As the meetings and events industry looks for ways to bring attendees back to conferences, there is much talk about contactless processes from the parking lot to their seats in the convention center.
While the timeline of a COVID-19 vaccine or herd immunity is unknown, there remains a strong desire for people to meet once states allow for mass gatherings. Even moving events to the fall or winter months will most likely still require following the guidelines set down by the CDC and WHO.
What is an event planner to do?
Below, are several ways to keep your next event as touchless as possible.
Creative Contactless Solutions
- Advanced registration and payment: You and your staff can avoid the use of paper, setting up self-check-in kiosks, exchanging money/credit cards or registering walk-in attendees by establishing this process. Once registration occurs, remind attendees there will be no materials given out, including name badges. Send them your policy on mask-wearing, social distancing, and anything else COVID-19 related.
- Hybrid sessions: Even when the “all clear” is granted for big events, there will be a subset of your members who will wish to participate remotely. Providing a hybrid approach (at a cost) will ensure greater meeting participation.
- Contactless check-in: Create or use an app that asks a series of COVID-19 screen questions that they must answer before checking in. Once completed, provide a QR Code to scan at a kiosk that will confirm they are registered.
- Hand sanitizing and temperature screenings: Temperature screening monitors can be rented to detect a fever without touching the participant using heat map technology. UV-C sanitizing charging lockers, touchless hand sanitizers and UV-sanitizing shells are also available for rental. Attendees can wand phones and other personal items over some of these stations during the course of your event to kill coronavirus molecules that might be on the surface.
- Sensors: Event organizers can control the following through a smartphone app: lighting, room temperature and the number of attendees in each room.
- Touchless presentations: Everything from turning on and off the LCD projector to the advancement of slides to adjustments of the large monitor will be controlled through your smartphone.
- Laptop and tablet rentals delivered to hotel rooms in a sterilized container: Rather than handing out these rentals at the check-in area, each device will be placed in the attendee’s room. For one-day events, individuals can pick up their devices in a specified conference room.
Fear of the unknown, confusion about what to believe, and health concerns about contracting COVID-19 are testing the limits of the hospitality industry.
As event organizers, you are tasked with creating a safe environment for every one of your meeting participants. What creative solutions have you discovered? Share with firstname.lastname@example.org.
De-de Mulligan is a regular blog contributor for Rentacomputer.com. As a former meeting planner who has received Ohio MPI’s Planner of the Year award twice (2006 & 2012), she brings a unique perspective. You can find her on Twitter @DedeMulligan or LinkedIn.