The Event Managers Association of Kenya (EMAK) has appealed to the Government to allow businesses to hold small meetings and events to promote & market their products and services.

The association is asking the government to lift the ban on public gatherings but limit the number of attendees depending on the capacity of the venues. The events industry has been hard hit since the banning of public gatherings in March in order to curb the spread of Covid – 19 in Kenya.

Over the last 2 months, the Government has gradually reopened the economy, by lifting certain restrictions and issuing a myriad of guidelines for business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidelines largely anchored on the Ministry of Health directives, cover majority of sectors ranging from the Jua Kali sectors to formal office set ups. The guidelines were developed in consultation with various sector associations and business member associations, have allowed businesses to reopen, while strictly observing social distancing and other containment measures.

Speaking about the effect of Covid-19 in the MICE Events and Hospitality industries, EMAK Chairlady, Zuhura Ogada – Odhiambo said, “Our industry is one of the hardest hit in this pandemic. Even with the phased reopening of businesses by the government, our industry is still shut down with the restriction of public gatherings. Our appeal to the government is to allow events that will host between more than 100 people which will allow companies to hold product launches, small workshops, trainings and conferences, exhibitions enabling our members to run businesses and slowly revive the industry.” The association will work closely with the hotels and other hospitality venues to ensure the set guidelines are adhered to during the events.

The members were familiarized with the protocols with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA), Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB) and can now ensure corporates, the public and government of adherence to the protocols. “The industry deals with the unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled people who our members contract and employ; as well as use a lot of casual labourers who have been deeply affected. The revival of the industry will open up opportunities for this group.” Mrs. Odhiambo added.

EMAK is the largest meeting and events association in Kenya. Founded in 2014, the association brings together event professionals and suppliers with an aim of creating world class standards in events. They do this through advocacy, self-regulation, member education and international bench marking. Its membership covers start-ups to well established companies. EMAK is regulated by Tourism Regulatory Authority which falls under the Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife and is a member of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).