Pandemic Strategies - Webinar Recap Looking into the Industry


Our second round is over!

We hosted Mark Catuogno and Cindy Lo to talk about Pandemic Strategies.

We covered so much and had such great questions coming in from our attendees.

5 more topics to come so make sure that if you are still not registered you do so here so you can tune in live and join the conversation.

Here is the recap about what we learned:

Honor code:

This came up in both sessions. In terms of contact tracing and attendance really you will be reliant on all parties abiding by the honor code and communicating if they are feeling ill or not while attending because they are positive.

A way to support and make sure more can adhere to this is approaching it with compassion and establishing trust with all before the event occurs so they do not feel singled out or attacked if they do contract it before, during or after. That will allow them to come forward and admit it with more ease as well as make everyone's job easier.

Empathy & Compassion:

These are hard times for all, whether you are in the industry or not. This pandemic has had a big effect on all persons, systems, and businesses. Approaching this topic with empathy and compassion towards people's choices, needs and lacks that they are feeling.

Understanding that potentially someone tried really hard to make it, invested in an event and then contracted covid and can not attend, both speakers encouraged to look through the lens of empathy and try to reimburse, move dates or hold deposits for attendees, partners and clients.

Event Responsibility & Liability:

As it stands currently there is not a way for an attendee or client to sue or go after you as the organizer or attendees to go after the host if they contract COVID during an event.

Now we still strongly recommend you comply and follow with your duty of care and  take all of the preventative measures in your planning and execution to reduce the chance of contact and spread.

Additional Planning Considerations:

Prevention is the first thing to look out for, how can you prevent spreading if this were to be the case.

Possibly instating new company policies for your employees about them getting routine tested prior to executing events. Requesting vaccines or tests onsite within a window of time for all parties involved in the event. 

Communication Channels & PR:

It is so important to keep clean communication channels and as Cindy mentioned, be overly communicative with your clients, partners and staff way ahead of time to avoid any surprises and situations that can be avoided by just communicating.

Channels to communicate properly with attendees, Mark suggests not only email and social media but if you can have your attendees opt into text notifications so you can stay in constant contact with them during and post event.

Public Relations: so you did everything to prevent it but then something happened, i.e. your event became a super spreader event. Communicate and handle the situation. Mark & Cindy both agreed, when this happens it's not about how or who, it is about how you handle it.

Establish holding statements, emails and wording before the event with your client on how they desire to communicate and handle the situation in case it occurs.

This is an opportunity for the company to establish and speak from a place of leadership.

Contract Review Tips:

Here are the three parts of the contract we advise you revise if you have not already modified your contracts.

  • Force Majeure: COVID is not covered under force majeure anymore at this stage in the game. 
  • Cancelation Clause: What does it look like for an early cancelation? Are you allowing clients to cancel and move their deposits? (your rollover dates and deposits should have an expiration date). 
  • Vendors & Patrons: Are there cancelation clauses with them? Can you hold the deposits in case they go out of business and establish a written contract?

Client & Vendor Discussions to have:

What happens if you need to move the event?

If you cancel and cannot appear what are the options (Virtual, Hybrid, Finding Replacements, Moving dates).

Budgeting Increase:

There are multiple line items to add to your budget when planning now in mid- post pandemic.

  • Testing - Depending on location testing fees, these can be rolled into the tickets if it is a paid event and you and your client desire to have a testing area on site. 
  • PPE - (Personal Protective Equipment) for staff, vendors and those involved.
  • COVID Concierge - Not required but very beneficial to have. This is someone that supports with supervising and educating all involved and attending to follow proper procedures at all times (i.e. mask, hand washing, etc).
  • Security - Properly trained security that is also trained to handle situations if attendees or others involved arrive with symptoms to escort them off the premises with empathy and understanding.
  • Medical Support- having a doctor on site that people can go to if symptoms commence or they need to be looked at for other reasons.
  • Event Insurance - a buffer in case you need to reimburse an attendee the ticket fee, in case they contract COVID or need to cancel for an alternative reason.

Contact Tracing:

Contact tracing is important to the safety and health of partners, attendees, clients and staff.

This does not have to be a dystopian item on the checklist. Simple check-ins with attendees, partners and staff post event to see and request that if they have tested positive post event or have contracted COVID during the event to please come forward. Ensuring them that there are no repercussions but more so that you can inform the others that they have been in contact with during their attendance (this also depends on size). 

Leaving you with two more tips from our speakers.

Get your venue involved, establish open communication and have them actively participate as you plan.

Start small, as you learn to master, train and execute under the new rules start with baby steps to avoid overwhelm.

Make sure to connect with Mark Catuogno and Cindy Lo our guest speakers as well as our Founder Alexandria Tomayko.

Be sure to check out the replay of our Live Q&A with Cindy Lo as we delved a little deeper and answered questions about planning mid and post pandemic.

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