns that many people were returning to work in environments there were not adequately covered by the existing sector based specific advice.


  • 5 Steps to Working Safely

In addition to the eight guidance documents that it has published so far regarding safe working in different environments, BEIS has published the following 5 Steps to Working Safety that are applicable to all working environments.


1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before restarting work you should ensure the safety of the workplace by:

  • carrying out a risk assessment in line with the HSE guidance
  • consulting with your workers or trade unions
  • sharing the results of the risk assessment with your workforce and on your website


2. Develop cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures

You should increase the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning by:

  • encouraging people to follow the guidance on hand washing and hygiene
  • providing hand sanitiser around the workplace, in addition to washrooms
  • frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly
  • enhancing cleaning for busy areas
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets
  • providing hand drying facilities – either paper towels or electrical dryers


3. Help people to work from home

You should take all reasonable steps to help people work from home by:

  • discussing home working arrangements
  • ensuring they have the right equipment, for example remote access to work systems
  • including them in all necessary communications
  • looking after their physical and mental wellbeing


4. Maintain 2m social distancing, where possible

Where possible, you should maintain 2m between people by:

  • putting up signs to remind workers and visitors of social distancing guidance
  • avoiding sharing workstations
  • using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people keep to a 2m distance
  • arranging one-way traffic through the workplace if possible
  • switching to seeing visitors by appointment only if possible


5. Where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk

Where it’s not possible for people to be 2m apart, you should do everything practical to manage the transmission risk by:

  • considering whether an activity needs to continue for the business to operate
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
  • staggering arrival and departure times
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’





Tourism Alliance



  • £35m to Protect Freight Routes - The government has signed agreements with six operators to protect 16 routes covering the Channel, the Short Strait, the North Sea and routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were previously at risk of closure due to a drop in demand as a result of coronavirus. They will now be designated as Public Service Obligation routes for a period of up to 9 weeks to prevent disruption to the flow of goods. 


  • Tourism Scenario and Intervention Modelling - DCMS is currently tendering a £100,000 research project looking at the impact of Coronavirus on the UK tourism industry under different scenarios and the impact of various possible Government intervention mechanisms. The contract period is through to June 2021, although it would be hoped that the results of the research would be available before then in order to best help support tourism businesses.





  • Change to Business Support Helpline - The number of the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Helpline that provide advice to businesses on what support mechanisms are available has changed to 0800 998 1098. In addition to the helpline there is also a webchat service that is available on the following link https://secure.livechatinc.com/licence/10701242/v2/open_chat.cgi?groups=0


Both the helpline and webchat are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.


  • New Taskforce Developing Plan to Reopen Places of Worship - The first meeting of this Taskforce has been held, at which it was agreed to develop a plan to enable the phased and safe reopening of places of worship subject to scientific advice. At the moment Places of worship are scheduled to reopen from 4 July (similar to tourism and hospitality businesses) but it is unclear at this stage as to whether the work that is being undertaken by this group in concentrating on worshippers or includes the ability for people to visit church and cathedrals.




  • Booking A Charter Flight - The Government has updated it’s advice and the booking process to people trying to book a charter flight in order to return to the UK as a result of Coronavirus.




  • COVID-19 Detection Dogs Trial Launches - An interesting development over the weekend was the launch of a trial to see if sniffer dogs could be used to detect people suffering from the virus. While this does seem a bit left-field Medical Detection Dogs have already successfully trained dogs to detect the odour of many different diseases in humans, such as cancer, malaria and Parkinson’s disease. This research opens the possibility of maybe being able to use specially trained dogs in locations such as airports in future.



EU guidance on tourism recovery

The EU has released guidelines and recommendations to help EU Member States gradually lift travel restrictions and allow tourism businesses to reopen while respecting necessary health precautions.


The Tourism and Transport package includes:

  • An overall strategy towards recovery in 2020 and beyond (also attached);
  • A common approach to restoring free movement and lifting restrictions at EU internal borders in a gradual and coordinated way;
  • A framework to support the gradual re-establishment of transport whilst ensuring the safety of passengers and personnel;
  • A recommendation which aims to make travel vouchers an attractive alternative to cash reimbursement for consumers;
  • Criteria for restoring tourism activities safely and gradually and for developing health protocols for hospitality establishments such as hotels.





Helping the Tourism Industry Recover from Covid-19

Read the paper that VisitBritain sent to Cabinet Office on behalf of the tourism industry, detailing how government can help the tourism industry recover from COVID-19. Thank you to all members who contributed to the response.


Helping the tourism industry recover from Covid 5 May PDF

BVEP launches report focused on £70bn events industry

The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has today launched its latest report titled ‘The UK Events Report’, which provides an in-depth examination into the £70bn industry, providing jobs for 700,000 people and how it will deliver the Government’s Industrial Strategy, which was launched last year. 

The UK Events Report, which was compiled prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, illustrates the impact the UK events industry has on the economy. In 2019 business events generated more than £31bn of direct spend, with leisure events contributing a further £39bn, evidence in the report suggests that there is an opportunity to use both markets to showcase the UK’s abilities and resources and bring communities together.  

It also highlights a need for the UK to realign and revitalise its commercial footprint, after leaving the European Union and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, to drive businesses back to their peak and forge a new position on the global stage. Events held in the UK will play a critical role in achieving this.

 As a country, the UK has vast selection of high quality and richly varied purpose-built event venues and historic buildings suitable for hosting world-class events. It also has a network of talented and creative suppliers and organisers offering state-of-the-art technology and equipment for events.

The UK events industry is committed to assisting new events to align with key sector priorities, to use events in order to promote UK businesses and their products and services, to attracting more international events and grow already successful events.

Michael Hirst OBE, Chair, BVEP commented: “The report was compiled in what seems another age, but it will serve to provide testament to the power of events to create change and transform experiences, key requirements in facing and achieving the UK’s future challenges. It’s a critical role which the industry is ready and eager to take on and show how it can deliver for the UK.”

Click here to download the Full report and the Executive Summary.


The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has shared the report from MIA regarding social distancing impacts on the business events industry (also attached). Key findings include -  

    • 82% of venues can operate with social distancing measures in place but 3/4 believe their capacity would reduce by 40% to accommodate this.
    • 59% would not break- even and there would be around 8,500 job losses.


You can download the full report here Apr20_mia_Social_Distancing_Survey_-_Report


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) invites you to take part in a survey being conducted to understand the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on organisations in the digital, creative, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors and their engagement with the available government interventions.

This survey has been commissioned by DCMS to better understand the needs of its stakeholders. Your answer will remain anonymous and will be used to inform DCMS’ preparedness efforts.

We encourage organisations in the digital, creative, culture, media, sport, gambling, telecoms, and tourism sectors to respond. The survey should take around 10-20 minutes. The deadline for responses to the survey will be at 23:59 GMT on 15/05/2020.

Please follow the link below to begin submitting your response:
DCMS Business Impacts of Coronavirus Survey  


New Bounce Back Loans Scheme

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today, 27 April, announced a new Bounce Back Loans scheme that will be made available to small businesses from 9:00 Monday 4 May. These loans will be 100% government-backed. Businesses will be able to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months and businesses can apply online through a short and simple form.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) guidance on insurance

The FCA has set up the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) - an independent body to provide arbitration for insurance claims of smaller businesses (with turnover of less than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees). The decision of the FOS is binding on insurers up to £350,000. 

To take your complaint directly to the FOS, please contact: 

The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower
E14 9SR
Telephone: 0300 123 9123


G20 Tourism Ministers’ meeting

The G20 Tourism Ministers held a meeting on COVID-19 on Friday 24 April, Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston was in attendance and addressed the group. He spoke of the importance of tourism to the UK economy, the Government’s support measures and the regular discussions he is in with the tourism industry about what their priorities are for the recovery period. He highlighted the key areas of concern including how businesses can operate while there are still social distancing measures in place; what further guidance is needed; and whether there is a need for tapered support as businesses adjust.

The G20 Tourism Ministers also issued a statement on COVID-19 outlining their commitments.

Events are GREAT open letter of support 

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Some 60% of the UK’s event industry’s supplier base is facing collapse within three months, unless event businesses receive further support from the Government, according to an on-line survey carried out by the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) and co-ordinated by the Production Services Association (PSA) between 3-7th April, 2020. 6% of those businesses say they are unlikely to survive until the end of April!

In all 1,490 businesses took part in the survey from across all sectors of the UK events industry.

The collapse of so many businesses would both impact the economy and result in unemployment for hundreds of thousands of people who work in the industry.  According to a study by Bournemouth University last year the outdoor event industry alone employs just under 600,000 people. Over 115,000 are estimated to work in the conference, exhibitions and indoor events sectors.

Many of those working in the outdoor industry are freelances or self-employed who rely on the summer season for the bulk of their income.   With most events this summer already cancelled, from Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festival to agricultural shows, many are facing a bleak 12 months before they will see further income, which could put more in jeopardy over the winter.

Similar circumstances exist within the business events sector where 74% of all conferences and exhibitions have been postponed to the last quarter of 2020 and the remainder cancelled altogether.

Despite the Chancellor of the Exchequer indicating in the House of Commons recently that event organisers and the supply network behind them should be eligible for leisure and hospitality business support grants, according to the survey most who have applied have been turned down by local authorities who are running the scheme.   Similarly, only 1% of respondents have been successful in applying for the Government backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

The supply line is vital to the continuity of the Industry, including contractors responsible for staging, temporary seating and structures, production lighting, exhibition stands, marquees, sanitation facilities and security barriers.

“With so many events already cancelled and no certainty about when they will be able to start again, our industry is on its knees,” says Jim Winship, Secretary of the Events Industry Forum which represents 26 organisations representing the outdoor events industry.   “We urgently need the Government to confirm to local authorities that all event organisers and suppliers to our industry are eligible for the hospitality and leisure grants – that will give an immediate lifeline for many.

“While it is starting to be recognised by some in Government circles that the event industry will be a key player in helping to kick-start the economy again, many will need on-going support until they can get back on their feet.  For this they will need further grants and better access to loans without having to give onerous personal guarantees.

“Our industry is one of the sectors that has been completely annihilated by this pandemic and needs urgent support if it is to survive.”




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