The exhibition, called A-Livex, will run over a single day on 26 January 2021 with limited capacity in a Covid-secure environment, yet with one major difference. Rather than make use of a large event space, the exhibition will see hotel bedrooms used as exhibition stands.
Fifty hotel rooms across three floors of the hotel will have their beds removed and will operate as an exhibition booth or meeting room. A one-way system will be in operation and registration will include the need to make scheduled appointments.
Attendance at A-Livex is exclusively for event organisers and admittance will be via a screening process. Organisers are planning for a maximum of 300 guests throughout the day, with 100 places already taken.
While an unusual format for an exhibition, the principles remain the same and will provide the events industry with a much-needed opportunity to meet and talk business once again.
Julian Agostini, Mash Media’s managing director and the man behind the idea, was keen to stress that the event isn’t a commercial venture, but a celebration of the industry’s creativity and a chance for the publisher and organiser to once again show unwavering support for the sector. He said: “A-Livex, nicknamed Alive and Kicking, has been created to demonstrate that, despite being held down for nearly a year, our incredible industry is ready to spring back into action.
“This is not a commercial venture in any way, nor do we want it to be. The initiative is part of Mash Media’s efforts to support the industry we serve and help generate some much-needed business conversations.”
Agostini spoke of his excitement for the concept, and that he sensed the industry is reinvigorated to bounce back in 2021. He added: “We love this sector and we won’t stop working to provide opportunities for it to grow. We are not promising you miracles, but it will help provide a kickstart to 2021.”
According to research conducted by Mash Media, 86% of suppliers said this was an essential event to support the supply chain, while 81% of exhibition organisers said they would apply for one of the limited passes.
Findings also showed 83% of organisers said they would welcome the blue print of how to run this event as an alternative format to some of their own events.
With the vaccination roll-out now underway, timing for event organisers has become critical as planning for events in 2021 must begin in the New Year. With the cloud of uncertainty over events preventing such planning from taking place, the events industry is being encouraged to get organised ahead of a wider-spread opening.
Under the current Tier system, indoor events for up to 1,000 are permitted in Tiers 1 and 2 areas, with this increasing 4,000 and 2,000 outdoors respectively. While Tier 3 areas face much tighter restrictions, any region showing a fall in rates could be downgraded to a lower Tier upon Government reassessment, which is scheduled every 14 days.
There will be conference rooms for panel discussions, with the content agenda set to include lessons learned, industry structure, and looking ahead to 2021.
The organisers are keen to stress that the event is very much an experiment and an initiative to rebuild confidence in the safe running of events.
Mash Media is running the event at cost, with each hotel room costing an exhibitor just £500. The exhibition will run in hybrid format with support from Glisser for content sessions. A cocktail-making experience will also be available.
Those interested in attending or taking part as a venue or supplier please contact the A-Livex team on 020 8481 1122 or email at [email protected]