Posted: February 21, 2020
What is Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people. Early on, China acknowledged a link to a large seafood and live animal market, suggesting this may have derived from an animal-to-person spread. Subsequently, a growing number of patients who have become ill reportedly did not have exposure to animal markets, indicating the virus is now being spread person-to-person.
How Does this Effect the Meeting Industry?
This respiratory disease, which can be spread person-to-person, highly effects travel within the meeting industry. Many events have already been postponed or canceled as a result. As meeting professionals, we must do everything possible to keep our participants safe. Here are some measures event organizers can take to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
- Participants and staff should be highly encouraged to stay away from events when ill
- Ensure that hand sanitizers and tissues are easily accessible
- Have a plan in place to isolate persons who become ill
- Minimize crowding (increase transportation frequency, stagger arrivals, etc.)
Maintaining a strong line of communication with your members and attendees is critical. Keeping your stakeholders informed as to the organizations plans and preventive measures you are taking is key.
To summarize, planners should also review their Crisis Plan and seek advice from local and government health agencies for protocols to follow before conducting business events. In the short-term, if your event will be impacted by travel restrictions, consider taking a digital or hybrid approach.
For more information and useful tips, visit these websites:
World Health Organization
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention