Coronavirus: what event professionals need to know to mitigate risks
With growing concerns around the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) affecting the events industry, here's what you need to know and what actions you can take to mitigate potential risks and facilitate appropriate preparedness measures throughout the event lifecycle.
According to EventMB, it is certain that the COVID-19 outbreak will have an impact on Q1 and Q2 delivery of events held in Asia and globally. It is crucial that we actively assess the risks and stay informed to be able to deal with possible event scenarios that may result from the outbreak.
What you need to know
More than 79,000 people globally have been diagnosed with the virus following an outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China. Over 50 countries have imposed travel restrictions, flight bans from China and self-quarantines on passengers and residents who have traveled through or from China within the last 60 days.
To assist meeting and event professionals in making responsible and informed decisions, we are sharing useful resources with our community.
What you can do to prepare
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a comprehensive nine-page document with key recommendations for those planning large events - in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak. The WHO document provides guidance in preparing for the worst - outlining what to do if event attendees exhibit symptoms consistent with the virus during the event, and appropriate preparedness measures of three phases: planning phase, operational phase and post-event phase.
The document, which includes further information about COVID-19, it's symptoms, as well as recommendations for planning throughout the entire event lifecycle can be found here.
At Blerter, we recommend a review of your crisis communications plan to ensure it's up to date. Understanding how to respond in a crisis situation like COVID-19 can help prevent a bad situation from becoming even worse. Download our guide below as a reference on creating an effective plan.
Ensure thorough communication with your workforce ahead of the event and be prepared for any last minute changes that may occur. If you are using the Blerter platform for your event, add safety checks and attach useful information such as steps on how to protect yourself from respiratory illnesses, like COVID-19.
It is recommended that we keep calm and communicate responsibly. "Containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself," said Gloria Guevara, president and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council.
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