How a Coronavirus Vaccine may affect the Live Event, Exhibition and Conference Industry
Posted by Tom Oakes
As the reality of a Covid Vaccine moves ever closer, we have already started to hear about ways in which Exhibitions, Conferences and Live Events may open safely. In a statement released to media outlets recently it has been reported that Ticketmaster, the World’s largest online distributor of concert and live event tickets, has suggested that anyone purchasing a ticket through them will be asked to provide a negative Covid-19 result and/or proof of having taken the vaccine. Alas, this has now been reported as fake news although, there is still some hope for Exhibition Stand Designers and related industries.
The story, published in Billboard Magazine, said Ticketmaster wanted to use smartphone technology and online verification to prove anyone attending a live event, exhibition or conference did not have the Coronavirus.
Ticketmaster have said that they are exploring ideas through the use of technology to make attending live events safer. However, it said there will be “absolutely no requirement” for mandated vaccines.
In a statement, Ticketmaster said “We are not forcing anyone to do anything,”
The story emerged as it was confirmed Internationally that German Pharmaceutical Company Pfizer have developed a vaccine for the Coronavirus that is potentially 90% effective at protecting against the virus, the disease that has led to a Worldwide Pandemic and extended lock down in the UK and other parts of Europe and the World.
Despite the story perhaps being a little ahead of itself, the potential vaccine has finally given some hope to the Live Events, Exhibition and Conference Industry and Exhibition Stand Designers that have been closed for business since March this year. The hope being that live events will now be able to resume in 2021
Hypothetically, Ticketmaster and other live event ticket distributors would adopt the following procedure when offering tickets for sale for any live event:
- On purchasing a ticket, attendees would have to prove they had tested negatively for Covid 24-72 hours prior to the event or had a COVID-19 vaccine within 12 months.
- A third-party company such as CLEAR or IBM would be responsible for collating and delivering the information to Ticketmaster or equivalent
- On receipt of a negative result or proof of vaccination, Ticketmaster or equivalent would then issue an e-ticket.
- Access would not be granted to anyone who could not provide a negative test or proof of vaccination.
- Medical records would not be accessed by Ticketmaster or equivalent and they would only receive the results of a test or proof of vaccine.
The BBC on collating responses from the general public wrote that the majority of fans welcomed the plan, if it would mean the resumption of live events. “Inject me now,” wrote one . “Honestly I would do anything to go to a concert right now,” added another .
Although not everyone was so positive. Taking to Twitter 90’s pop group Right Said Fred wrote “Here it is, vaccines will be mandatory in all but name.”
Ticketmaster has responded to the controversy created by the story stating, “It does not have the power to set policies around Safety/Entry requirements, which would include vaccines and/or testing protocols.”
They went on to clarify “That is up to the discretion of the event organiser. Ticketmaster continues to work with event organisers on all Covid safety measures and it will be up to each event organiser to set future requirements, based on their preferences and local health guidelines.” And that the details presented in the story were one of many “potential ideas”.
Large scale events such as the Reading and Leeds festival 2021 have taken the preemptive step of announcing their headliners as hope for the resumption of live events grows.
Ticketmaster’s Smart Event platform, which will hopefully be adopted more widely in the Exhibition and Conference Industry is already being used to make attending live events safer in the following ways:
- The tech uses a social distancing seating tool to work out safe venue capacities
- It arranges and organisers staggered entry times to avoid large compact queues
- It ensures effective contact tracing
Ticketmaster’s president Mark Yovich said “Ticketmaster’s goal is to provide enough flexibility and options that venues and fans have multiple paths to return to events.”
Other ticketing companies such as Festival Republic, which organises events like Reading & Leeds has launched a ” Full Capacity Plan “ for reopening live events, exhibitions and conferences.
The expected fast turnaround of Covid tests currently due to be rolled out before the end of the year is expected to allow festivals and live events to resume next summer… Which is all round great new!