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CINZ calls for urgent distinction between business events and mass gatherings

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand is urging the government to make a clear distinction between business events and mass gatherings to give domestic events a solid platform to restart under Alert Level 2.

CINZ chief executive Lisa Hopkins says it is crucial the government understands that the business events industry can operate under a controlled set of ‘bio-safe’ principles and should not be subject to mass gathering restrictions.

“The business events industry runs highly organised events where we can trace visitors, delegates, speakers and exhibitors as well as monitor, track and put in place a range of measures that ensure these events comply with government measures on hygiene and physical distancing,” Lisa says.

CINZ is working to ensure a consistent message regarding the distinction between business events and mass gatherings is achieved.

“We know tourism activities, Air New Zealand and regional airlines, as well as venues, hotels and food and beverage outlets will have specific guidelines under Alert Level 2, and these are all part of the mix when it comes to business events,” she says.

“CINZ has been focused on producing safe meetings guidelines which will provide a framework to ensure all aspects of an assembly of people attending a business event have been considered,” she says.

“This includes the use of registration systems to support any Government-based track and trace capability and new guidelines around meeting set-ups to allow for social distancing. These guidelines have been created by the industry for the industry, and we are working in collaboration with EVANZ (Event Venues Association of New Zealand). They are currently with the Ministry of Health for final guidance before being distributed.

“We want the Government to understand that we take the health and safety of attendees and staff very seriously, and after all the great work which has been done by New Zealanders, we don’t want to move backwards. In fact we believe we can safely manage indoor business events of up to 500, “ she says.

“All we ask is not to confuse a business event with a mass gathering. One is structured, controlled and managed, the other can be the complete opposite.”

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