Tue 31 Aug 21
Scotland’s Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) met this week to discuss a number of areas directly related to the restart and recovery of the events sector.
The Group heard from the Scottish Government who shared some recent announcements including the Touring Fund for live music, 100 days commitments delivered and the Agreement with the Scottish Green Party. The opportunity to provide views on the draft aims and principles of an independent public inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was also shared.
An update was given on the latest data in relation to COVID-19 cases in Scotland which has seen new cases more than double in the last week. EIAG members requested further clarity around whether event capacities and mitigations will need to be modified if cases continue to rise over the forthcoming weeks. The Scottish Government confirmed it would continue to keep the sector updated should anything change.
The Scottish Government outlined that it continues to gather feedback on the Government backed insurance scheme for events which is due to be available from September 2021 and run until the end of September 2022.
EIAG members were also provided with an update from the Scottish Government on the COVID-19 Certification Scheme. A digital app is currently in development and due to be launched next month (subject to testing) initially for outbound international travel. The app will have functionality to support the use of Covid status certificates which will include vaccination details. Consideration is still being given to how this may be used across domestic settings and Group members were asked to provide feedback specifically in relation to the future possible use at events if required. Responses from the Group underlined the risks around additional costs, access to Wi-Fi, the need for clear messaging for attendees, parity and collaboration across all four nations, as well as considerations around the practical application of checking certification across events, and with a diverse range of both local and International audiences.
The Group also discussed the Event Sector Stimulus paper submitted to Ministers last month which highlighted a range of initiatives aimed at creating the environment for a safe and sustainable event sector restart including further grant funding for the sector; future funding for Scotland’s Event Recovery Fund and training opportunities to address emerging skills and employment gaps within the sector.
The Scottish Government emphasised that it continues to work within a tight and challenging budgetary framework and that the paper would be considered in the context of the broader economic recovery plan process.
In addition to the above, general updates were provided on the work around Standard Classification Codes (SIC) and plans for a submission to DCMS outlining the need to reclassify codes. The EIAG Good Practice and Innovation Working Group also provided an update on plans for potential future knowledge-sharing sessions including a Public Health focused seminar, and lessons learnt sessions on the delivery of live summer events and COP26 (All TBC). The Group were also made aware of plans to hold Scotland’s 7th National Events Conference in the first quarter of 2022 with early planning already underway.
Following this week’s EIAG meeting, Peter Duthie, Chair of the Event Industry Advisory Group received correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, Angus Robertson, asking the event sector, as part of a collective wider effort across all sectors, to step up their efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. Guidance on precautionary and mandatory measures has been published no the Scottish Government website under the Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer businesses and workplaces section.
A summary meeting note will be published from the meeting in due course. Further outputs from the group and representatives from the sector can raise any points for consideration by the group by emailing [email protected].