Soon we go to concerts, festivals and conferences without fear



Author: Matina Tenžera

The Safe Gathering Platform is inspired by the Belgian model adopted by the Belgian government as the official risk assessment tool for events

The Safe Gatherings platform presented today is a big step towards returning to normal for event organizers whose business has been almost completely paralyzed by the COVID-19 disease pandemic, but also for visitors eager for more mass gatherings. It is a tool that uses a proven algorithm to assess the risk of an event and certify its safety in terms of compliance with applicable epidemiological measures. The holders of the platform are the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Culture and Media, in partnership with the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia and the Croatian Institute of Public Health, and currently includes events that include professional cultural and artistic content.

Both visitors and organizers benefit

"As far as the organizers are concerned, they can use an algorithm to quickly and easily check whether their event is in accordance with the measures. In the event of a change in measures, the system will issue a warning to them, and will also allow for variations with regard to measures by counties. If everything is in accordance with the recommendations, a certificate is issued to the organizer, and the message is sent to the visitors that a certain gathering is safe for them ", explained the Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for Industry and Sustainable Development Tomislav Radoš. Radoš pointed out that according to the EY Future Consumer Index, 46 percent of respondents believe that they will not feel safe going to a concert for months, and 21 percent say they will be afraid of it for years to come. "Our goal is to remove that fear and restore trust to visitors," Rados said.

Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Koržinek commented on the measures implemented by the Ministry from the beginning of the pandemic, from financial support and state guarantees for loans, to launching the project "Because it must be played" and including cultural and creative industries in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

"Creative is business, not artistic furka"

Representatives of the cultural and creative industries were consulted during the development of the platform and the adaptation of the algorithm. The platform is inspired by the Belgian model adopted by the Belgian government as the official tool for risk assessment of events. In the first 14 days, 14 thousand events were reported and the concept was extremely successful. The president of the Association of Creative and Cultural Industries of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Tomo in der Mühlen, pointed out that we must stop talking about creativity exclusively as a gathering of artists and instead put emphasis on creativity as a business.

"Before the crown, the annual turnover of creative and cultural industries, at the EU level, was as much as 643 billion euros, and that branch employed 8 million people. It was this sector that was most affected by this situation and it seems that it will have the longest path to recovery. To this should be added the fact that the creative industries are one of the biggest promoters of our country, especially its tourist offer. Let's not forget that our festivals are among the most famous in the world, and the season ahead will determine who will survive from this industry and welcome the end of the pandemic and normalization, "said Tomo in der Mühlen, adding that the platform will help make events happen. sure that the criteria by which they can be organized are clear to everyone.

The Safe Gatherings platform will be publicly available soon

In addition to the economic benefits of uninterrupted continuation of public events for organizers, the platform also brings wider social benefits since the consumption of events is an important factor for a positive collective state of consciousness in such a period. In addition to the benefits for organizers, there are many other activities and professions that rely on this industry and that will benefit from the platform (equipment suppliers, contractors, etc.)

The Safe Gatherings platform has an informative and educational segment in which all the latest decisions, recommendations, assistance measures, funding models will be located. As events will be stored in the database, epidemiologists will also have a record-keeping tool at their disposal to analyze the impact of the gathering on the epidemiological picture and to identify potential new foci. Currently, a test model of the platform with key functionalities has been completed, which primarily refers to gatherings of the cultural type (concerts, festivals, theater performances, exhibitions, etc.). As of today, the model will be offered to the interested public, especially the event organizers, for inspection in order to introduce additional improvements through their comments. A public consultation on the platform is open until May 20th. Namely, the long-term goal is to expand this platform, in cooperation with the competent authorities and institutions, to other forms of gatherings such as conferences, sports and other types of events. An operational version should be available as soon as epidemiological circumstances allow …