Mitigating the Risks of Returning to In-Person Meetings

by Jillian Fehrenbach on September 29, 2021 in Articles, Communication, Group Travel, Incentive Travel, Meetings

The old saying goes, “The Only Constant in Life Is Change.” [Heraclitus] That certainly has been true of late in the travel and hospitality industry. On a daily basis, we account for all types of uncertainty in the planning of all of our incentive travel programs, meetings and events.

In a recent article about returning to in-person events, Brenda Rivers writes, “It seems insurmountable to balance the creation of successful, engaging and motivating live events with the constantly evolving elements of risk…”

Having just completed incentive trips to New York City and Hawaii, our experienced staff can definitely relate to that assessment. With a Portugal program right around the corner and new and evolving challenges front of mind, we also concur with Rivers when she says, “there is a way to walk that tightrope.”

With an obsessional enthusiasm, we keep our radar up! We check, re-check, and triple-check the details of the details, keeping tabs on new and evolving information and adapting our plans to fit those changes. Our clients rely on us for this level of attention and we believe they deserve nothing but the best.

Following are key risk mitigation strategies gleaned from Rivers’ Meetings Today article to consider for a successful return to your programs and events.

  • Early on, document suppliers’ commitments to keep participants safe
  • Include a health and safety clause in your contract that requires their participation in your crisis response plan
  • Using real data, list the possible medical and weather threats based on demographics and location
  • Assemble a flexible playbook to help your staff keep attendees safe and informed
  • Plan who you would call in a crisis so you can engage quickly with responding partners
  • Ready your tool kit with policies and templates for the pandemic’s 3 T’s: testing, tracing and treatment
  • Compose messaging that will assure and instruct both internal and external audiences
  • Include key decision-makers in your plan to be prepared for the unexpected
  • Document disruptions for a “learning lookback” review process later

With these helpful tips in mind, you can confidently design your next in-person program or meeting, and move forward with assurance in an uncertain world.