Germany’s capital city hosted three pilot events, 15-23 June, with up to 500 attendees. The events were: Capital Congress Medicine and Health 2021 (15–17 June), Greentech Festival (16–18 June), and Industry Day (21–23 June).
The results of the participant surveys conducted after the events are now available and show 93.2% of the attendees felt they were ‘very well’ or ‘well’ protected from a coronavirus infection at the events, with 94.2% rating the hygiene and safety measures as ‘good’ or ‘very good’. Approximately 87% of the participants would also visit future events with the same hygiene and safety measures, while 93% said they would recommend a visit to their event to others.
The surveys showed participants reacted differently to the various test processes. At the Capital Congress Medicine and Health, for instance, a same day PCR test conducted on site was mandatory for admission. Although attendees acknowledged this approach ensured the highest level of safety, some felt it was too time intensive, in particular those travelling to Berlin especially for the event. In contrast, admission to the Greentech Festival or Industry Day required proof of a negative Covid-19 antigen test, which participants ranked as only a minimal additional effort.
Moreover, when it comes to making admission as secure and straightforward as possible, a key factor is a unified digital interface allowing participants to show proof of meeting the so-called 3G rules of vaccinated, tested or recovered (geimpft, getestet, genesen). Without such a system not only are more personnel needed but, under some circumstances, admission waiting times may also be longer.
At present, Berlin allows meetings, congresses, and conferences indoors and outdoors with up to 2,000 attendees. Large events are subject to higher upper limits. Up to 25,000 people can attend and participate in an event providing the figure does not exceed 50% of the venue’s total capacity. Such large events must be granted official approval in advance.
Burkhard Kieker, CEO visitBerlin, said: “With these pilot events, Berlin has shown how, with measures such as rapid antigen tests and systematic hygiene schedules, events are possible in the city again.”