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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Meeting Stars in the Time of COVID-19

in: Event Planning Advice

Meeting Stars

As I shared in a recent blog, meeting planners have a high AQ. I also recently shared some catch-ups for you in my last blog. And yet, there is so much more – already – to know. Let’s head to the latest stars in the meeting planning industry – up up and away!

  • Cleanliness and Safety are the Stars: Increased cleaning and disinfecting are here to stay. So much so that a new job has been created; expect to learn more about a venue’s cleaning and safety policies from their hygiene manager.
  • GBAC STAR: This is an accreditation from Global Biorisk Advisory Council. To receive it, the facility must comply with these 20 Program Elements. The accreditation will definitely provide confidence for both the planner and attendees.
  • The New Program Stars: When it comes to content and presentations, think outside the stage. Utilize technology to include online presentations as well as live; allowing for both remote and in-real-life participation. Keep an eye out for more augmented and virtual reality including 3D simulations, enhanced apps and wearables.
  • The Actual Stars: Think outside, period! Venues are creating more outdoor meetings featuring al fresco dining and outdoor experiences while ensuring to provide plenty of space to spread out.
  • 6-Star Dining: Maybe we should add another star to the stars given to restaurants and dining establishments. That final star would focus on an organization’s dedication to creating options for staggered dining times, to-go dining options and a stepped-up plan for recycling, due to the increased use of disposable dining ware.
  • Star Registration: New registration procedures include everything from utilizing markers to keep registrants at least 6-feet-apart while in line, to technology options.
  • Backstage Stars: Both venue staff and meeting staff are now offering a lot of flexibility to attendees and colleagues in the case of their becoming sick between signing up for a conference and the actual time of the meeting. Expect local health departments to be included in meeting plans, as they can help to create action plans for quarantining and dealing with attendees or staff that may become ill during the meeting. Finally, more and more staff will continue to work virtually, leaving less feet-on-the-ground and less chance of spreading any potential infection.
  • Hometown Star: Local-stay, not far-away. Expect to see venues offering special packages for their hometown communities in need of a get-away but not too far-away meet.

As for me, my high AQ is working for you. I’m on call to help find those venues that have GBAC STAR accreditation and coordinate updated information from the venue’s Hygiene Manager for your next meeting. I’d love to consult with you on how to navigate the new stars in our meetings universe. Contact me at 636-678-7661 or to set up a time to chat and chart your next top star meeting!

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