The other day I read an article where some venues overseas are requiring delegates and staff working to have a Covid-19 vaccine before they attend a conference. One conference had also decided to reduce the attendance to 1,300 delegates, to ensure that they created a more comfortable experience for not only the audience but for the supplying companies of the conference.
As the Business Events sector being a vital part of the Association community in New Zealand. Should we also adopt this policy in 2022, when our vaccine levels exceed over 75% of the population. Yes, there absolutely needs to be exceptions as living in an equitable and diverse society we never want to restrict people due to that are prevented from getting the vaccine, such as religious beliefs and health conditions and other conditions under the Bill of Rights act in New Zealand. But to keep our respective Association community is safe, in addition to the people that are at the venue, should this be a part of the terms and conditions that conferencing associations have as part of their conference registration package.
Reading overseas literature, it seems to be more the corporate companies holding a firm position on requiring staff to be vaccinated to hold their positions in the company. And that central and local government organisations seem to be putting messaging out there that it’s a good idea but tend not to have the foresight to mandate this.
As we want to open up our borders, so we can continue strengthening New Zealand as a conference destination in the Australasian, International markets, Should associations and corporate conferencing companies lead by example and ensure that we are safe to conference. With this we are also ensuring that when people are travelling into and around New Zealand, that we are being responsible and ensuring that not only the venue was safe, but the hotels, the conference services staff and the city that is holding the event.
I believe strong and messaging such as “working with the venue we believe the quickest way to return to normal is through Covid 19 vaccination. To stress the importance of getting the public vaccinated, and ensuring the health and safety of the conference participants and the venue and city residents and workers, the associations will require a full Covid 19 vaccination for all conference participants.” This should come from both Association and corporate leaders in consultation with the business events sector.
Like always, happy for your feedback at email@example.com
Brett Jeffery, General Manager New Zealand, Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE) July 2021