A new MPI video is a model for protocols for meeting safety.
A new video released by MPI documents how the association planned and implemented a safe live meeting in November, 2020. In the video, interviews with MPI executives, WEC meeting planners, and conference attendees cover the complexities of how to meet safe in the changed landscape of COVID. Lessons learned from the experience offer guidance to planners on best practices as face-to-face meetings return.
Back in March, 2020, the annual MPI WEC conference was scheduled to take place in Grapevine, Texas in June, with the theme Let’s Create Authentic Experiences. By the end of that month, as the COVID epidemic took hold, meeting organizers took a step back. A decision was made to postpone the meeting—but not to cancel it.
Fueling the decision to move forward was a goal to reunite the industry and show the world that live meetings could be safe. WEC was rescheduled for November 2020 with a new theme: Reunite for Recovery. MPI implemented a robust communications campaign emphasizing that that safety was the top priority.
The video shows how MPI worked closely with the destination and host hotel Gaylord Texan to ensure the safest and most comfortable experience for attendees. This included partnering with in-house physicians for daily temperature checks and health surveys and working with the hotel team to ensure rigorous cleaning and safety procedures. All CDC guidelines were followed for masking, social distancing, traffic flow, sanitation stations, etc. Food was presented safely, without hand contact. Motor coaches for an off-campus event were timed for staggered arrivals.
MPI also offered a digital version of the meeting, designed to engage virtual attendees with a different but parallel experience.
The November conference, noted MPI President and CEO Paul Van Deventer in the video, offers a blueprint on how to safely host a meeting with proper communication, proper protocols, and proper practices. These will be implemented at the next WEC, in Las Vegas in June.