There will be no hugs or handshakes when Dorset Chamber holds its first face-to-face networking event since the start of lockdown on Tuesday 20 July.
The Chamber conducted polls held during its latest Simply Networking @9 event held online which showed that:
- 71 per cent of people would rather not shake hands/have physical contact at business events at this time. Eighteen per cent were relaxed about it and 11 per cent were undecided
- 28 per cent thought the government was right to relax requirements such as face masks and social distancing but 56 per cent thought it was the wrong time
- 78 per cent thought there was inadequate guidance for businesses regarding ‘freedom day’
- 62 per cent were concerned about the possibility of future restriction being introduced after ‘freedom day’
Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “Our survey results clearly indicated that many businesses remain cautious about Covid.
“The pandemic has not disappeared and businesses in Dorset are right to remain vigilant to keep their employees and customers safe.
“We are looking forward to welcoming people back in person for our first networking event since the start of the pandemic.
“We considered a scheme with coloured wrist bands to indicate how comfortable people would be with contact.
“However, to avoid any awkwardness we have asked delegates to refrain from any physical contact at all and this stance has been backed up by the survey results.
“We were the first chamber in the country to ask people not to shake hands at the start of the pandemic and all precautions will be in place at our networking event on 27 July.”
The meeting on 20 July is a fully booked Business Leaders lunch at the Bournemouth Carlton Hotel when the speaker will be Cas Paton, founder of the rapidly growing online marketplace Onbuy.com.
Precautions at the event will include temperature checks on arrival, limited numbers at tables and social distancing.
Dorset Chamber will be running a mixture of virtual and face-to-face networking events for the foreseeable future.
Visit www.dorsetchamber.co.uk for more details.
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