We are all keeping an eye on the news and the reports of the spread of COVID-19 here in Washington State and around the world. It is definitely hitting home for me as well as my son’s high school was closed today for cleaning out of “an abundance of caution”.
The events industry is already feeling the effects of this health crisis as travel is being limited, in-person events are going virtual, and attendance concerns arise. As an event professional, I thought it would be helpful to share my top five tips on how best to keep your employees and attendees safe at meetings, conferences and other gatherings of people.
- Skip the masks. Masks are only recommended for healthcare workers and those who are showing symptoms of illness. It is not recommended for others and could cause a shortage for those people who really need them.
- Find a new way to greet. The biggest way to spread germs of any kind is through shaking hands. Get creative and come up with a different way to greet someone. Wave, thumbs up, peace sign, elbow bump…Please note that a fist bump still uses your hand as that is not the best option.
- Keep your hands clean. Handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds as well as using hand sanitizer is the best way to keep your hands clean. Do this often throughout the day and definitely always before you eat.
- Navigate the networking reception wisely. Toothpicks are your friend! Tray-passed appetizers are a mainstay at events. Use a toothpick instead of picking it up with your fingers. Use the utensils to serve yourself all other food but eat with a fork instead of your fingers unless you just washed your hands. It may seem awkward with a carrot stick and dip, but better safe than sorry.
- Don’t forget your phone. Your mobile phone has been proven to be a big carrier of germs. Remember to sanitize this essential device several times a day.
From a planner’s perspective, there are many other tips and techniques to integrate into your meeting or event. In order to not flood your inbox, I will be sharing these each day this week on our Facebook and Instagram page. We will cover topics like catering, registration, and travel.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your specific event in the meantime, please feel free to email or call me.