The US Based Event Manager Blog spoke to Dr. Brian Labus, epidemiologist and health sciences expert at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, to prepare event professionals for the challenges of the next few months. The future looks daunting, but there are safe ways to go back to business.
Key Takeaways & Actions
Small meetings are more controllable. The fewer people, the more manageable the risk and potential fallout. There is no ideal number of attendees, but 50 seems to be a reasonable cap.
Local is safer. Keeping events local and making sure only locals can attend can sensibly decrease the risk of transmission. If a community has a low incidence of community spread, the risk is more controllable.
Keep sessions at a 30-minute maximum. If you want to decrease the risk of transmission, plan for sessions that last up to 30 minutes, allowing attendees to avoid prolonged contact in an atmosphere where the virus may be accumulating.
Testing at the door is not practical. It requires time to process tests, and attendees may get infected over the course of the event, especially if it lasts longer than one day.
Masks are essential and should be made mandatory. They decrease the risk. Consider handing them out at registration.
Meetings should be a single day — half a day preferably. A multi-day event increases the risk of attendees wandering around and contracting the virus, e.g. as they make their way to and from the venue or interact with staff who are not staying onsite.