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30/12/20:   Revised Tiers have been announced today and you can see the latest info on this here there are currently no changes to the visitor economy guidance for England, including that relating to permitted meetings and events, as indicated below.

Additional Guidance added 23/12/20:-

Restrictions for areas in tier 4 have also been added. View the guidance as well as to find out the restrictions in place for your business, including, for example, social contact rules, advice for guided tours and coach tours, as well as guidance for wedding, civil partnership, wakes and commemorative events. The guidance also includes the exemptions of when a hotel and other guest accommodation in tier 4 in England can remain open, plus examples of when a business event and meeting venues can be used.

Advice on organised outdoor events in tier 4 has also been published. Entertainment venues must close including: fairgrounds, funfairs, zoos and other animal attractions, water parks and theme parks as well as outdoor Santa’s grottos. Outdoor business events (such as trade shows and exhibitions) and elite sporting events are not permitted. Performing art venues will be closed to audiences, including outdoor performing art activities. All other outdoor events organised by businesses, charitable organisations and public bodies, such as car boot sales, and literary fairs are not permitted.

View the updated visitor economy guidance.

  • Guidance for people planning to get married or form a civil partnership in England has been updated. Wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations are not permitted to take place in Tier 4.
  • Working safely during coronavirus guidance on performing arts has been updated to include tier 4: stay at home restrictions. The guidance says that:
    • in tiers 3 and 4: indoor and outdoor performing arts venues, such as theatres, concert halls and music venues will be closed to audiences.
    • However training, rehearsals, and performances without an audience for broadcast or recording purposes may continue in theatres and concert halls.

In addition, Outdoor theatres and concert venues will remain open for drive-in only in tier 3 areas but must close in tier 4 areas. Outdoor performing arts activity can still take place in line with this guidance. Read the guidance.

Below Guidance published 21/12/20

The published regulations still allow for work, education and training up to 30 people. However, there is a strong message in law for people to stay at home for those in Tier 4. Therefore, venues and organisers should give serious consideration as to why these need to take place now and why they can't be done from home.

The newly published amendments make it illegal for someone in Tier 4 to leave the place that they are living without reasonable excuse

Restrictions on leaving home

1.—(1) No person who lives in the Tier 4 area may leave or be outside of the place where they are living without reasonable excuse.

The list of exemptions to this include

  • To buy certain goods (eg food and medicine) and services (banking)
  • Exercise
  • Worship
  • Matters related to house sale or residential rentals
  • Were required for work
  • Elite Athletes
  • Medical treatment
  • Support/respite/ death bed visit
  • Funerals and weddings
  • Exception 11: returning home
    • (16) Exception 11 is that it is reasonably necessary for P to be outside P’s home to enable P to return home from any place where P was on holiday immediately before this Schedule came into force.


The amendments make it illegal for a person to organise of be involved in a gathering of people with a number of exemptions – the most relevant being:

  • Education
  • Training that is required for qualifications
  • Work-related meetings
  • Weddings (max 6 people)

Food and Drink

The restrictions on food and beverage businesses are basically the same as Tier 3 – only delivery or takeaway except for room service. There are exemptions for ports/airports/motorway service areas and two channel tunnel rail areas.

Businesses can:

  • sell food or drink for consumption off the premises between the hours of 05:00 and 23:00
  • sell food or drink for consumption off the premises between the hours of 23:00 and 05:00 by delivery or collection in response to internet or phone orders or by drive through

There is also an exemption for food and drink services on transport services


The restrictions for accommodation businesses in Tier 4 are also basically the same as Tier 3 in that all accommodation has to close but is able to provide accommodation to a person who:

  • needs the accommodation for work
  • is unable to return to their main residence
  • uses that accommodation as their main residence
  • needs accommodation for the purposes of a house move
  • needs accommodation to attend a funeral or following a bereavement of a close family member or friend
  • needs accommodation to attend a commemorative event to celebrate the life of a person who has died
  • needs accommodation to attend a medical appointment, or to receive treatment
  • is a carer of a vulnerable person or a person who has a disability and needs respite
  • is isolating themselves from others as required by law
  • is an elite athlete or the coach of an elite athlete and needs accommodation for the purposes of training or competition or, where an elite athlete is a child, their parent
  • needs accommodation to visit a person who is dying
  • is homeless or seeking refuge

Importantly, accommodation businesses are allowed to host people who were staying in that accommodation immediately before the time when the area in which the accommodation is located became part of the Tier 4 area,


All indoor and outdoor attractions are required to close including safari parks. The exemptions being

  • outdoor areas at visitor attractions such as:
    • sculpture parks
    • landmarks, including observation wheels or viewing platforms
    • botanical or other gardens, biomes or greenhouses
    • stately or historic homes, castles or other heritage sites;

Conference and Events

Conference centres and exhibition halls are required to close so far as they are used to host conferences, exhibitions, trade shows, private dining events or banquets, other than conferences, trade shows or events which are attended only by employees of the person who owns or is responsible for running the conference centre or exhibition hall.

NAEC Stoneleigh is set to welcome a new National Camping Show in March 2021.

Offering a unique opportunity for camping enthusiasts to see the latest innovations in the camping and outdoor market, it will take place at the venue from the 18th to the 21st March.

The newest tents will be pitched outdoors as well as caravans, awnings, trailer tents, campervans, drive-away awnings, camping furniture and accessory products. Visitors will get the opportunity to compare, browse and purchase from a large selection of tents and outdoor products.

The National Camping Show will be organised and ran in accordance with the ‘All Secure Standard’, a best-practice framework for Covid-19 safe events compiled by industry trade associations and approved by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS).

Lynn Gardener, sales director at NAEC Stoneleigh, said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of the National Camping Show at the venue and we look forward to welcoming the event and everyone involved.”

“It has been a difficult year for the events industry, so it’s great to be ending it with a positive announcement about a new show.

“We are fortunate to have such large, flexible outdoor spaces at our disposal that are perfect for this type of event.”

Marta Williams, from The National Camping Show, said: “We are excited to bring the only national camping show to NAEC Stoneleigh and showcase the very best in the camping and caravanning market. Visitors can see all the main camping brands in one location and even see the tents pitched. It will be a fantastic day out for outdoor enthusiasts and all the family.”

Admission to the show is free, but pre-registration at the show’s website is required.

To find out more information about NAEC Stoneleigh, visit or search for NAEC Stoneleigh on social media.


Collaboration and consolidation will be key trends for the business events, accommodation and meetings industry in 2021, according to the HBAA.

HBAA governance director Sian Sayward captured this when predicting: “M&A activities, joint ventures and partnerships will increase in 2021.”

There was extensive agreement, as well as a wide range of original views, when each HBAA board member and advisor shared their predictions and trends for next year.

Strong industry-wide collaboration to raise the sector’s profile will also continue. Julie Shorrock, HBAA membership director and managing director of HTS, says: “Despite such a challenging year, our industry has demonstrated how well we collaborate to make us stronger and collectively louder to have our voices heard. We are now better recognised and respected by Parliament, Government and at local council level allowing us to gain the financial support we need to rebuild our businesses and our industry, and this will only develop further in 2021.”

Market and business recovery, the rise of virtual and hybrid events, and the importance of mental health and sustainability were amongst other topics that the HBAA leadership have highlighted in their views.


Market recovery

The HBAA team expect recovery will begin in Q2/Q3/Q4 next year. Sayward explains: “In-person large-scale business events will return, but not to full scale until the end of 2021, and even 2022. Smaller meetings and smaller/hybrid events will replace the large-scale offerings for 2021.”

The end of the Government’s furlough scheme in March will impact market recovery, according to Des McLaughlin, HBAA strategy director and managing director of Meet Events: “Agencies that haven’t reduced their costs and/or failed to secure new areas of revenue will struggle. Travel management companies could find business particularly challenging as clients will be looking for innovative meeting solutions rather than a transactional service.”

There will be “strong demand for employee engagement events, which by their very nature will need to be in person,” predicts David Taylor, HBAA advisor and non-executive director of BCD Meetings & Events. “Regional countryside and sporting venues will be the main beneficiaries of this resurgence as their location and facilities will support the new best practices.” However, “residential training will be hit hard. Many courses will now be lost to virtual.”

Leigh Cowlishaw, HBAA consultant executive director, says: “Customer confidence in booking, staying, travelling and attending is affected, with many organisations not actually allowing these activities to take place, or tiers making these decisions for us. Therefore assurances, recognised benchmarks and the ability to showcase revised protocols and standards is absolutely key to kick start recovery.


“As an industry we have adapted our ways or working and implemented measurements to ensure that the customer journey touch points have been considered and are as safe as they can be. We need to continue to shout about this and pre-empting concerns individuals or companies may have. As an industry we have been tracking and tracing for years through delegate, guest and traveller management.”


Positive outlook for business travel and accommodation

On business travel, there will be “steady growth” forecasts Shorrock: “Domestic business travel will recover more quickly than international. Rail will see a faster recovery than air travel.”

For hotel and accommodation providers, recovery will be gradual. Callum McLean, HBAA membership directory and director of business partnerships, Capita Travel and Events adds: “Transient accommodation numbers will see a quicker return, although we will be nowhere near 2019 numbers in 2021.”


Hybrid and virtual events will increase

“2021 will be the year of hybrid, bridging the gap between the virtual world and back to live events,” says Angie Mason, HBAA treasurer and chairman of Absolute Corporate Events.

Safety concerns will continue to contribute to the rise of virtual and hybrid events, believes Beckie Towle, HBAA marketing director and founder of The Events Raccoon who adds. “We will see a commitment from clients to run the events they may have held off in 2020 but I think virtual and hybrid will be the way in which they feel safe to do this.”

Many corporate meetings programmes will be re-tendered early next year to include virtual as a key component, says Taylor. “Engagement with the booking communities on how and when to use virtual and cost avoidance will all be important KPIs.”


Sustainability opportunities

Sustainability will reappear on business agendas fairly quickly and ‘Planet, People and Profit’ will all be talking points to act upon. Juliet Price, executive director of the HBAA, explains: “There will be opportunities for organisations to implement sustainability policies and, with that, there will be increased demand for agencies, venues and suppliers to demonstrate best practice in this area.”


Mental health and wellbeing

People will be high on the agenda, following the stress and mental health issues experienced in 2020. Shorrock says: “With continued isolated working conditions, mental health awareness will play a pivotal role in the wellbeing of us all.”

Cowlishaw adds: “Our people continue to be our biggest assets, and no one will be unscathed by 2020, in some shape or another. Whilst the taboo subject of Mental Health was starting to be overturned; 2020 will have lasting effects on us with productivity being impacted. This subject must now be elevated to the forefront, within all businesses to aid recoveries.”


Progress must not be lost

Despite a tough year, there have been many positive changes with many businesses expanding their skill sets and working smarter and more collaboratively. The industry should continue to move forward and not go back to exactly the way it was before – it must bounce back better. Taylor typified the group’s views when saying: “I hope the ‘positive’ changes that many found as a consequence of the pandemic are not lost in the clamour to rebuild our industry.”

Technology will continue to accelerate change throughout every industry in the coming years and Sayward has an interesting take on how it will influence the future of the events industry. She explains: “Automation will continue to influence the industry, whether that be as simple as an electronic contract or as advanced as a robot butler – this trend is here to stay.”

Cowlishaw concluded: “We also have to continue to fight for the identity within each of our sectors; whilst progress has been made to get our voice heard; unquestionably we have further ground to cover. HBAA continue to be committed to our members and the wider industry to champion, lead and collaborate to strive forward and ensure we remain #futurefit.” sees positive numbers following #Greenlightfriday campaign

Michael Begley, managing director of says: “There’s growing momentum in the events industry and we’ve seen a recent surge in enquiries. Last week (w.c 30 November) we saw a massive 52% increase in enquiry numbers. Although this growth is from a low base, we hope this is a clear sign of confidence.  

 “The event industry now has many reasons to be positive - the recent news of the vaccine has given our industry a ‘shot in the arm’ so to speak. Also, our recent #Greenlightfriday campaign (4 December) saw many event professionals share the message that now is the time to start planning with confidence for next year.  

 “We calling on the industry to maintain this continued confidence and plan ahead for a bright 2021.” 

#Greenlightfriday on 4 December saw industry associations, venues, agencies and event professionals share content across their social media channels to encourage event planners to begin booking meetings and events. is a UK-based business established in 1993 and has a database of over 400,000 meeting and event spaces in 300 countries. It provides venue data, websites and venue sourcing software to the meetings and events industry.    #greenlightfriday  

09/12/2020: miaList 2020

It’s great to see HBAA members being recognised in the prestigious miaList 2020 awards.

HBAA is delighted to congratulate everyone shortlisted and in such a challenging year, an extra-special well done to all the winners!

Extra-ordinary Performance Award - Simon Thatcher, Kents Hill Park

Team of the Year - Lancashire Cricket Club – Emirates Old Trafford

Extra Ordinary Team Performance – Oddity Events & Marketing

Leadership Award - Douglas O’Neill, Inntel

miaList roll of honour

The coveted miaList 2020 features eight individuals:

Adam Loach, Grand Hotel Brighton

Judith Sloane, Meet Cambridge

Rachel Azzopardi, Regents Conferences

Charlie Kelly, Chelsea FC

Marianne MacKinnon, St Andrews University

Clare Heap, Visit Leeds

Adam Simpson, ETC Venues

Joanna Lunn, Victory Services Club

The Eastside Rooms Shares Findings from Pandemic Roundtable to help other professionals in the industry

The Eastside Rooms has conducted a ‘Pandemic Roundtable’, bringing together thoughts, insight, and industry advice from across the business, in hope of offering support to other professionals in the industry. The findings from the roundtable will be shared as part of the venue’s pre-launch activity, focused on collaboration and thought leadership.

The advice will be posted exclusively through the venue’s LinkedIn page and will offer insight from Operations, HR, Foodservice, PR & Marketing, and Sales. Through the business-to-business platform, the venue is looking to create a dialogue with other venues and #eventprofs on how to work closely together for the year ahead. 

“Everyone has witnessed the catastrophic effects the pandemic has had on the industry” commented Leanne Bladen, Sales & Marketing Director, The Eastside Rooms. “We think it’s imperative that we huddle together and support one another.”

“Building a venue during the pandemic has not been easy, however, we’re keen to share as we learn,” continued Leanne. “2021 will be all about sharing and collaboration, especially within the supply chain, we need to put rivalries aside and do things for the general health of the marketplace, this is what our Pandemic Roundtable was all about”.

Take a look at the Eastside Rooms’ Roundtable here and for further updates, sign up here.

@eastsiderooms | |



London, 08 December 2020: The All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) held its first meeting today following its re-establishment as an official APPG in Parliament, to elect its Officers and outline its objectives for the year ahead.
Members of Parliament from all of the major political parties attended the online Parliamentary meeting, which was chaired by The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, the recently appointed Chair of the APPG. A number of supporting Officers were also elected to the APPG, including Mark Menzies MP, Robert Seely MP, Owen Thompson MP, Andrew Slaughter MP, Stephen Hammond MP, Robert Largan MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, and Debbie Abrahams MP.

Commenting on the first meeting of the APPG, Theresa said; “This was a very successful meeting with lots of enthusiasm from MPs about backing the events, conference and exhibitions sector. We all agreed how crucial it is to get the industry open again, so we will be looking at how the Government can help provide certainty by supporting a number of issues, including pandemic insurance. This is a really encouraging start for the newly re-established APPG. I look forward to working with colleagues across parties, and from different parts of the UK, on providing a voice in Parliament for the events industry.”

The group also agreed to meet again early in the New Year, where it would be inviting representatives from various stakeholder groups to discuss how the APPG could provide support, both short term and long term, given the particular challenges that the industry continues to face.

Further information or questions can be obtained via and the industry can get regular updates from the official APPG for Events twitter feed @appgevents.

Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel group, has made a wave of new appointments for the upcoming opening of INNSiDE Newcastle, which is now set for launch on Monday 4th January 2021.

Following the Government’s announcement of Tier 3 restrictions in Newcastle, INNSiDE Newcastle has postponed its mid-December opening until the New Year. Commenting on the opening, Cluster General Manager, Garry Fortune added “In light of the recent tier structures, we have made the descision to postpone the launch of the hotel for just a couple of weeks, meaning that we will now open a new hotel in the New Year, with a new team and of course in a new city! We are very much looking forward to opening in Newcastle, on Monday 4th January!”

One of the hotel’s new appointments includes the placement of a new Sales Manager – to focus on the launch on INNSiDE’s second UK site. The global hotel brand has appointed Shireen Rowley for the new role, where she will be responsible for the hotel’s business development and sales activity from pre-opening stage to launch. Before joining INNSiDE by Meliá, Rowley took the lead as Director of Business Development at The Sandman Newcastle Hotel whilst supporting sales of their Gatwick and Aberdeen properties. Prior to this she was part of the Sodexo Prestige team, steering the Sales and Marketing functions for NUFC and Tyne and Wear Museums. Rowley has also been part of the sales teams at Barceló Hotels, County Durham and McDonald Linden Hall Hotel.

Also making up the wider Newcastle hotel team is Cluster General Manager, Garry Fortune; Cluster Director of Sales, Scott Brown, who joined Meliá Hotels International earlier this year, and Tom Meara as Cluster Revenue Manager. Mélia has also announced plans to launch a new INNSiDE hotel in Liverpool, set for spring 2021 – and further hotels in the North of the UK earmarked to launch in 2022. The cluster team will assist with the phased opening of all new hotels.

With a growing portfolio of new hotels in the UK North, Cluster Director of Sales Scott Brown added: “It’s an incredibly exciting time for INNSiDE by Meliá, as we look to expand our properties in the UK. It’s great to have the addition of Shireen Rowley in Newcastle, supporting the brand’s cluster team to bring the INNSiDE experience and stay philosophy to the North East.”

The 161-room INNSiDE Newcastle hotel is located in the heart of the city on the historical Quayside, offering breath-taking views across the River Tyne and an eclectic home-from-home feel for guests to explore Newcastle’s city centre. INNSiDE by Meliá’s philosophy ‘Stay Curious’ promises to accommodate guest’s every need and desire, allowing them to slip seamlessly from work to play. Each stay will be enriched with music, art and literature curated by the hotel’s local experts.

Guests and locals alike will be able to enjoy an exclusive dining experience on the Tyne, thanks to the restaurant’s floor to ceiling windows and beautiful outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic river. This space will become an exciting destination restaurant for both hotel guests and locals alike.
INNSiDE Newcastle will also offer five multi-functional meeting spaces with maximum capacity for up to 170 banqueting, including a Big Ideas Space, full of smart, sustainable touches to inspire the unconventional.

As part of Meliá Hotels International, INNSiDE Newcastle will operate the global ‘Stay Safe With Meliá’ programme across the hotel, including measures to prioritise guest and staff safety during Covid-19.

In response to the increased demand of its consultancy and operating solutions, Countrywide Hotels is announcing its recent business growth which now includes the hotel portfolio from the Festival Hotel Group.

At the end of October CWH and Festival exchanged contracts for the day to day full management of the Group. The nine properties will fall under the Countrywide Hotels umbrella, as independently branded hotels. They will benefit from strong positioning in their local market, whilst enjoying the loyalty driven by Countrywide Hotels agents and corporate relationships, along with the skill and expertise in operations, sales and marketing, finance procurement and accounting.

The hotels a total 401 rooms, primarily located in the Midlands and North England include the Allerton Court Hotel, the Bridge Hotel and Spa, the Comfort Inn Sunderland, the Crab & Lobster Restaurant and Hotel, the Hallgarth Manor House, the New Hobbit, the Three Ways House Hotel (home of the Pudding Club), and the Wroxton House Hotel.

Darren Patt, Managing Director of Countrywide Hotels said, “This is an exciting time at Countrywide Hotels, we have expanded our core resources with talented specialist people that we have recruited for all operational, financial and marketing aspects of our business so that we can support our current and new owners with bespoke resources”.

Mr Patt also added:  We are delighted to be working with the Festival owners and taking on the management of this group of hotels. This group of hotels gives Countrywide Hotels an even stronger presence in the Midlands and North of England’

For further information please visit

Church House Westminster hosted one of the biggest domestic boxing bouts of 2020 as Hall-Of-Fame Promoter Frank Warren celebrates forty years in professional boxing.

On Saturday 28 November, Dubois vs Joyce took place at historic Church House behind closed doors. The fight was broadcast live on BT Sport and saw Joe ‘Juggernaut’ Joyce claim the British, European and Commonwealth heavyweight championship. 

In an incredible reversal, the domestic heavyweight clash was not pay-per-view. Frank Warren, said: “This is about keeping boxing alive and relevant at a tough time and doing something for the fans.” Warren was keen to point out that the Covid outbreak and its negative effect on UK jobs and livelihoods were on his mind as he decided to scrap plans to make the fight pay per view. The blockbuster November event, branded with the apt tagline ‘At Last’, represented the final chapter in a saga that has seen April, July and October dates cancelled because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Next Saturday, 5 December, boxing fans are in for another exciting evening of live boxing on BT Sport with Yarde vs Arthur facing off and this bout will again take place behind closed doors at Church House. 

Warren added: “I’m delighted to be able to confirm such a spectacular venue to host two weeks of fantastic big-time boxing. It’ll be a more than fitting way to celebrate my forty years in professional boxing. Both these bouts are battles for the history books, so it makes sense they’d take place in a venue so rich in history. Winston Churchill announced the sinking of the Bismarck inside this venue, and soon we’ll know who out of these boxers will sink or swim.”

The Westminster venue’s largest event space, the Assembly Hall, took centre stage as the main studio. The Hoare Memorial Hall functioned as an interview and media room, whilst post-fight conferences took place in the Bishop Partridge Hall. A number of other rooms, also located on the first floor of the venue were utilised as flexible changing rooms, storage and staff quarters.   

Inside the Assembly Hall, BT Sport presenters were joined by two-weight world champion Carl Frampton and former WBA heavyweight champ David Haye. Commentator boxes inside the Assembly Hall for live coverage featured radio sport pundit Steve Bunce. 

The evening started at 6 pm when the first of eight matches started off with the undercards which included Hamzah Sheeraz, David Adeleye and Jack Catterall.  

Bradley Hill, Audio-Visual and Production Manager of Church House Westminster commented: “As a Covid-Secure venue in London, we’re extremely proud of our expert teams who have worked side-by-side with the organisers of this event to deliver this exceptional night for British heavyweight boxing.  Our historic Grade II listed building offers a versatile space for unique and unusual events, which this event illustrates so perfectly.  The impact of the pandemic on the events industry has been decimating. This live event may have taken place behind closed doors, but to us, it is very much a show and testament for all to see the resilience and innovation of our industry and its people”. 


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