Planning and organising a conference or meeting requires a great amount of forethought and consideration at the best of times. Throw in a global pandemic, and people that are responsible for organising meetings and training sessions have a number of further considerations to make in order to ensure that their delegates feel safe.
- Thermal scanning is becoming a must-have layer of security for people attending meetings and events. Thermal scanners alert venue staff if someone has an elevated temperature on arrival, giving an indication of Covid symptoms and won’t be admitted to the premises. Not having this capability will add an element of risk for attendees.
- A spacious room with plenty of ventilation will help delegates feel more comfortable and at ease. As well as your office boardrooms, you’ll need to bear in mind that venues will also have reduced room capacities; a room that could have once held up to 25-30 delegates now might only be able to accommodate 10 people or fewer at a safe social distance.
- Blended training…..do you want to offer an online option? Some of the people you’d really like to attend may not be able to due to local restrictions or personal circumstances. Choosing a venue that has a strong technical offering can really open up your options. Think tracking cameras, strong internet connection, HD screens and Zoom capabilities.
- Risk assessments are a must have for any meeting and events planner. A venue should have a risk assessment specifically for Covid-19, outlining the potential risks and their intended precautions. You should request this from the venue prior to the event.
- Look out for the Visit England GoodToGo industry standard and consumer mark, which provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for businesses and visitors that clear processes are in place in the venue.
- Consider your catering…..are the venue able to provide individually packaged lunch and refreshments for your event? When there are fewer touch points in service areas your delegates will feel more confident.
- How will visitor traffic be managed? Make sure the venue has something in place for managing visitor traffic, such as a one way system, particularly for larger meetings.
- Keep your delegates informed. Venues are likely to be operating stricter visitor policies and people may be required to leave their personal details on arrival for test and trace records, the waiting areas may also have restrictions.
- Provide attendees with travel information. Letting them know about onsite or nearby parking, and any changes to public transport will be particularly helpful during this time.
- Get some feedback. What did the delegates like about the event, are there any improvements you can make next time. You want delegates to be happy to return to meetings and training, and feeling safe is key, so it’s always a good idea to follow up to see how they found the experience.
Whilst the specific requirements of your meeting and industry will dictate how you plan your event and the factors you need to consider, the nine factors we’ve discussed here are a good place to start. Don’t get stressed about your event, follow a clear process and don’t be afraid to lean on your venue for support or advice.
We pride ourselves on the level of customer service we provide here at Cotton Court, and regularly help our customers and prospective customers in the planning phase of their meeting or event. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need some friendly advice around planning your next meeting.