The Return of Live Events
Many of us have the same burning questions no matter what industry we’re in: How do we get back to hosting live events in 2021? How do we ensure that events are safe? How will the event and meeting attendees feel safe enough to participate? In this blog series we will look at measures we can take to help us return to live events.
Meetings and Conferences
It’s time to resume your meetings and conferences in a post-pandemic climate. Where do you start? How do you even begin to plan? What format should we use? To answer these questions, you must consider your attendees.
There will be attendees who are ready and willing to travel with a strong desire to return to face- to- face meetings. There will also be attendees who are not quite ready to participate in person but value the opportunity to attend virtually. We need to consider both as long as both sentiments are present.
Successful Events During COVID-19
For an event format that includes “in person attendees” we have to address safety first. We found it helpful to evaluate the steps others have taken to hold a safe event during the pandemic. HPN held a conference in December 2020 at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Montelucia. HPN partnered with a third-party vendor to assist them with the safety and COVID-19 protocols. This helped them to plan with COVID-19 protocols at top of mind and also provided onsite assistance to enforce the guidelines and execute the procedures.
Hiring someone that is experienced in executing COVID-19 procedures can ensure your meeting is safe while taking the pressure off of the meeting planners who need to focus on the actual meeting. Before you hire someone for this oversight, you should thoroughly review the procedures they implement to keep attendees safe. You should also have input on the vendors they choose, for example, temperature checking stations and contact tracing. Consider looking into a local business and local vendors that offer these services- they likely know your local guidelines better than anyone.
Meeting Professionals International held their annual World Education Congress in Grapevine, Texas in November 2020. MPI implemented a Duty of Care list of safety measures for their attendees. MPI mailed badges, lanyards, and masks to all their attendees prior to their arrival. For the actual event MPI partnered with vendors to assist with daily temperature checks and a COVID-19 health security plan. MPI asked all attendees to make a personal commitment to do everything necessary to keep themselves and their fellow attendees safe at the conference.
What We’ve Learned So Far…
How do we keep attendees safe at a live event?
- Plan. Take the time to do the research on different protocols, procedures, and event trends in the new world of COVID-19 events.
- Hire help. If you are unsure about the planning and implementation of protocols, hire someone that is. Make sure to stay involved with the procedures of the company that you have hired, but utilize this resource. This will help you maintain up to date COVID-19 safety protocols. If you know of reputable vendors you’d like to include- speak up!
- Set your own rules. You can decide how you want to keep your attendees safe. At minimum you must adhere to local and federal requirements but if you want to add enhanced measures, that’s your decision. You may want attendees to have their temperature checked, ask for daily symptom checks, require masks, request that hand sanitizer be used prior to entering a room, and more. You can set your protocols for your attendees. If you hire a company to help you with COVID-19 protocols, listen to their advice but communicate to them what safety protocols are important to you.
- Communicate. Make sure that your staff and attendees are aware of the protocols. Set the expectation before everyone arrives at the conference. Setting these expectations in advance will show your attendees that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe. They will understand their role in the commitment to safety before attending.
The return of live events will give some of us a sense of normalcy and connection that we’ve been missing. While live events will look different, we will be able to meet in person if we all make the commitment to take the necessary steps for safety.
DigiTherm is here to assist you and your business in finding the right health-safe solution to keep your staff and attendees safe. DigiTHERM offers automated temperature checking stations and a hands free Covid Questionnaire via Safe-Trace Screening that would enhance your safety measures at any event. Please reach out if we can help you plan your next safe event!