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Event Source Professionals Inc. was born 32 years ago this coming September as a dream of Charlotte Davis, CMP. A lot can happen in three decades in the meeting and event planning world. And ESP has ridden the wave of change from Y2K to this current pandemic. Life seemed simpler back then. It was definitely slower. And, society seemed to have a set of guiding principles to which we all subscribed. In fact, it was about the same time that ESP came onto the scene that Robert Fulghum introduced us to his classic list of life lessons in the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. In it, he gave us 16 life lessons by which to live. Ironically, he advised back then to “wash your hands before you eat.” Who knew then that those words would mean so much today?
As I sit self-isolated in my home office, I am thinking about ESP’s stories, how much times have changed and what we have learned. The April issue of Prevue Meetings + Incentives magazine contains an article by Andrea Doyle listing some ways the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has changed the meetings and conventions industry. Her contention is that the following steps taken by The Voice of Healthcare Summit, which meets annually at Harvard Medical School, will become our “new norm” even after the shelter-in-place orders are rescinded. Their new concessions include:
- Waivers – Everyone on-site will sign one releasing the venue, organizer and other attendees from liability should they contract an illness around the time of the conference
- Separate Registration and Medical Area – A separate area away from registration will be used for testing and evaluating those who show symptoms while on-site
- COVID-19 Testing – A certified, licensed, and approved third-party will test every person attending the conference. Those who are non-compliant will not be allowed to attend.
- Mandatory Testing for Fever each day of conference – Those with abnormal temperatures or other symptoms will be directed to the medical area.
- Antibody Testing – If available, antibody testing will take place on-site. If antibodies are present, the attendee will be given a special badge which would exempt them from COVID-19 testing or temperature taking.
- Masks – Must be worn throughout conference. Masks will be provided for those that do not bring their own.
- Social Distancing – Meeting space will be re-designed to allow for greater space between attendees in session or the exhibit hall.
- Cancellations – Greater consideration will be given.
- Giveaways – No giveaways will be allowed.
- Food – No food will be served.
- Virtual Components of Events – Every event will have a virtual component.
See the full article here.
Certainly, the meetings and events industry is not the only one to experience change. Many of our clients / friends who once had valued but non-essential mission statements have pivoted their business models and are now counted as frontline heroes. We are so grateful for your sacrifices and efforts!
- Toyota North America for re-engineering your factory lines to produce much-needed face shields, ventilators, and respirators for hospitals in Houston, Dallas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Michigan.
- Shag Carpet Productions Inc. for re-tooling your prop production facility to manufacture face shields and social distancing products for offices.
- And, of course, we are so grateful to those tirelessly working for the National Institute of Health. You are our hope and the author of our “new” norm.
Until we meet again, stay well, and keep in touch!
“It’s the spirit here that counts. The time may be long, the vehicle may be strange or unexpected. But if the dream is held close to the heart, and imagination is applied to what there is close at hand, everything is still possible.”
– Robert Fulghum in his timeless classic,