TheEvent Managers Association of Kenya (EMAK) has appealed to the government to allow businesses to hold small meetings and events to promote and market their products as well as services. The appeal is for 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 two 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, cut across sectors ranging from informal (jua kali) to formal office set ups. They were developed in consultation with various sector associations and business member associations and they have allowed businesses to reopen, while strictly observing social distancing and other containment measures.
Speaking about the effects of Covid-19 in the 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 less than one hundred people so that companies can hold product launches, small workshops, training, conferences and exhibitions.” The association will work closely with 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) and Kenya National Convention Bureau (KNCB). “The industry deals with the unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled people and its revival will open up opportunities for them,” 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 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 and Wildlife. It is a member of Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).