Around 484,000 business events were staged in Australia in FY19 43.7 million attendances in FY19 but due to COVID-19 there were cancellations and postponements of 96 per cent of all events leading to a loss of $17.2 billion direct value to the economy on top of the $35.7 billion in direct expenditure and unprecedented loss of numerous jobs, according to the Business Events Council.

According to Vital Protection Groups’ director Eddie Idik, the questions on the minds of event industry are, ‘when do we get back to normal?’, ‘what guidelines will we use to rebuild?’ and most importantly ‘how do gain the confidence of our attendees to ensure our events are safe to attend?’.

Idik says these questions are paramount to getting the event sector engine room started and they need to be addressed with the upmost transparency. According to Idik, COVID-19 will change the security and law enforcement landscape around the world much as 9-11 did, but on a much larger scale.

“Due to the impacts of COVID 19, future events will not just require traditional security screening but a focus on the new normal of bio-security screening as well,” explains explains VPG’s operations manager, Ibrahim Demirci.

What does this mean for business events?

For event organisers and venue operators, the new event frameworks and guidelines will need to be followed such as:

• Use of hygiene products including P2/N95 certified masks and use of hand sanitiser
• Physical distancing measures with barriers, crowd flow directional markings in public places
• COVID training for business events personnel
• Regular cleaning measures before and after events
• No-touch policies
• Management of attendee numbers depending on the venue space
• Medical facilities such as isolation rooms with trained personnel
• Temperature screening equipment to detect elevated temperatures of attendees and staff.

“Vital Protection Group staff have been working tirelessly in putting solutions in place to benefit the business events industry to gain the confidence of events stakeholders,” Demerci says. “We are officially launching this week our latest technology to assist events in the detection of elevated temperatures. This includes our thermal imaging cameras, which allows event organisers and venue operators to demonstrate they are taking overt action to gain the trust of attendees to their events by showing what measures they have put into place.”

Meanwhile Idik says that having the exclusive distribution rights for Australia and New Zealand, VPG’s thermal detection technology is going to assist venues in having the tools it needs to instil the confidence back to its stakeholders.

“We have 2 solutions – the first is a thermal imaging walk-though unit that measures a person’s temperature within 1-2 seconds as they pass through the unit without stopping,” he explains. “During an event, this unit can process up to 1800-2000 attendees per hour, per unit.

“The other solution is a thermal imaging camera pointed towards a concourse were attendees are passing through in which the camera will measure the temperature of attendees who are within a 10-metre distance of the camera to identify elevated temperatures.

“Gone are the days of discretion,” Idik says. “Attendees want to know and see the actions event organisers and venue operators are taking to ensure not just the security of attendees, but what bio-security measures are being put into place.

For more information or a demo of the technology please contact Eddie Idik at [email protected]