How Conferences Can Continue In A Post-COVID World
The COVID pandemic we have faced this year has been hugely disruptive for many businesses, and the hospitality sector is no different. With conferences traditionally bringing large groups of delegates together from international locations, exactly what people are now trying to avoid, Auria Heanley Co-founder of Oriel Partners, a boutique PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London looks at ways conferences can continue safely in a post-COVID world. By ensuring measures are taken now, it should mean that once conditions improve, conferences are able to start up again quickly and safely.
Taking the conferences online means that any concern over spreading the virus is eliminated. By utilising the likes of Zoom or Skype, the conferences can still reach large numbers of people without the need for travel or any face-to-face interaction. Alternatively, a reduced number of delegates attend the actual conference, to ensure social distancing is maintained, and the event is live-streamed for those also wanting to attend but due to travel restrictions or concerns over health, are based from home. If the event is then also recorded, it can allow people to log on at a later date to still take part, if they cannot make the original date and time. Different pricing tiers can then apply depending on physical or virtual attendance.
At Lane End anything is possible, from fully interactive conferences streamed to multiple countries to small one-to-one virtual meetings. The level of interactivity and delegate participation is completely up to you. For two off-the-shelf solutions please click here.
Conference organisers will have to set up safety measures to try and eliminate any risk of the virus being transmitted from one delegate to another. These could include having hand sanitizers at every entrance and exit, introducing a one-way system, ensuring delegates stay two meters apart, temperature checks on arrival, mandatory face masks, and regular cleaning. The more safety measures are put in place, the more comfortable people will be to attend.
Lane End’s COVID and #SafeonSite measures are available here.
Utilizing virtual reality within future conferences will allow people to still experience a virtual version of the event but from the safety of their own home. The speakers will be able to still deliver their message and delegates will be able to still have interaction with others, albeit virtually. As networking is often such an important part of the conference, virtual reality is a way to allow this to continue safely.
The social distancing measures mean that more space is required to still facilitate the same number of people. Larger venues will allow for the conference to still go ahead, keeping delegates the appropriate distance apart and allowing for additional space between exhibition booths.
Lane End offers specialist meeting and training facilities with capacity for in person and hybrid events. The meeting rooms include technology for virtual conferences with a superfast Grade A+ broadband connection.
Digital marketing material
All marketing material can be digital to avoid transmission of the virus. This will allow those both attending physically and attending virtually to have access to the same content without any risk. Perhaps the conference will develop an app or website where all of the information is available.
Flexible cancellation policies
To avoid anyone being tempted to attend the conference who may be feeling unwell or who has come into contact with someone who may have the virus, flexible cancellation policies will not deter a delegate from cancelling if they may not be fully fit.
Please feel free to contact Lane End re. the current and flexible cancellation policies available.
Food and beverages
Rather than having food and beverages passed round, they will need to be pre-packaged. Beverage stations will need to be staffed rather than on a ‘help yourself’ basis.
Remove the handshake
To avoid any contact between delegates, a new means of greeting one another needs to be established. The current elbow pump may not be a solution but removing the need for people to physically touch one another when they greet, should help reduce the risk of transmission.
About the author
Auria Heanley is extremely passionate about providing the highest quality of service to both their clients and candidates. Their clients range from global multinationals to small boutique firms, all require the same personal service and high calibre support.
At Lane End, we believe that any aspect of training is done best in a focused environment with no distractions. We also cannot emphasise enough the importance of a purpose built, off-site facility where businesses can bring their staff to disconnect from their daily work routine.
With spacious conference and seminar rooms, break out spaces, dining facilities and a large number of en-suite bedrooms for training days, our purpose built training facility will offer your staff the perfect location in which to engage, interact and learn.
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