Our Approach to In-Person Events During Covid

Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Our approach will be sensible and thoughtful: Covid protocols/mitigations for our events will be clear and unambiguous and communicated regularly.  They will be enforced.

When the Scottish Government confirmed that live business events were permitted, we immediately organised two ‘Chamber Live’ networking sessions.  

The way that we planned and managed these events represents the model that we will adopt for all our in-person events for the foreseeable future.

  • We thoroughly reviewed the regulations to determine what protocols we had to adopt to make them compliant.   All the Chamber staff were invited to contribute opinions.
  • We sought external guidance to verify our interpretation of the guidance, initially from the venues and then from relevant authorities such as Fife Council and NHS Test & Protect.   
  • We wrote clear safety protocols.     
  • We changed our booking process so that anyone who wanted to attend had to visit the Chamber website and read the protocols before they could register.  
  • When we received their booking, we emailed the protocols to them again.
  • Everyone who registered to attend was sent the protocols again two days prior to the event.
  • When it became clear that we had to tighten our protocols around the wearing of face coverings, we did so, and we immediately contacted everyone who had registered to make them aware of the changes.
  • We visited the venues prior to the events to make sure that our protocols would work in practice.
  • We strictly enforced the protocols during the events, reminding people throughout what they were and requesting their compliance.
  • We limited the number of chamber staff that attended each event and we had different members of the team at each one, so no one was put in a position that they felt they were being put at more risk than their colleagues.

Test & Protect

We have taken advice from the venues, from the official Scottish Government guidance and from Test & Protect itself to establish that our legal responsibility is to maintain an accurate and complete record of everyone who attends one of our events that we can pass on to Test & Protect should they require it. 

The information that we must record is delegate name, company/organisation name and contact telephone number.    As part of this reporting process, we would also confirm the nature of the event and the extent to which delegates mixed, the distance between them and how long they were mixing to allow Test & Protect to determine who is a ‘close’ contact and therefore must be contacted.   It will be Test & Protect and not Fife Chamber that contacts people. 

We will ask delegates to confirm their contact details as part of the booking process.  We will advise why we are asking for the information and tell them how long we will retain the information before deleting it.  The information will be used solely for Test & Protect purposes and will not be shared with anyone other than the venue and the relevant authorities who are managing Test & Protect.  

Our Promise

We will always adhere to the rules laid down by the Scottish Government for live events, but we do not see the rules/limits they set down as being a ‘floor’ below which we will never fall.   The legal attendance cap at indoor events in Level 1 when we ran our Chamber Live events was 200 people.  We deliberately set the attendance cap at our events significantly below this (29 people in total). 

We did so because we wanted to ‘test’ our processes and procedures to make sure that they work and because we wanted to create an environment where members felt safe and comfortable.    

If we feel we should impose our own tougher rules to make the event safer for members or to create better quality networking or learning opportunities for the delegates, then we will not hesitate to do so.  That could encompass lower attendance or pre-event testing or wrist bands for delegates to display their contact preference. 

In short, just because we are legally allowed to do something, it does not mean that Fife Chamber will choose to do it.    We will not put our profit before your comfort and safety.

Alan Mitchell

Chief Executive

Fife Chamber of Commerce

July 2021