As the coronavirus spreads, and, with it, fear of falling ill rises, Redstone has prepared the following statement to our clients with suggested next steps regarding event safety and attendee health:
It is no understatement that COVID-19 is making a significant impact on businesses worldwide. While we should not panic, we should be aware of the facts, and prepare our businesses to both maintain the highest health standards and withstand the financial struggles which may affect our businesses as a result.
This is especially pertinent in the association and not-for-profit industry, where essential business meetings, conferences and events keep our operations running, and drive the budget of many organizations. As the rational fear of falling ill results in cancellations of such gatherings, the consequences of this can significantly impact the bottom line.
A key belief of Redstone is proactivity. In the current situation, we recommend that, with our support, all of our clients should develop their own policies and plans regarding their upcoming meetings and events. For those who wish to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on their events and their organizations, we recommend the following next steps:
- Arrange a board or committee meeting to discuss the risks and implications of cancelling or postponing your conference, event, or meeting. Consider discussing:
- Attendee demographics and the likelihood of registrants being impacted by the virus.
- Likelihood of lower attendance due to COVID-19 fears and a preference of attendees to opt out of non-essential travel.
- Likelihood of sponsor, exhibitor or speaker cancellations.
- Consideration of reducing expenses associated with your conference, event or meeting.
- Consideration of adding additional wording to your cancellation policy. If you don’t currently have a cancellation policy, one should be established.
2. Review all the financial obligations and implications as it relates to cancelling or postponing your conference/event. If you’re unsure what a cancellation due to the COVID-19 virus means for your organization, you should ask!
3. Develop a registrant communication providing an update on the status of the conference/event. Information should include likelihood of cancellation, attendee cancellation policies, and plans that will be put in place at the event to ensure the safety of your participants.
Considering the current circumstances, it is definitely an interesting time to be running an international ‘global meetings’ business. But, by creating protocols and remaining vigilant and proactive, all businesses can avoid taking a financial hit and appropriately prepare for what may come.
Redstone Agency is committed to the health and safety of all of our clients and event participants. We are also committed to the financial health of your organization, and understand that the COVID-19 uncertainty can affect this. If there are any organizations which do not have a plan and would like support in developing one, please reach out to Bailey Roth, President at Redstone at [email protected] OR 416-915-3020 ext. 102. Check out our digital roundtable “COVID-19 and Your Association, Meetings, & Events” for more on this topic.