It was a great relief to return to live events this week, as Liverpool Convention Bureau attended UKickstart at ACC Liverpool.
The UKickstart Event 2020 was an opportunity for meeting professionals to demonstrate the power of events; to showcase our industry and inspire confidence; to be the catalysts that kick-starts the events industry. Many people joined in person at live hubs across the country, with hundreds more joining online.
The event panel included prominent figures in the industry including:
– Nigel Huddleston MP, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
– Tracy Halliwell MBE, Director of Tourism, Conventions and Major Events at London and Partners
– Simon Hughes, Chairman of BVEP Business Visits and Events Partnership)
– Nick de Bois, Chair of the Visit England Advisory Board
– Calum Di Leto, Editor of C&IT
As events professionals who have attended more meetings and conferences than we can count over the years, this was a first for us. Social distancing and safety measures were perfectly observed, with numbers limited to 30 people. Everyone was sat 2 metres apart, and wore masks throughout. As well as the main panel in London, we heard from attendees around the country, and there was a lot of interactivity through online polls and a Q&A forum.
As you would expect, discussion revolved around how we can return to live events as responsibly and quickly as possible. Unfortunately it looks like huge gatherings may be some way off still, but this form of hybrid at least allows us to do what we love most – meeting people, in person – without limiting the overall number of attendees.
After six months of purely virtual events, we were delighted to be back in some form!