Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the world’s leading industry association for meeting and event professionals, announced the postponement of its European Meeting and Events Conference (EMEC), planned to take place 27 February through 1 March, 2022 in Brighton, UK.
MPI and the EMEC Brighton Host Committee have been monitoring the rapid global proliferation of the Omicron variant, as well as the trends in the UK and across Europe to tighten travel restrictions in response. Based on discussions concerning the increase in travel restrictions and the overall health and safety of event attendees due to the Omicron variant, named by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern”, it was determined that the in-person event should be postponed. MPI will be exploring options to bring its European community together in 2022.
“After discussion with our partners and Host Committee members, we’ve determined that continuing to plan for EMEC Brighton would not be a responsible action to take amidst the uncertain landscape unfolding largely due to the Omicron variant,” said Annette Gregg, MPI Senior Vice President of Experience, “The pandemic has underscored the need to review and assess each event fluidly, adapting plans to ensure the wellbeing, health and safety of all involved in our events.”
MPI has demonstrated success in planning safe in-person experiences. Its last two North American signature events were evidence of well-designed experiences considering COVID-19 precautions. WEC Grapevine in November 2020 resulted in a 99% satisfaction rate with its Duty of Care procedures and zero attributed positive COVID-19 cases. And WEC Vegas in June 2021 received 97% satisfaction rate with its Duty of Care procedures, with only two positive COVID-19 tests, each “breakthroughs”, reported after the event.
MPI will continue to work closely with the EMEC Host Committee, its European Advisory Council and local partners on future plans for EMEC both in 2022 and 2023.
“While we are disappointed to postpone EMEC Brighton, each member among our Host Committee felt it was the right thing to do given the circumstances,” said Richard Allchild, Head of Sales North America, IMEX Group, and EMEC Brighton Host Committee Co-Chair. “EMEC is the industry’s premier European event and, above all, its intent is to provide fertile learning and innovation grounds for this international community. This current scenario would simply undermine our ability to deliver the experience so many have come to expect.”