Edinburgh International Conference Centre hopes to reopen ahead of mass gatherings
‘We are expert at moving people safely around the building’
THE boss of Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre is calling for business events to be allowed to restart ahead of other large gatherings.
Marshall Dallas, EICC’s chief executive, said the conferences run at the Morrison Street venue were lumped in the same category as football matches and concerts.
But he said: “There is a difference between hosting a business event and just a mass social gathering.
“At a business event, delegates are registered and we are experts at moving delegates around the building in a safe and controlled manner, whereas a football match is just lots of people going through a turnstile and enjoying the game.
“Mass gatherings were one of the first things to go and will probably be one of the last things to come back.
“Business events happen in a much more controlled and in a sterile environment.”
He said Germany and Spain had both made the distinction and he hoped the Scottish Government would do the same.
Mr Dallas emphasised he was not asking for anything outwith the measures put in place by the government.
“I took the decision to close our building on March 18, a week ahead of the lockdown. My primary concern is and always will be for the health and safety of our employees and our visiting delegates.”
About 80 per cent of the EICC’s 50 staff are currently on furlough.
But Mr Dallas said a “significant percentage” of the conferences which had to be cancelled due to coronavirus had now been rearranged for later this year or 2021.