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August 17, 2020
In this issue
CINZ reacts to lockdown extension; calls for government support
‘Virtual Meeting Space’ created in Thailand
Events industry is vital now more than ever: Jeremy Garling
MCEC’s new virtual event offering
 
 
CINZ reacts to lockdown extension; calls for government support
 
On Friday, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced that Auckland will stay at the Level Three alert level until August 26, 2020, while the rest of the country will stay at Level Two for the period.
 
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) was swift to respond, releasing a statement from chief executive Lisa Hopkins saying that the extension was not unexpected and the industry’s objective is now to help customers make good decisions when it comes to events already booked.
 
“For Auckland, business events over 10 participants are unable to proceed until we move to Level Two,” Ms Hopkins said.
 
“For the rest of the country, there is no reason why events of 100 participants or below can’t go ahead.”
 
Ms Hopkins also said that last Monday the organisation sent a letter to the government outlining the support needed for the business events sector moving forward. The key requests included a specific ministerial relationship which would support a more direct dialogue with the industry to save jobs; an extension of the wage subsidy until the end of the year; an acknowledgement of the industry and the important role it plays; and for Government-sponsored conferences and events to not be cancelled.
 
Ms Hopkins said that prime minister Ardern has acknowledged the letter and asked minister Phil Twyford to connect with CINZ about its contents.
‘Virtual Meeting Space’ created in Thailand
 
By Gerardine Donough-Tan
 
With MICE events halted during the pandemic, the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) created ‘Virtual Meeting Space’ in April as an online platform for MICE operators to connect with clients and delegates. The project, to ensure business continuity and help MICE operators to adjust, has done well.
 
TCEB provides technical support and management in three ways. One is a webinar service for meetings, while another is a virtual expo for exhibitions. To date, 40 physical events have become webinar-based meetings and exhibitions. Five events completed a series of webinars, attracting a total of 80,000 viewers from Thailand and overseas.
 
The third tool, e-learning courses in management, communication and entrepreneurship, attracted 250 entrepreneurs to reskill and upskill their MICE workforce for business recovery.
Events industry is vital now more than ever: Jeremy Garling
 
By The Ingenious Oz Project, Brad Foster and Nigel Collin
 
Fourth Wall Events founder Jeremy Garling says those working in the sector should know that they are more vital now than they’ve ever been, particularly as we move into yet another month of the majority of the workforce continuing to work in isolation.
 
In an extremely candid interview with The Ingenious Oz Project, Jeremy argued that the talk of virtual or hybrid is, in his opinion, missing the point.
 
“We are still delivering events; we are just doing it where the middle part is not face to face,” he said as he discussed Fourth Wall’s EventCast™ offering.
 
“Our strategy [at Fourth Wall] – and the reason our cut-through is happening – [and] the reason why we are being able to unite people while they are apart… is because we are still delivering events.”
 
He said it was so important for the event sector to keep being heard and keep promoting positive stories and outcomes.
 
“I know that a lot of people are taking it in the teeth and a lot are questioning their artistry and their skillset, but stick with it.
 
“As an industry we are vital. It’s challenged at the moment but we are vital in what impact we can have on the world. Everyone who is having a tough day, tough six months, remember we are needed. It’s important what we do… there’s a future here. It’s important and vital that we keep going.”
 
You can view the interview by clicking here. 
MCEC’s new virtual event offering
 
The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has launched a virtual event offering to help customers connect with their audiences in uncertain times.
 
The new offering includes an elevated virtual experience and two purpose-built studios that allow for scalable events – from an intimate fireside chat to a panel discussion with up to six presenters. The product includes the capacity to host live-streaming across multiple spaces that allow for a hybrid of virtual and in-person events, for when restrictions ease.
 
The venue’s technical team can deliver broadcast-quality streaming with high-speed internet on a software platform that is customisable and secure. Stage Four restrictions are in effect in Melbourne until September 13, 2020, and therefore bookings for the MCEC’s virtual event offering are available beyond this date.
We welcome your news and input on our sector. Email brad@btp.net.au, helen@btp.net.au, jenny@btp.net.au, or digital1@btp.net.au.
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