Event sector pitches De Croo on reopening with special measures
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Event sector pitches De Croo on reopening with special measures

Credit: Twitter/Alexander De Croo

The events sector is presenting a 140-page study to Prime Minister Alexander De Croo’s office that includes advice and recommendations for reopening with special measures in place to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.

In Belgium, the sector represents 80,000 people working for 3,000 companies involved in around 77,000 events per year in the country.

“Yet this is called a non-essential sector,” said Christophe Samyn of RestartMice (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), created in March 2020.

“Belgium is the world’s second most important destination for institutional events after Singapore, ahead of New York and Paris,” said Samyn.

“Brussels is also home to 2,000 international associations and institutions. However, we still do not have a specific plan discussed with these institutions to find out how they will be able to restart their 900 events per year in Brussels.”

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, professionals from the B2B events sector, within the framework of RestartMice and Febelux (the Belux trade association for the Live Communication sector), have been working on measures and solutions to prepare for the recovery of the events sector including ambient air management, staff management, and precise and concrete risk analyses.

“We don’t claim that all the solutions are in our guide; we claim once again that it is important to call on the experts in the various sectors to define their future, which seems to me to be the least we can do,” said Samyn.

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Thirteen experts were brought together to create a set of management tools, among them professionals in global communication, logistics, safety and security, stewards and hostesses, and human resources such as cleaning and disinfection, and transport.

They convened at the start of the pandemic in order to “to reflect, exchange, evaluate, and develop a toolbox” with the goal of guaranteeing the safety of staff and participants at various events across Brussels and Belgium.

“According to our numerous studies, our events are five to ten times less contaminating than, for example, going shopping at the supermarket or taking the bus,” said Frédéric François of Febelux. “This work has been sent to the authorities as we went along and we have never been heard.”

Helen Lyons
The Brussels Times