You are not alone. That’s the message venue partners are giving to meeting professionals during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, as International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM) held its first Pandemic Outbreak Industry Advisory Group meeting this week.
Participants included Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Travel, Department of Health and Human Services and American Red Cross. Included in the discussion were leaders from International Association of Exhibitions and Events, MPI, Events Industry Council and Smart Meetings.
“Much is unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads. However, it is our responsibility as an industry to come together to not only ensure we provide safe and healthy environments within all public assemblies, but to also put the overall concern of this outbreak into perspective,” was the official description of the group’s goals.
As members chimed in with updates from their corner of the industry, it became clear that the best way to add value was to streamline and share communication. That clearinghouse was designated as IAMV’s Coronavirus Updates page.
Topics will include:
- Cancellations and refunds
- Business continuity and recovery
- Cleaning (deep cleaning)
- F&B and retail
- Health (hand washing, sick workers, quarantine, etc.)
- Work from home (WFH)
- Supply chain subcontractors
- Engineering operations
- Security megashelter and coronavirus
Combatting a Pandemic of Fear
“There remains a pandemic of fear, and there is much mixed information, so in order to understand the extent of its impact, we must continue to prepare, plan, and make recommended precautions, utilizing all available resources,” said Mark Herrera, director of education and life safety with IAMV.
The goal is to identify best practices to prepare, plan, recover and message, not only for the current outbreak but for all communicable diseases.
“We have to start working on recovery efforts now,” he said. Participants attested that many convention centers and facilities are using the time to deep-clean their properties in order to open up like new again.