The second case of coronavirus has been confirmed in the United States, this one in Chicago. Yesterday, the U.S. State Department issued its most severe travel advisory, “Level 4, Do Not Travel,” for the Chinese province of Hubei, where Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, is located.
Major airports around the US have employed screening measures and Disneyland Shanghai has closed as an active measure of caution to help prevent coronavirus from spreading. Beijing has canceled mass Lunar New Year celebration and put four cities on lockdown in an effort to control the spread of the deadly virus.
Meeting professionals are taking note. Gloria Nelson, CSEP, special event coordinator at Members, Inc., a full-service association and event management company, is watching the situation very closely.
“As it relates to the virus stemming at present from China, most importantly, we have event cancellation that includes epidemic outbreaks,” she explains. “Our team watches news with any potential impact on our contractual obligations and the safety of our attendees. Whether it relates to weather, air travel or most recently, a potential health pandemic with global impact, we don’t take our eyes off news as it becomes available and take any next steps necessary.”
If there is any chance of cancellation or warnings and/or precautions for traveling, this information is communicated quickly through all channels Nelson and Members, Inc. has at its fingertips for its clients.
“This is not limited to, but includes announcements via our client’s websites, email and also on our group forum boards so all are notified of any changes or precautions that need to be taken. If something were to happen onsite, we have a security lead that travels with our team working in tandem with our principals to devise a strategy of disseminating information without creating pandemonium. Clear, concise communication and a cool head must prevail, especially if onsite.”