Ricoh Arena has developed a new drive to ensure it is at the forefront of the recovery of the UK’s event industry when the country emerges from the pandemic.
The multi-purpose venue - which hosts around 1,500 conferences and exhibitions a year, and is home to Wasps Rugby - has unveiled a new Covid-secure approach to boost event organiser and visitor confidence.
Ricoh Arena has made key changes to help events bounce back after the pandemic.
This includes offering event organisers exclusive access of up to 10,000 square metres of indoor space, and more than 30,000 square metres of outdoor space at the venue, to help with social distancing.
The venue’s on-site 121-bedroom DoubleTree by Hilton hotel has supported several professional sporting events during lockdown to create their own “Ricoh Bubble” - enabling participants to perform and live on-site for multiple days without leaving the complex.
Events that have taken place include the BoyleSports World Grand Prix, The 2020 Unibet Premier League Play-Offs, BetVictor Weber Cup, BoyleSports Grand Slam of Darts and the Party Poker Mosconi Cup.
The extensive car parking space around Ricoh Arena has also played a key role in keeping the Christmas spirit alive in Coventry with the showing of a sell-out drive-through pantomime and a four day winter wonderland festival.
The venue has devised a five-point commitment to all event organisers to ensure their event is Covid-secure. This features one-way systems and protective screens to aid social distancing, additional staff training on new hygiene procedures, regular deep cleaning in high traffic areas, sealing of meeting rooms once cleaned, and staggered entries and contactless payments at the venue’s food and beverage outlets.
Event organisers will be supported by a trained member of the events team, who will provide a dedicated check list of processes and procedures designed to ensure the safety of organisers and their visitors.
Paul Michael, Commercial Director at Ricoh Arena, said: “The events industry needs an injection of confidence amongst event organisers, exhibitors and visitors alike to give it a kickstart - and Ricoh Arena plans to play a key role in this industry-wide effort.
“It’s crucial that larger venues such as ourselves maximise every inch of space that we have for the time being, because show organisers will understandably want to strike the right balance between maximising their visitor and exhibitor numbers, whilst maintaining social distancing.
“As a venue we used to tell event organisers that we have 7,500 square metres of event space, but when you take into account our car parks, meeting rooms and other areas, it is actually 40,000 square metres - and we have proven how popular our outdoor events can be with recent sell out drive-in events.
“Our five point commitment and event checklist has enabled us to receive the necessary ‘We’re Good To Go’ accreditation to re-open from VisitEngland, and it has already been well-received by the event organisers we have spoken to, as Covid mitigation is now understandably a high priority for everyone.
“We have also been working closely with a range of industry bodies - including AEV, AEO, ESSA, and MIA - to get to this stage, and this collaborative approach is going to be key as the industry continues to recover over the coming months.
“The Ricoh Arena’s exhibition hall has strong levels of occupancy, but we recognise that flexibility is essential when dealing with our clients. Strong working relationships are key to building further on this, and we believe this Covid-secure approach will drive demand in the future.”
Event organisers wishing to enquire about holding their show at Ricoh Arena should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 02476 933 444.