Like many people in the parking sector, the last major event I attended was the British Parking Awards back in March 2020. Sadly, before the month was out the rapid spread of the pernicious COVID-19 virus had seen the country enter a severe lockdown that introduced a cycle of restrictions on movement and social gatherings that has continued into the New Year. Now, as I put the finishing touches to the January 2021 edition, ‘Lockdown 3’ has come into effect. This is a necessary move, needed to safeguard an NHS once again under immense pressure as it strives to protect as many people as possible while processes are put in place for delivering the innovative vaccines that have been developed at record pace in recent months.
The new lockdown presents many challenges for each of us in our personal and professional lives, with the ‘stay at home’ rules meaning attending events and non-essential travel are now off limits. This means that Landor LINKS is rescheduling its planned programme of events. While we are able to translate many conferences and exhibitions into online formats, harnessing everything we learned from staging webinars and virtual events last year, the British Parking Awards 2021 ceremony is evolving in a different way.
When submitting entries or enquiring about the ‘real deadline’, many people have expressed their hope that the parking awards ceremony will be staged as an ‘in-person’ event. Recognising the desire of our community to celebrate in one another’s company, Landor LINKS’s ambition is that the winners of the British Parking Awards 2021 will be revealed in a live event staged during the summer in a safe but enjoyable manner. By the summer, we all hope that a successful vaccination campaign will have led to the worst impacts of the virus being mitigated.
Being the 20th anniversary awards, the 2021 ceremony was always going to be a special event, but a social gathering will have an added poignancy for everyone in parking if it marks the restoration of a semblance of normal life.
We will be making announcements about the event in the coming weeks at www.britishparkingawards.co.uk. In the meantime, please keep sending in your entries (yes, as per tradition, the deadline has been extended!). Your stories are important, your achievements amazing and all deserve to heard, shared and honoured.
Mark Moran is editor of Parking Review
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