Lifting the Lid on the Legislation

Lifting the Lid on the Legislation

Lifting the Lid on the Legislation

Sarah Threlfall
Brightspace Events

Published and information correct as at 31 07 2020

What’s hot?
This wonderful group has 3 very distinct themes at the moment:

  • You are doing a very cool ‘engagement’ piece and need help with gifts / entertainment
  • Virtual events are your thing and you need some new ideas for how to take them to the next level
  • You and your clients are desperate to get back to LIVE but have NO idea what you can and can’t do!!

Luckily, the group is awash with the expertise for 1) and 2) as I wouldn’t have a clue how to help you. Number 3 however? You’re in the right place so read on….

So, What Can we Do?
The drip feed of best practice that has been slooooooowwly leaking from seemingly hundreds of different event associations, suddenly turned into an absolute tsunami of regulations, guidance and ‘government approved’ information last week following good ole BoJo’s announcement that we would be back up and running again from 1st October.

However, the immediate confusion that followed showed us that we were going to have to be VERY careful to stay compliant, stay safe and to regain client and delegate confidence in LIVE events.

I joined a panel of experts brought together by micebook and we chewed our way through the legislation and guidance to come up with a definitive summary of what is and isn’t allowed.


Who Can Help Us Find Out How?
Each and every area of this GINORMOUS industry has brought out their own guidelines and statements specific to their little corner and niche client and supplier needs. To be honest, what we really need is a single voice but then seeing as every event / industry / client / agent is so unique, am I asking too much to expect any organisation to effectively represent us all??

I can now have conversations consisting solely of three (or more) letter acronyms: HBAA, MIA, EMA, UFI, WTTC, BVEP, EIF, AEO, AEV, ESSA, ABPCO, AEME, BTA, EIA, AIEA, EVCOM, ICCA, MPI, NOEA, PCMA, PLASA, PSA. There are 23 different organisations in that list (bragging rights to anyone who can name them all!) and I’m sure I’ve missed some.

Honestly, is it any wonder that the government took a little while to realise how huge we are when we are split down into so many?? But that’s a whooooole other blog!.....

I have tried to put a bucket under the flow of information and have built up a library of all the guidance I have seen published here:

Please do get in touch if you have something that could be useful that I’ve missed and I’ll add it to the library for everyone to access.

So Which Guidance Should I Follow?
I wish that had a straight answer! There is LOTS of cross over and it all follows basically the same principles which are outlined in the Government’s guidance on Business Events:

  • Evidence you are following COVID Secure Guidance (generally accepted method would be a Risk Assessment and / or a COVID Secure Management Plan)
  • Social distancing aiming for 2m or 1m ‘with mitigation’ approx. density of 10m2 per person.
  • Increased delegate hygiene
  • Increased venue cleaning procedures
  • Outbreak planning and policy
  • Track and trace

Specifics on PPE, face masks etc. are currently left up to the risk assessment to determine if they are necessary or not. But rumblings across the H&S industry is that this advice is soon to be made a lot less voluntary… you heard it here first!!

  • advice on The Visitor Economy (bizarrely) includes the Business Events section 2.2.3.
  • The MIA Reopening and Operating Safely document gives detailed guidance for venues.
  • There are pages for Hotels, Heritage Locations, Performing Arts, Restaurants and Offices so I would suggest you start there depending on which one best fits your venue.

Then see which of the acronym associations most fits your business and refer to their guidance for the specifics and any useful templates or best practice that you can apply to your event.

Please bear in mind that the Health and Safety At Work Act dictates that Risk Assessments must be undertaken by a competent person who has received the correct training and has the right skills and experience to comply with your legal obligations.

Anything Else I Need to Know Now?
Part of the new legislation was to give Local Authority increased powers to enforce any measures which they need to contain / prevent further spread of coronavirus. As such, they now have much stronger authority to request risk assessments etc. and shut down events with no notice if they have any concerns that you are not following the correct guidance.

Another thing to consider is an Impact Assessment across your event in case a key person is affected by track and trace self isolation. Contingency planning (eg. a back up event team or ‘bubble up’ into Team A and Team B on site) needs to be faultless and also consider if anyone actually needs to ‘shield’ pre event to protect themselves. A really good example is to NOT rehearse speakers together in case one has symptoms which then knocks the whole lot out!

One Industry, One Voice, One Message
However intimidating this may all seem, the main – and massive – point is that there is now light at the end of this long, dark tunnel and it’s now up to us all to build a wave of positivity and enthusiasm to #GetBritainMeeting again.

It won’t be easy to tempt everyone back out into the world but if we can share just 10% of the passion and drive that I see every day on this group, it won’t be long before Live Events are part of the conversation again.

To discuss how we could support you and your clients with COVID Secure Risk Assessments and Safety Management Plans, please contact me at or give me a call on 07710 793298.

You can also sign up on our website to keep updated on new guidance and legislation here:

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