Managing Director of the MICE Academy, Helen Brewer, writes in reaction to the Safety First column by Mike Lord.
“The MICE Academy, representing end-user/clients – in other words those that decide and budget for events of many types and capacities – does not agree that 73 pages of Event Re-opening Guidelines can be regarded as ‘simple and easy-to-apply’ protocols.
On the contrary, the Academy's subscribers are adamant that applying these protocols will hinder the return of face-to-face events.
It should not be assumed that end-users do not wish to take the necessary precautions. However, the manner in which these guidelines have been formulated are not in the interests of salaried professional planners and their employers, who budget many millions of rands annually on events.
Unfortunately, it appears that the professional planners were, in fact, not consulted. If they had been asked their opinion of the protocols it is unlikely the current 73 pages would have been issued in its most complicated format.
It stands to reason that venues and other suppliers would simplify the applicable protocols. MICE suppliers are fully aware that, to encourage the return of MICE clients, practical, easy-to-follow rules that do not hinder the main purpose for gathering must be practised.
The main challenge for the SACIA Event Safety Council guidelines is that the compilers of the guidelines are safety consultants and not event specialists.
The Academy's observations of the guidelines were documented in early September.”