A 5-day post-event health check by Vital Circle reported no COVID cases from Meet Well, which Prevue hosted in conjunction with the Incentive Research Foundation. Vaccinations and testing had been highly recommended but not required for the event, and the final vaccination percentage was an impressive 82 percent.
Among the other safety protocols, all attendees were required to wear masks indoors, and 6-foot distancing was maintained as much as possible. Everyone had to pass a daily health check and then a temperature check before they were allowed to enter the meeting space. Meals were taken either at the attendees’ seats in the general session room or at tables of 4. All attendees were required to wear proximity tracing devices from Vital Circle, which can be used to identify anyone at risk if an attendee tested positive for COVID-19. All participants were also required to sign a liability waiver.
Emergency Concierge International not only consulted with Prevue and The Wigwam throughout the planning process, but offered its “boots on the ground” service, with an “incident commander” on call 24 hours a day in the event that an attendee fell ill.
The combination of risk mitigation strategies prompted one attendee to refer to the Summit as “the Bentley of safety planning.”
“The health & safety protocols implemented at the Prevue Meet Well event prove the importance of duty of care for event managers,” said Amanda Schleede, president, Vital Circle. “The implementation of protocols such as HIPAA secure vaccine and/or COVID-19 testing verifications, coupled with daily symptom tracking, proximity contact tracing and post-event surveys, provide data and analytics to reduce COVID exposure so we can safely get back to meetings in ’22.”
One challenge in planning the three events was the quickly changing conditions in just a four-month time span, said Barbara Scofidio, Prevue editor and planner of the Prevue Summit Series. “In early May, people were just starting to do meetings again, and we were not comfortable allowing them to mingle unmasked during the cocktail reception, because when people drink alcohol they start to lose their inhibitions. So we provided an elegant feast to go, and masks by Your Social Mask that allow you to sip your drink while wearing a straw. They loved it,” she said. “By the time we got to summer and the CDC said it was safe for vaccinated people to go mask-less, we were able to unmask in the meeting space (with distancing), hold a normal reception, and have 6 people per table at meals. Then the Delta variant hit and we had to go back to masking indoors, socially distanced transportation, twos and fours at tables, and offer the option for people to take their food to go or sit separately.”
Prevue plans to continue working with its two safety partners for the 2022 Summit Series. “Their services have been invaluable and they’re now part of the team,” said Scofidio. “I highly recommend both companies for your events.”
Prevue Meetings & Incentives informs and inspires planners by providing experiential travel coverage, professional development, and thought leadership through print and online content, and virtual and live events.