Event and incentive travel planners are feeling the effects of the Ebola outbreak. The fear extends well beyond West Africa. In the past few weeks, we have had clients consider cancelling programs in Dallas, Barcelona, even New York. The key is reassuring clients we’re on top of this without fueling fear where there wasn’t any.
Staying in front of Ebola fears:
Awareness: This crisis is far from over, and it will be nearly impossible to know if the city where your event will operate will be affected at the time of operation. Stay informed. Look at the spread frequently. The good news is many experts are predicting a low risk of further outbreaks in the U.S.
Empathy: Tell participants the steps you are planning to—or have already—put in place. There may be only a small number of participants with fears around traveling and attendance, but for them, knowing you’re on top of things matters.
Train: Along with standard protocol for event staff, there is a wealth of information regarding the virus. Add links to registration websites for participants to learn more. Make information as accessible as possible.
Contingency Plan: As with weather, political upheaval, or any other unforeseen event, discussing go/no-go scenarios as they relate to a virus outbreak is necessary. You must not only have a contingency plan, but socialize that you have that contingency plan.
The key takeaway—proactively communicate. Clients, staff, participants and their extended families want to know that those responsible for safety are always two steps ahead.