The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has raised global concerns that will have both short-term and long-term impacts on the events industry.
In February the Corona Virus disease was given an official name by the World Health Organization (WHO) named – COVID-19.
At this time, it’s unclear how easily or sustainably this virus is spreading between people and we need to keep an eye on the WHO website for actual up-to-date information.
As event professionals, we are encouraged to take appropriate action to support healthy communities to assist clients, meeting and event professionals in making responsible and informed decisions.
"This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma." - Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
If you’re looking to protect a future event from possible losses caused by COVID-19, insurance is probably not your answer at this point. At this stage, it is difficult to judge how far-reaching the effects of COVID-19 will be and all that comes with it.
By providing creative solutions to the obstacles presented by the recent events we can create new and innovative ways to shine a light on our industry and the future of it. For events whose attendance may be impacted by travel restrictions, moving into a digital or a more hybrid approach may be a useful strategy.
By facilitating more opportunities for remote participation, networking, livestreams, VR or other ways of promotion, we may be able to offer more options for events and organisations to deal with the restrictions that might occur in your region.
Here are some (safety-) measures to help you as an event manager:
- Check and examine your contracts, insurance policies concerning event cancellation, and communications for upcoming events;
- Draw up an emergency action plan for every event, because It’s not just reacting to a crisis.
Besides that make sure you provide the following:
- Increase cleaning and disinfection across all high-volume touch-points of the event;
- Use of correct cleaning/sanitising materials and products by professionals as prescribed by the authorities;
- Increase onsite of medical support - EMS;
- Advice your visitors with guidance on personal hygiene measures and common preventive behaviour;
- Create awareness via online and onsite info-share and signage related to the event;
- Supply availability of sanitising and disinfection materials for public use throughout the event site at strategic points;
- Provide awareness and training to all staff and associates on standard personal preventative measures, e.g. personal hygiene, frequency of use of sanitising/disinfection products, etc.
We as professionals have legitimate reason to be concerned, even just from the effects of fear alone created by others. It is really hard to think about just canceling an event based on todays information. The way forward should be to deal with this not by over-reacting but to react and pro-actively take the right measures to take care of your audience.
As Freddy Mercury sang: “The show must go on”. This drives and encourages us to continue with what we are doing, even if we experience difficulties. So, let’s not be driven by fear, but act on facts and let science be the guideline, not rumours when it comes to your event.
Here are some myth busters about the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
For the latest updates and information provided by the WHO about the current Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) check:
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