It’s been a hard hit on events, with this sector being one of the last to reopen where several countries have started to lift special measures and move towards a “new normal”. Although it’s a small start, some countries are allowing small events to take place and have laid out prospective dates to increase the number of participants in the coming months. View a summary of the European countries in this phase below.
Last updated 21 July, 2020
Which countries have reopened for events 🟢
Norway – It was announced that a maximum of 50 participants were allowed to attend public events from May 7, with a responsible organiser. From June 2020, this number has now been increased to a maximum of up to 200 participants. Events must still follow social distancing; in Norway an individual must be able to keep at least a 1-metre distance from others who are not part of the same household or within their closest circle of contacts. This distance must be adhered to during the whole event.
Sweden – Sweden has had less stricter rules in place than other countries, and still allows for public and private events to take place but only with a maximum of 50 participants and no more. Practising good hygiene and a social distance of 1-2 metres is advised.
There has not been a further update on increasing the amount of participants in events.
Denmark – Events of up to 100 people are allowed. This applies to both indoor and outdoor gatherings, and it applies to both public and private events. (This was increased from 50 to 100 in July.)
Spain – Spain allowed for business meetings and conferences for under 50 people from May 2020. Social distancing rules should still be maintained with a distance of 2-meters between individuals.
Germany – “Commercial and private indoor events with up to 150 participants were allowed from the beginning of June. At the end of the month, events with up to 300 participants can take place. Outdoor events of up to 500 participants is now allowed.” (Source 1)
“Event organisers must create an attendance list with the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all participants. This list must be kept for four weeks.” (Source 2, ‘Events and Outdoor activities’)
B2B Tradeshows are able to take place (subject to conditions and special health and safety measures. (Source 3)
Finland – “Public events and public meetings of more than 50 and a maximum of 500 persons in indoor and enclosed outdoor spaces can be organised under special arrangements. The Regional State Administrative Agencies require that such meetings and events be organised in accordance with the guidelines on the prevention of coronavirus infections issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on 14 May 2020.”
Austria – The Austrian government allowed cultural events for up to 250 spectators from 1 July.
If organisers are able to present safety measures that meet government approval, then events for up to 1,000 people could be given the go ahead from 1 August. (Source 1)
Switzerland – Events and gatherings are further ahead, allowing for up to 1000 people – permitted from 22 June. Note that, “contact tracing must be possible at all times. Event organisers must ensure that the maximum number of people that may need to be contacted does not exceed 300. This can be achieved by dividing the venue into sectors.”
>1000: “Large-scale events for more than 1000 people will be permitted from the beginning of September, as long as there is no deterioration in the epidemiological situation. Those attending will also have to be placed in sectors.”
Belgium – In Brussels, meetings, banquet & receptions of up to 50 people resumed from 1 July (subject to specific rules). (Source 1)
“Minister Denis Ducarme, experts and representatives of the events sector are working on the development of an ‘Event Risk Model’ for the sector’s reopening.” (Source 2)
Greece – Exhibitions and Conferences resume in Greece on the 1st of July. These will be based on a specific health and safety protocol. (Source 2)
The major international exhibition, Thessaloniki International Fair (5-13 September) is said to be going ahead for now.
Italy – Conferences and events can be held in some regions. See where here.
There should be a 1 metre distance between people. “At events and conferences, audience members and staff, including receptionists and technicians, will have to wear a mask at all times. Handouts and information booklets should aim to be in digital form.” (Source 2)
Netherlands – Group activities were allowed with groups of up to 100 participants from July 2020. Group activities are defined as weddings, funerals, etc. A social distancing rule of 1.5-metres is expected to be adhered to.
“Group activities with with an unlimited number of people can take place- under some conditions. For indoor activities, the number of attendees is unlimited so long as people are asked about their health before they enter (at what is called a triage), there isn’t any blockage at the entrance, and the 1.5m distance can be observed. If a triage is not possible, the limit remains at 100 people.” (Source 1)
Countries with plans to reopen small events from August 2020 🟠
United Kingdom – From 1 August, meetings of up to 30 people will be allowed in certain venues if there is capability to adhere to safety guidance and social distancing requirements. Business events, conferences, exhibitions and events centres are expected to open from October 1, providing the rate of infection stays at a manageable level. (Source 1)
Wedding ceremonies are permitted, with a maximum of 30 people to be present, but receptions are not allowed.
This news follows further easing of UK lockdown measures last month, with the hospitality industry having reopened July 4th. Strict guidelines are in place for Covid-secure venues, including “physical barriers between tables and New Zealand-style ‘guest registers’ of customers in pubs and restaurants.” (Source 2)
Other countries 🔴
France – Currently, no more than 10 people may gather in any public space.
We have not come across any mention of professional events yet.
How Qondor can help
In Norway, it is a requirement for events taking place in a public place to have a responsible organiser who has an overview of who is present. As mentioned above, Germany also requires a list of participant information to be available for four weeks. Qondor, a meetings and events management software, can assist with digital gathering of participant information and check-in with QR code for all event guests. This allows the organizer full digital control with lists of all participants who were actually present. The list of participants can easily be shared with the authorities in case of infection detection, in accordance with GDPR legislation. If this is something you are missing and you would like to know more about how we can solve this need for your business, feel free to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
The future of events
Events will have to be held in a different form and require an even greater and careful amount of preparation with sharp health and safety measures. While the future of events may look different for a while, and anything can change*, we have our fingers crossed for larger events to pick up again in Q3 or Q4, for the event professionals who love to plan and organize, the participants who have sorely missed the human connection and atmosphere that events bring, and for a much needed recovery for the events companies that make up this much loved and necessary sector.
*Event professionals should cross-check and refer to their own country’s guidelines.
In the meantime
The rise of virtual events and the many technology tools available provides organisers with an alternative way to host events (if for instance, physical events are still out of the question). Learning these tools and being creative with it can be invaluable for the future; even though these can’t replace the value of face to face interactions, it is likely that future events will look to combine the two.
💡 View PCMA’s (Professional Convention Management Association – the world’s largest, recognised network of business events strategists) COVID-19 resources page for event professionals, where you can find more information about the effect of the pandemic on the events industry and related resources to prepare you now and for the future.