On 10th September, the #PowerOfLiveEvents initiative, which started out as a social media campaign in May, left the virtual space and converted into an all-day live conference in Budapest, with a few hundred participants populating the conference room of Puskás Arena. Support came from the newly-formed Budapest Convention Bureau and the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre with the cooperation of industry associations.
The event wanted to demonstrate the state and private sector ‘s collaboration, raising trust after these challenging times. The changes in the industry were obvious: There was a disinfection gate with a digital thermometer where you had to hold your wrist in front of the display; masked, gloved hostesses helped manage elevators, among other things to reduce the number of surfaces touched; chairs, tables and microphones were regularly disinfected; lunch packages were individually prepared; and with the right coloured armband, it was possible to indicate without words if someone might have wanted to keep a greater distance.
The aim was showcasing how events can be organised under the current circumstances. Prestigious speakers representing different segments of the industry were discussing the situation, the changes, the new trends and challenges the meeting industry is facing. Additional topics were the role Budapest is playing as a key MICE destination, the strategy for helping the sector, and the safe event protocols developed due to the pandemic.
The live conference proved that by creating the right conditions, it is possible to organise MICE events for up to hundreds of people in Hungary in accordance with health-safety rules. As the limit of more than 500 participants only applies to music and dance events, there is no participation cap for any other type of event.
The newly-formed Budapest Convention Bureau’s mission is to provide a platform for its clients and its partners representing the MICE sector in Budapest and in Hungary in order to boost the incoming event industry and business tourism while promoting the destination on international level.
At the opening of the Power of Live Events Conference The UNICEO research on 200 large international companies was presented, which provided insight into the event industry’s immediate future. In the first quarter of 2021, 64% of companies surveyed would like to continue organising events, and a third of respondents expect a pre-epidemic budget, according to the survey.