May 17th has been and gone, which means indoor hospitality is back, business events (with some restrictions) can now go ahead, and hugs are back on the cards 馃檶

It’s the biggest step forward for the events industry so far, but what do the changes mean for business events?

In this week’s Bulletin, we explore the details of the changes, initial reports from recent pilot events and  馃帀

All the events that can go ahead after May 17th

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday (10th May) confirmed the fantastic news that the next stage of the roadmap out of lockdown will go ahead 馃帀

This means that groups of 6 or two households can meet inside, groups of 30 can gather outside and indoor hospitality, cinemas and theatres can open too.

But it’s also hugely exciting for the industry as business events such as conferences, tradeshows, exhibitions, private dining, corporate hospitality can finally go ahead too.

From last Monday, 17 May, most in-person events (social and business) can now resume in some form. However, there are still some capacity caps in place and of course, social distancing and masks are still vital.

  1. Up to 30 people can attend weddings, funerals and other ‘life events’
  2. Indoor events for up 1,000 people or 50% venue capacity can go ahead
  3. Outdoor events for up to 4,000 (or 50% capacity) may also resume
  4. Large, outdoor seated venues can allow up to 10,000 people or 25% of total seated capacity, whichever is lower.

Events ‘no riskier than shopping’

Initial findings from the Event Research Programme suggests events without masks and social distancing can be as safe as going to a restaurant or shopping centre, The Times has reported.

Preliminary data from the events research programme is understood to have found that with screening, improved ventilation and other mitigating factors the risk of virus transmission can be significantly reduced, reducing fears that sports matches and concerts could cause big outbreaks.

people at concert
Photo by Vishnu R Nair on

Cisco acquires Socio as event tech deals gain momentum

Tech giant Cisco plans to buy Socio Labs, the developers of the Socio event management platform.

Cisco‘s announcement this week covered the company’s view that “hybrid events require a fundamentally different product” and that Socio鈥檚 event management platform would bring powerful end-to-end technology to Cisco’s existing Webex platform. 

There is also a clear strategy to follow with details on how acquiring Socio and Slido, acquired by Cisco earlier this month, allows Cisco to offer what it considers to be the “most robust technology stack to support the future of events.”

The acquisition underscores how attractive the event tech sector is becoming as a business opportunity.

More confidence vaccine works on all variants

The spread of the Indian variant has cast doubt on plans to ease remaining restrictions in England next month.

However, there is “increasing confidence” that Covid-19 vaccines are effective against all variants, including the Indian one, Boris Johnson has said.

The Prime Minister also advised against holidaying in ‘amber’ countries after a few days of confusion around travel restrictions.

airplane over world map on blackboard
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

We’ll be back next month with all the latest news from across the events industry.