What will COVID-19 Mean for Meetings?
We have considered which questions will need to be answered when looking to re-shape Meetings and Events in a Pandemic reality.
1. What policies will meeting planners develop to address their needs to be confident to use a meeting venue?
2. Which standard will they use to provide recognisable consistency globally and nationally to pandemic policies?
3. What will a responsible attitude and preparedness look like for meeting venues; back and front of house – what recognisable standards will be adhered to World Health Organisation or external experts?
4.How will meeting venue hygiene levels change; will this become much more visible to meeting bookers and their participants to build confidence?
5. Will meeting venue teams be more aggressive in terms of stay at homesickness rules for hotel staff -What are the consequences if they don’t?
6. Will meeting venues be more careful in how they deploy at-risk team members?
7. Could sick meeting attendees be more closely monitored by meeting venues?
8. Might some locations expect meeting venues to advise authorities if meeting attendees are known to be ill, with specific symptoms might this be seasonal or year-round?
9. Will check in protocols change to cover questions to meeting participants regarding recent illness and in return meeting venue pandemic policies – will hotels turn away guests that they believe to be showing symptoms?
10. Will meeting venues integrate into their meeting terms and conditions risk clauses related to pandemics?
11. Will meeting venues request that meeting planners do not allow sick delegates to attend meetings. If yes, what are the consequences?
12. For multiple night stays, will room cleaning be stopped unless deeper clean services are applied?
Will meeting delegates be given the option not just to be green but decline any cleaning of their room until after their departure – will rooms be left for 24 hours before being resold?
13. What communication programmes; pre and on arrival will be developed to inform delegates participating in the meeting of the meeting venues plan for pandemic preparedness?
14. Is the day of the self-serve buffet over, will it be replaced by served meals with less meeting delegate to meeting delegate and staff to delegate contact?
15. As, has already happened in many venues, will refreshment breaks now be self-service, machine served with packaged snacks not baked this morning on-site?
16. Will meetings be increasingly held in a bubble with reduced contact with the public areas of a meeting venue?
17. Will virtual check-in be the only option in the future with a non-human contact between booking and entering a room?
18. Will social distancing be applied in full or part to the meeting room set up, the loading of a meeting rooms and queues for catering?
19. Will the extended supply chain, beyond the meeting venue, be expected to integrate pandemic planning into their supply and best in class hygiene process to secure the supply of goods?
20. Will meeting venues expect meeting planner suppliers to undergo pre-arrival vetting/education on pandemic preparedness e.g. will venues allow pre-shipment (without controls) of materials for a meeting?
21. Will hotel brands promote pandemic preparedness as a global brand standard or amend it to align with requirements from own governments or other global organisations?
22. How will meeting venues audit their own, action plan, to ensure that it is fit for purpose and being utilised day to day?
Or .. will we simply go back to our old version of normal?
If you would like to be part of answering these questions let is know. We are happy to integrate industry thought leaders into our Think Tank sessions.
WHO Operational considerations for COVID-19 management in the accommodation sector.