As organizations begin to contemplate the return of in-person meetings and conferences—while they continue to hold and plan virtual ones—there is no shortage of considerations to take into account.
Social distancing protocols are among the thorniest challenges for people who plan face-to-face events.
But these challenges didn’t stop Eurofins, ITA Group’s partner in successful in-person events health risk mitigation. Eurofins was able to facilitate a 39-person event at the end of the summer using their Eurofins SAFER@WORKTM program. Over the course of three days, Eurofins was on hand to help with mitigating, detecting and responding to COVID-19 health concerns. And attendees seemed very appreciative:
- “Great meeting.”
- “Very nice job on putting that all together.”
- “This was a great event and I applaud the organizers for all the planning and safety protocols.”
The event was a great success with nearly 100% satisfaction rate in regard to how health risk mitigation was addressed.
All preconceived notions and assumptions aside, we’ve been curious what attendees were most concerned about regarding their health at events? Was it the mandatory masks? Not being able to maintain social distance? Something else entirely?
3 Biggest In-Person Event Concerns
In short, most of the responses and feedback about Eurofins’ in-person event focused on three specific categories:
- Testing protocol (i.e., availability, frequency, results and communication)
- Hotel safety measures (i.e., understanding hotel safety protocols beforehand, hotel following set safety protocols)
- Networking (i.e., participants using masks consistently in group settings, being familiar with how to use contact tracers before arriving)
Notably, attendees need to be reminded to wear their masks and contact tracers (think an iPhone hanging around your neck) before entering and while at the event. (It’s a full-time effort, really.) It’s still new to many so it hasn’t become second nature. That said, it’s important for hosts to enforce the mask and social distance rules. This ensures the safety of everyone attending.
And that comes back to communication. In fact, it’s always the best idea to over-communicate. Eurofins found that ensuring the property is communicating with both staff about the event and the attendees about their standards helps deliver on attendee expectations. This also means visual reminders, signage and physical barriers to ensure social distancing.
Using these same safety measures, 90% of attendees would feel comfortable meeting in person this month.
Changes to Ensure Increased Satisfaction
While the event was a rousing success, there’s always room for feedback. Most of this feedback focused on the contact tracers. Eurofins had originally sent emails and presentations to attendees, which explained what they were and how to use them. But without verifying everyone viewed these materials, it became clear some did and some didn’t. Visual cues can help call attention to the need for health safety; signage on the floor can help remind people how far six feet is. Additionally, since the contract tracer tech does run on batteries, charging stations ought to be placed throughout the event location for attendees to charge contact tracers as needed.
While the objective was to simply give executives the opportunity to gather in person and review business updates, Eurofins went above and beyond making them feel as safe as possible and helping them connect personally through a robust schedule of activities.
“The event was incredible and I cannot thank you enough for all the planning and details. The Bluetooth trackers and all the precautions were exactly right for the event. I have believed that we need to learn to ‘operate and live’ with COVID-19 and this demonstrated we could run a safe and fun event during this crazy pandemic,” said one attendee.
Check Out the Stats
See below for some additional results and feedback from some of the first to experience an event setting since COVID-19
- Did the pre-communications (emails and presentation) make you feel more comfortable going into the meeting? 100% said yes
- Did having all of the group functions outdoors versus indoors make you feel more comfortable? 100% said yes
- Did all of the added measures taken on-site make you feel safer? 81% said yes
- Do you feel using the contact tracers were beneficial? 86% said yes
- Do you feel the on-site nasal swab testing was beneficial? 100% said yes
- Have you had any COVID related symptoms since the meeting? 100% said no