Published on : Saturday, May 29, 2021
On May 20, Celtic Manor under the guidance of Welsh Government organised a Pilot Event to test the risk mitigation measures proposed for the events industry with a range of strict health and safety measures in place. Attendees were asked to carry out a COVID-19 lateral flow test on arrival, after they have already had a negative PCR test in the days before the event. Three separate colour groups were assigned to manage delegate flow, and mask wearing was required when not seated for sessions.
Delegates were happy to abide by all protocols but the additional requirement to observe 2 metre physical distancing throughout the event clearly demonstrated that meaningful business events would be impossible to sustain with these constraints on capacity. The Celtic Manor’s Caernarfon Suite can host more than 1,000 people theatre-style in the two-thirds division of the room being utilised for the trial event. The 2 metre distancing configuration meant it was more or less full with the capped audience of 100 people.
Attendees were involved in a full programme of activity throughout the day, including an inspirational keynote presentation from Ted X speaker and Olympic diving medallist, Leon Taylor, break-out sessions focussed on the safe return of business events, and a catered lunch trialling three different options typical to the sector. Public Health Officials of Wales were present to observe the event and provide feedback to Welsh Government.
Survey responses will also be gathered from attendees to shape the business events reopening strategy in Wales. The Pilot Event at the Celtic Manor Resort was one of nine indoor and outdoor pilot events throughout South Wales, in partnership with Welsh Government. While the roadmap set out in February for England already allows for events up to 1,000 people indoors, the reopening of the events sector in Wales has been much more cautious with reluctance to outline any schedule undermining client confidence and preventing advance bookings.