Duty of Care Tips from Our Webinar

Duty of Care

Three industry pros who have developed comprehensive duty of care strategies shared their protocols to keep attendees safe during Prevue’s Duty of Care webinar this week.

Here are some of the significant takeaways from our recent webinar with Melinda L. Burdette, CMP, CMM, HMCC, Director of Events at Meeting Professionals International; Pierre Stone, Director of Conference and Catering, The Broadmoor; and Mark Yuska, CEO at Alliance Nationwide Exposition. The full one-hour event is now available online.


Yuska: “We had gone through a lot of discussion prior to the Together Again Expo and one of the concepts we initially came up was mass testing. We had contracted with a lab that could do rapid testing where you get the results within two to three minutes. Then we did some polling with potential attendees and exhibitors and found that, quite frankly, they weren’t interested in testing. We were surprised, but I think what it came down to was that if an individual was comfortable coming to the event, they were comfortable. If they were not, they were not. Testing was not something that was going to prompt them to either come to a meeting or not to come to a meeting. We determined that if someone was going to be comfortable traveling on an airplane or sitting in a hotel or traveling in an Uber, they are going to be comfortable coming to a convention hall. But if they wouldn’t do those three, they wouldn’t be comfortable coming.”

Social Distancing

Burdette: “One of the things we looked at was how to avoid queue lines. So we worked with PC Nametag to get out welcome kits for attendees that include their name badges so if everything is correct on your name badge, there’s no reason for you to queue up at registration. It includes personal hygiene things as well, like wipes and hand sanitizer, and a branded mask that they can bring with them. For us, it was about looking at the meeting holistically and those opportunities where you see bunching at doors and queue lines, and figuring out how to mitigate against that. Also, at every meal, whether it’s lunch or breakfast, how do we ingress and egress all the people into these rooms?”


Stone: “All of our food and beverage is server-attended, so we do have a server who will fill up your diet coke and hand it over to you. We’ve also done tray-passed items where during a break, a server will go around and hand the items to the guests. We stay within three to four people at a 72-inch round. It depends on the group. But at the end of the day, we cater to the most sensitive attendee that could be part of the event: What are they going to see? What are they going to feel?”

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.