The QEII Centre is looking forward to hosting events this autumn following the government’s announcement that the business meetings and events industry can re-open from October.
The venue has been closed since March when the UK was placed into lockdown, with teams working remotely to reschedule events and plan carefully for a safe re-opening. With the government confirmation that conference venues, exhibition halls and event spaces can re-open from 1 October, QEII is now focusing on delivering a successful re-opening.
Between April and July, the QEII sales team secured a number of new national and international events for the end of 2020 and into 2021, including the Paradigm Shift Leadership Summit in October 2020 and the Global Excel Summit 2021 in April. The booked events will generate circa £800k in additional revenue for the Centre and are estimated to contribute to the economy around £14.7m in Gross Expenditure, £6.9m in GVA.
Chief executive of the QEII Centre, Mark Taylor, said: “We are thrilled that the government has confirmed a re-opening date for the industry and are looking forward to welcoming clients, delegates and staff back through our doors from October.
“To contract so many events during lockdown, when the industry had no date to resume operations, is a real achievement and testament to the QEII team’s hard work and the confidence our clients have in our venue to deliver successful events in a safe manner.
“We have proactively worked with our clients to accommodate their requirements in these extraordinary times and planned for an anticipated increased demand for hybrid events.
“Preparations based on new health and safety guidelines have also been made for the Centre’s re-opening and our management team has consulted industry bodies and the UK government to help shape post Covid-19 venue operating guidelines, while also liaising with global competitors who are ahead of the UK in the Covid-19 pandemic infection cycle.”
QEII has already introduced a range of measures to reassure clients and delegates of a safe return to the Centre and event activity. They include enhanced cleaning measures and physical distancing procedures incorporated into event planning. Catering operations have also been adapted to minimise contact whilst still delivering exceptional quality.
Other measures introduced include:
- Thermal scanners at the entrances to the Centre to assess body temperatures for delegates, contractors and staff. Anyone with a temperature over 100.4F, or 38C will not be allowed into the venue.
- Garment bags will be used for coats placed in the cloakrooms to help stop contact between items.
- Enhanced signage to assist with distancing throughout the Centre.
- Physically distanced room layouts.
An animated video has also been produced to walk clients and delegates through the measures and what to expect when returning to the Centre, which can be viewed here.
Mark Taylor added: “We take the health and safety of our clients, staff and partners very seriously and our operations team has worked tirelessly on post Covid-19 procedures and measures. “We are ready to go now and will be bringing clients in to the Centre in the coming weeks so they can see this for themselves.We will, of course, continue to follow advice from the UK government and Public Health England, and closely monitor developments abroad to ensure that we remain at the forefront of addressing the requirements of successfully returning to operations post Covid-19.”