Welcome to HeadBox’s brand new Events Industry Bulletin 🗞️

What’s black and white and re(a)d all over? It’s the HeadBox Events Industry Bulletin, a bi-weekly look at the events industry designed to share our expertise, provide key industry insights and keep you in the know.  

It’s been a very exciting couple of weeks filled with some long-overdue good news! So, let’s kick-off the very first HeadBox Industry Bulletin…

Vaccine progress could provide a light at the end of the tunnel for the events industry. In the last week, two vaccines have been proven to be over 90% effective with one likely to be rolled out in the UK by the end of the year.

COVID-19: Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine now 95% effective and will be submitted for authorisation ‘within days’

Pfizer and BioNTech say they plan to submit the COVID-19 vaccine to the US regulator for emergency use approval “within days” after “no serious safety concerns” were reported.

The UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), is also poised to fast-track authorisation of the vaccine after the government ordered enough for 20 million people.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that, pending authorisation, the NHS will be ready to roll them out to the most vulnerable from 1 December.

Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

Moderna: Covid vaccine shows nearly 95% protection

A new vaccine that protects against Covid-19 is nearly 95% effective, early data from US company Moderna shows.

Moderna says it will apply to regulators in the US in the coming weeks. It expects to have 20 million doses available in the country.

The company hopes to have up to one billion doses available for use around the world next year and is planning to seek approval in other countries too.

The UK government is still negotiating with Moderna as their vaccine is not one of the six already ordered. It says Moderna’s will not be available before spring next year.

Whilst this news of a vaccine in positive, testing remains hugely important in suppressing the virus whilst the vaccine can be rolled out. It has been suggested that mass testing could provide a way for sporting events and concerts to return, which is a positive sign for the events industry too.

Covid-19: New ‘mega labs’ in early 2021 to speed up testing

Two new “mega labs” will open in early 2021 with the aim of doubling the UK’s daily coronavirus testing capacity, the government has said.

The sites – at Leamington Spa in the Midlands and another at an unconfirmed site in Scotland – will increase testing capacity by 600,000.

“These mega labs are future-proofing our national infrastructure to respond to future epidemics and improving care for other diseases.”

a woman looking at the camera while holding the eyepiece of the microscope
Photo by Artem Podrez on Pexels.com

The last few weeks have also seen a boost for virtual events, with an historic funding round for event tech company Hopin, and a successful virtual ‘The Meetings Show’ which is set to return in a hybrid form next year – a cautiously optimistic move back to in-person events.

The Meetings Show to return as a hybrid event following virtual success

The first virtual The Meetings Show has been hailed a success, with 83 per cent of buyers ‘likely’ or ‘extremely likely’ to recommend the event to industry colleagues.

Now, as The Meetings Show confirms that it will take place on 22 and 23 June 2021, buyers are already earmarking the date to attend.

According to the results of a post-show survey, 90 per cent of buyers said they would ‘probably’ or ‘definitely’ attend The Meetings Show again after the same number rated the delivery of the 2020 event ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

Hopin’s New $125 Million Raise Signals Continued Investor Interest in Virtual Events

Virtual event technology company Hopin just announced it has closed one of the largest funding rounds in the history of the event industry. 

“During the first few months of the pandemic, there were some who questioned the long-term relevancy of virtual platforms. We don’t hear those arguments anymore. There is a broad recognition that large parts of the new virtual infrastructure are here to stay, and it’s because they offer something that can’t be replicated anywhere else. Give the world a virtual venue, and they’ll plan weddings and parties and conferences and recruiting fairs. Lower the barriers to putting on an event, and suddenly thousands of companies will convene one for the very first time. This isn’t a fad; it’s the future.”

Hopin Founder and CEO Johnny Boufarhat

At times it has felt like a challenge for the events industry to be recognised and listened to by the government, despite contributing £80bn to the economy each year. So, this announcement from Conference News just yesterday is hugely welcome.

Theresa Villers has been appointed as chair a re-established All Party Parliamentary Group for Events

The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, will be the new Chair of the APPG. Villiers takes over from James Heappey MP, who was Chair for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces prevented him from serving in that role. Robert Largan, Member of Parliament for High Peak, will serve as vice chair.

Image via theresavilliers.co.uk

The APPG will continue to act as the industry’s voice in Parliament and has been credited with establishing stronger links between the events industry, Parliament and Government in recent years.

“I am delighted that the APPG for Events is being re-established. At a time when the conference and events sector has been devastated by the Covid outbreak, it is more important than ever that we have this group working in Parliament to speak up for this crucial part of our economy.”

Theresa Villiers, commenting on the APPG

(Virtual) Christmas is just around the corner!

And finally, don’t forget that Christmas is just around the corner. If you’re in need of some Christmassy inspiration, discover how HeadBox worked with Kreston Reeves to create their Christmas Variety Extravaganza, how the journey has worked for them so far and what they’re looking forward to the most.

So, that’s all for this edition of the HeadBox Events Industry News Bulletin, stayed tuned for more updates, insight and comment in two weeks time!