The COVID-19 pandemic has touched us all on a personal and professional level. It's also changed the way events will be managed and attended for the foreseeable future.
Since March, all Holyrood Events have been postponed. We're now thinking about what the 'new normal' is for events - with a focus on creating engaging and interactive virtual and hybrid experiences and preparing for when we next see each other in person.
These new virtual and hybrid formats will now form part of our permanent events offering but safety permitting, we believe that there will always be a role for in-person events that convene people to discuss topical issues.
Our plan is to restart our smaller in-person policy events at the end of September (assuming we have reached Phase 3 of the Scottish Government's route map - live and indoor events - by then) and our larger conferences in January 2021. We're thinking hard about the ‘new normal’ for in-person events, including changes to logistics, format and on-the-day experience.
Before we do anything, we want to understand what you’re thinking about virtual events and returning to in-person events. That's why we've launched a pulse survey. You can take part in the latest survey here: https://bit.ly/HolyroodSurvey2.
Read our Event FAQ
Our initial pulse survey ran from 25 June to 17 July and received 533 responses.
Do you agree with the following statement: "In-person social interaction will always be important when discussing topical issues"
Have you attended a virtual event during lockdown?
How long after moving to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government’s route map will you feel comfortable returning to socially distant in-person events?
When we move to Phase 3 of the Scottish Government's route map, how confident would you be returning to in-person events of different sizes? Please rate each on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 is not confident, 10 is very confident).
Last Update: 22 July 2020
This FAQ will be updated regularly taking into account the responses to our survey and the current public health guidance and emerging research. If you have a question that isn't answered below, please contact email@example.com.
We ask that if you - or any member of your household - have any COVID-19 symptoms you do not attend our in-person events.
Timeline for return to in-person events
Our return to in-person events will follow public health guidance and the progress made against the Scottish Government's route map out of lock down. Pending this, we plan to resume smaller in-person policy briefings at the end of September. Our larger conferences that were scheduled between September and December 2020 have been moved to a virtual format.
Track and trace
All registration data will be kept as usual in accordance with the Holyrood Event Privacy Notice. If requested by public health professionals, basic information - name, organisation, contact details - will be shared. We will communicate with anyone whose details we have provided.
We will only contract and work with venues that have detailed plans in place to mitigate COVID-19. This includes, but is not limited to, social distancing within events and between events, catering and the serving of food and drink, hand sanitiser provision, employee PPE and increased cleaning schedules.
All in-person events that return will have delegate caps. These caps will be set after reviewing the latest advice from the Scottish Government; analysing the responses to our survey; and assessing the size of the room at the venue. You will be informed of the delegate cap when registering for the event.
We will make changes to the format of our events - including but not limited to - the timing of the event to avoid peak travel times, room layout and agenda structure. We will also launch contactless registration, paperless agendas and delegate handouts.
In addition to the hand sanitiser provided by the venue, we will also have hand sanitiser stations at different points throughout the venue. Every delegate will also receive a personal supply of hand sanitiser at the start of the event.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
All delegates will be provided with face masks. These must be worn in the designated hotel areas and whilst networking in situations where a two-metre distance can't be maintained. Face masks may be taken off for lunch and refreshment breaks and when in the event room. Holyrood Events staff will be equipped with the PPE needed to interact and help you during the event.