Bulletin: COVID-19

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We’re all being flooded by news and communications about COVID-19.  Below we summarise information about how destinations are responding, which we hope will help you in planning your own mitigation and recovery strategies.



Singapore’s “Safe Business Event” framework
Source: Edited excerpt from Biz Events Asia
Date: 22 July 2020

Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has developed a risk management framework for business events of up to 50 attendees, based on strict safe management measures. The framework covers 5 major outcomes:

  1. Infection control measures for every stage of an event attendee’s journey (pre- to post-event)
  2. Limits on crowd density
  3. Limits on close contacts between individuals
  4. Ensuring a safe and clean environment
  5. Preparing for emergencies relating to COVID-19

Two hybrid events, scheduled for August and September, will serve as pilots for the framework.

Penang’s new guidelines for business events
Source: Edited excerpt from Biz Events Asia
Date: 22 July 2020

Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) has launched the first edition of “Next Normal Guidelines for Business Events Penang”, a comprehensive document detailing the new standards of organising business events in this Malaysian state. The guidelines were created by a task force of 29 industry partners to ensure all facets of planning business events are considered. PCEB also unveiled new souvenirs for Business Events Penang: Penang Turtle Cares signature batik turtles wearing ‘N95 respiratory masks’ as a safety measure.

“Meet in Malaysia” campaign
Source: Edited excerpt from Mix Meetings and TTG MICE
Date: 28 July 2020

Malaysia’s Convention Bureau (MyCEB) has launched the Meet in Malaysia campaign, which runs until December 2021 and includes two initiatives:

  1. “Let’s Meet Tomorrow” designed to help the industry prepare for international business events to be organised in Malaysia once borders re-open;
  2. “Let’s Meet Locally” that centres on domestic events.

Malaysia’s industry associations “BE Ready” initiative
Source: Edited excerpt from KONGRES
Date: 28 July 2020

The Malaysian Association of Convention and Exhibition Organisers and Suppliers (MACEOS), in collaboration with the Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM), have jointly launched their ‘BE-READY’ initiative. This is designed to showcase the industry’s safe execution of events in line with their Business Events (BE) Guidelines, which have been developed in accordance with the approved Malaysian National Security Council (MKN) Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

China’s SPA Plan
Source: Edited excerpt from ITCM China Daily 2020
Date: 5 Aug 2020

To guide companies and their staff towards new standards of operations, the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Commercial Sub-council has espoused Surviving/Service, Preparation and Actualisation (SPA) – a plan to enable MICE enterprises to survive and find opportunities in the current crisis.

The Sub-council had pushed for new industry standards due to the rise of contactless delivery services in the region. Within 26 days, it launched a set of association standards, and in some 100 days, it achieved global standardisation by the International Organization for Standardization.

Macau’s Health and Safety practices
Source: Edited excerpt from ITCM China Daily 2020
Date: 5 Aug 2020

The Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM) is working to put in place health and safety practices before the industry reopens and also, that technology for hybrid events are set to be introduced.

Financial and other forms of support were also being reviewed to aid recovery.


Business Events Australia wooing the Chinese market
Source: Edited excerpt from BEN
Date: 28 July 2020

Business Events Australia has announced the development of a We Chat mini program to provide a platform for organizers in China to save, download and share information about Australia’s business events offering. The existing platform at businessevents.australia.cn will retain a role in facilitating initial research and planning, but will aim to drive traffic to the WeChat account.

Australia keeps connections
SourceEdited excerpt from meetingnewz
Date: 20 July 2020

To keep event planners dreaming whilst travel is restricted, Tourism Australia has pulled together six ways to soak up Australia from the comfort of their lounge rooms. Whether it is to read a book, watch a film, or tune in to a podcast, Tourism Australia wants its audience to be enticed to travel to Australia when the time is right.


Scotland’s 10 M Euros recovery package
Source: Edited excerpt from M & IT
Date: 29 July 2020

The Scottish government has allocated a funding package of 10 million euros to help the business events sector recover for the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will provide direct support to event organisers as well as to supply chain firms facing hardship, to help keep them in business while restrictions on events are still in place. It will also look to increase community engagement and support adaptations to event delivery to enable a safe restart.

Belgium launches safe meetings toolkit
Source: Edited excerpt from Northstar Meetings Group
Date: 17 July 2020

VisitFlanders Convention Bureau and EventFlanders, in collaboration with the Alliance of Belgian Event Federations, the Expertise Centre for Public Impact KdG and the government of Belgium, has developed three web-based tools to help in organization of business events that are compliant with the government’s health-safety measures. The tools are available in four languages and include:

  1. The COVID Event Risk Model
  2. The Covid Event Protocol
  3. The Guidebook to Corona Prevention for Venues

Meet brUSsels’ 2 M Euros recovery package – B2B
Source: Edited excerpt from Global Travel Media
Date: 27 July 2020

Visit Brussels has launched a call for projects aimed at providing financial support to B2B event organisers (at least 200 participants, 2 days, one overnight stay in Brussels) by granting them a subsidy of their event venue. The total budget is 2 million euros, with a maximum of 50,000 euros per eligible event and 50% of the maximum room rental amount.

Brussels’ 1.5 M Euros support package – B2C
Source: Edited excerpt from Visit Brussels

In addition, Visit Brussels has allocated 1.5 million euros to support B2C events in Brussels in the procurement of protective and hygiene equipment, tools for flow/visitor management, circulation and counting, security costs (guards, stewards, etc.) and costs relating to the implementation of touchless solutions. The grant will be made according to the following breakdown:

  • Maximum 10,000 euros for events hosting up to 200 people
  • Maximum 17,500 euros for events hosting up to 500 people
  • Maximum 25,000 euros for events hosting more than 500 people

UK’s COVID-19 safety labels
Source: Edited excerpt from M & IT
Date: 22 July 2020

Lack of standardised Covid-19 safety procedures from the UK government has led to many UK industry associations producing their own safety guidelines. Meetpie has compiled a list of safety accreditations from across the UK’s event industry, including:

  • AIM Secure
  • Safe,Clean and Legal
  • We’re Good to Go
  • COVID-19 Confident
  • Reopen with confidence


Business events to lead recovery of South Africa’s tourism sector
Source: Edited excerpt from Voyages Afriq
Date: 24 July 2020

The South African Minister of Tourism among other priority areas singled out the business events sector as an area which will quicken the recovery. Mrs. Kubayi-Ngubane noted that South Africa will aggressively bid to host large international events in anticipation of the opening of the borders so that upon opening, they can immediately drive up demand for their supply market and also build confidence that South Africa is safe and open for business.


EIC’s “Meeting and Event Design Accepted Practices” guide
Source: Edited excerpt from KONGRES
Date: 24 July 2020

The Events Industry Council (EIC) has issued the Meeting and Event Design Accepted Practices Guide that provides customisable tools to help the business events industry professionals for the COVID-19 period. The guide provides:

  • A meeting and event decision grid
  • Guidelines and a code of conduct for pre-event, post-event and onsite
  • Meeting and event success metrics (pre- and post-vaccine)
  • Attendee communication considerations
  • Resource guide

PCMA’s “Business Events Compass” report
Source: Edited excerpt from M & C Asia
Date: 24 July 2020

The inaugural PCMA Events Compass report, which provides research-based insights on geographic and industry sector business events recovery, reveals that:

  • APAC is leading the road in recovery of the business events industry largely due to reopening plans in Japan and China, and a decisive pandemic response in countries like New Zealand and Australia.
  • Best case economic recovery scenario (virus contained) for business events is currently estimated to be Q3-2021.

An executive summary of Business Events Compass is free for PCMA members, however a subscription to the full service and inaugural report, including updates through December 2020, is available for US$495 for members ($895 for non-members).

JMIC releases ‘The JMIC Global Manifesto’
Source: Edited excerpt from NORTHSTAR meetings group
Date: 20 July 2020

The Joint Meetings Industry Council has released a Meetings Industry Manifesto, which makes the case for why conventions, trade shows and other business events are key to driving a global economic recovery. This manifesto is developed as a resource for industry professionals to advocate for the safe reopening of business events in their respective communities. The manifesto concludes with 10 “critical success” points that meeting professionals can follow to advocate for their industry on a local and regional level. 

Download the full manifesto here.