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Omicron Derails European Meetings and Events Conference

Meeting Professionals International postpones its signature European event planned for March in the U.K.

“The pandemic has underscored the need to review and assess each event fluidly, adapting plans to ensure the well-being, health, and safety of all involved in our events,” said Annette Gregg, senior vice president of experience at Meeting Professionals International, in a January 4 media advisory regarding MPI’s European Meetings and Events Conference. For that meeting, the review and assessment has led to a critical decision: postponement.

The 2022 EMEC, planned for February 27 to March 1 in Brighton, U.K., is victim of the global proliferation of the omicron variant and the resulting travel restrictions across Europe. “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 Gregg. A new date for the in-person event has not yet been set, and no plans for a virtual component have been announced.

The last in-person EMEC was held in February 2020 in Seville, Spain. EMEC 2021, the 25th anniversary event, was originally scheduled for Brighton last February. It was then converted to a hybrid meeting co-located with IMEX Frankfurt in late May 2021 but eventually transitioned to an entirely virtual meeting.

"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.”

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