ASAE Announces the 2020-2022 DELP Class

ASAE has selected 12 scholars for the 2020–2022 Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) class. DELP is a two-year program that supports individuals from under-represented identity groups to advance into the ranks of leadership in the association management profession. DELP scholars participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the association community.

The 2020-2022 DELP class is coming together during a historic and challenging time for not only the association community but the world at large. Due to COVID-19,the annual DELP reunion was cancelled. However, ASAE is developing alternative plans to recognize and celebrate the new class of DELP scholars during the Virtual ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition.

“Congratulations to the members of the 2020-2022 DELP Class. You are now a part of a legacy of talented association professionals who have used their unique sets of knowledge and experiences to make positive changes in the association community,” said ASAE President and CEO, Susan Robertson. “While the impact of COVID-19 has changed how we celebrate the new DELP class, it will not deter the future contributions of this distinguished class. And that is something I look forward to.

ASAE would also like to thank the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau (DMCVB) for their ongoing support of the DELP program for twenty years. DMCVB’s support has resulted in developing more than 200 diverse and inclusive leaders throughout the association industry.

This year’s class includes:

Tiki Ayiku, MA

Assistant Vice President for Professional Development

NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education

Washington, DC

Ernest J. Barrens, CAE

Director, Chapter Relations -Northeast Region

American Inns of Court
Alexandria, VA

Anikia Brown, MS

Marketing and Communications Manager

National League for Nursing
Washington, DC

Andrew T. Dailey, MDiv., MS

Director, Minority Fellowship Program

American Psychological Association
Washington, DC

Matt J. Granato, LLM, MBA

Chief Executive Officer

Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Washington, DC

Shameka Jennings, MTA, CMP

Director of Meetings and Partnership Development

National Coalition of STD Directors

Washington, DC

Liz Jones, CAE

Chief Revenue Officer

Online Lenders Alliance
Arlington, VA

Jakeeva Lee, CIPS, AHWD

Manager, External Affairs

Chicago Association of Realtors
Chicago, IL

Tia Perry

Director, Business Development and Partnerships

Associated Builders and Contractors
Washington, DC

Alexis Redmond, JD, MA, CAE

Director, Career Management Resources

American Speech-Hearing Language Association
Rockville, MD

Nate Wambold, CMP

Director, Meetings & Conferences

American Anthropological Association
Arlington, VA

Ben Yzaguirre, M.Ed.

Director of Faculty Development and e-Learning

American Dental Education Association
Washington, DC

Media Contact: Lauren Precker, CAE, lprecker@asaecenter.org, 202-626-2735.

About ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership

ASAE is celebrating 100 years of making society smarter, better and safer. The Centennial anniversary represents ASAE’s role as a leader and supporter of progress and innovation in the association industry.  ASAE is a membership organization of more than 48,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.

How to Liven Up a Virtual Meeting: Nail Your Kickoff Experience (Part 1 of 3)

Does your virtual event spark joy? Keeping pace with the surge in virtual events, we consulted new ConventionPlanit.com supplier member Ben Corey, CEO and Lead Digital Entertainer with Stream Variety, for advice on livening up a virtual meeting. Ben had so much to share, in fact, that this is the first of a three-part series.

1. Eliminate extended speaker introductions.

Participants at streaming events can easily be distracted before traditional speaker bios are even delivered. Post bios online for those who may be interested and start with something unexpected or more personal instead. For example, speakers can begin by sharing something about themselves that is 100% true but sounds made up.

2. Focus on emotional connections from the first moment.

If your audience is pulling their hair out as they telework while homeschooling their kids, start there! Start exactly where your specific audience is, and share a related personal story to bring your audience closer, even though they are far away.

3. Engage participants upon arrival with sponsor-worthy Streamosphere.

As your audience arrives, captivate them with unexpected visual streaming entertainment. Create an atmosphere of anticipation before your speakers go live. While others may start a stream fumbling with cameras and lose half of their audience, look like a rock star by going live with something immediately awesome.

Ben Corey provides consulting and support to help you launch successful digital tradeshows, innovative online networking events, and conferences.  He provides a complete roster of sponsorable streaming entertainment.  Contact Ben Corey directly at Stream Variety to learn more.

Virtual Meeting Misconceptions Turned Inside Out

By Nancy Settle-Murphy, Guided Insights

When people evaluate the quality their typical virtual meetings on a scale of 1-10, the average response we get tends to hover somewhere between a 3 and 4. (And that’s progress, compared to a few years ago!) After all this time, why do virtual meetings still have such a bad rap? Are they really that poorly-run, or do people just assume they will be a waste of time, and plan their participation (or lack thereof) accordingly?

Joining me is Steve Bather, Practice Lead for The Realise Group. A seasoned practitioner of planning and leading large events and virtual meetings, Steve runs MeetingSphere, a company that produces efficient meeting productivity tools available from the Cloud.

Our basic premise: Successful virtual meetings require a thoughtful discipline that demonstrates a deep sense of respect for all participants, enabling them to be full and equal participants in the conversation. We also believe that any kind of meeting should be held only when discussions are needed. (If content review is required, let people do that somewhere else.)

In this article, Steve and I refute nine of the most popular misconceptions people hold about virtual meetings, and offer some practical tips that can help transform virtual meetings from mediocre to memorable.

1. People won’t do prework, so why bother asking?  

If you agree with this assumption, then you probably build in time for content review at the start of your virtual meetings, just in case. But, since virtual meeting time is at a premium, why not plan your agenda as though people have done the prework? This means you you’ll need to make the prework sufficiently compelling, accessible and relevant. Give people a small assignment to increase the chances of completion: “Post 3 questions in our online conference area that spring to mind as you read this report.” Don’t be afraid to strike a bargain, using either a carrot or a stick, or both: If everyone comes prepared, you’ll shorten the meeting time by 10 minutes. Those who haven’t read the report must catch up on their own, before they join the conversation. If you reward those who come prepared and provide consequences for those who don’t, your virtual meetings will become more productive and take less time.  If you can encourage the majority of participants to complete the pre-workeveryone will do it next time!

2. Our routine weekly meetings don’t really need much planning. We have the routine down pretty well.

If you think that only “important” meetings need careful planning, think again. Just because your meetings follow a predictable format, it doesn’t mean the format is necessarily a good one. Even routine meetings, or perhaps especially routine meetings, must be designed so they help accelerate progress on current projects. Your weekly status meeting might need periodic tweaking, or it might require an entire overhaul. Even if you think your current format works well, consider how prework can be used more effectively to save time or enrich the quality of conversations. Solicit feedback from participants frequently and make changes as needed.

3. Everyone knows how to use these virtual tools, so let’s not waste time explaining how to use them.

Are you sure? People aren’t always equally competent and confident using certain features of a given tool, even when they’ve used it before. And sometimes, people may be using different versions, which may appear differently on their device. A few tips for ensuring the successful use of a given tool, right from the start of your meeting: Use the same tool for asynchronous and real-time participation to familiarize people with the look, feel and navigation in advance. Include a test or demo link in your meeting invitation. Invite people to log in a few minutes before the call if they’d like a quick tutorial.  Use only those features that will enhance meeting outcomes. Allocate a few seconds at the start of your call to show which tools you plan to use for this meeting. And if you can, buddy up with someone who can take care of the technology as you lead your meeting.  

4. Anonymity isn’t really needed in our virtual meetings. We’re very transparent here.  

Or so you think! That’s what some of our clients say, too, until people admit they would have been more candid if their names had not been attached to their responses. While there are many situations where it’s vital to know who said what, there are probably more times when allowing anonymous contributions can foster freer and richer exchange of ideas.  When in doubt, pilot your questions with a small group, testing whether anonymity or attribution works best. (Of course, you need to make sure that your chosen tool that allows for either anonymity or attribution, in both asynchronous and synchronous settings. Ideally, you want to be able to change between anonymous and attribution dynamically through the meeting to support different requirements along the way.)

5. We only have 60 minutes for this meeting. People won’t stay any longer.

Really? Check your assumptions before you resign yourself to this limitation. If the topic requires an in-depth conversation, participants are fully vested in the outcome, and if you keep the meeting focused, engaging and on topic, people may just accept a request for a 90-minute meeting. If you find that people simply won’t attend a meeting beyond one hour, consider breaking up the conversation into several convenient stages. Keep each session focused and productive, ensuring  that  participants are satisfied with the outcome, and that people know what they need to do prior to the next session to move the work along. Another tip: Don’t be afraid to start or end a meeting on the quarter-hour. Just because many calendars default to full hours or half-hours, it doesn’t mean we need to follow along.

6. We have to wait until almost everyone is on the call before we start.  

This comes down to basic meeting culture and discipline. If your organization’s culture allows people to join meetings when it suits them, you risk frustrating those who join on time. As the meeting leader, you face having to repeat what’s already happened to engage the latecomers, often wasting up to 20% of the scheduled meeting time to rehash what’s already been covered. Organizations with a healthy meeting discipline communicate clear joining instructions, and expect people to join in good time (up to five minutes before the start time), will complete reasonable pre-work (see first bullet) and will focus entirely on the meeting. To change our meeting culture, we must lead with the behaviors we want to encourage, rather than tolerate those that waste everyone’s time. Admittedly, it can be difficult to make latecomers feel welcome while respecting those who came on time, yet it can be done diplomatically and assertively.

7. People who wait too long for a chance to speak may not do so when the opportunity finally arises.

Even if you have a standing set of protocols, it’s worth starting every virtual meeting with a reminder about how you expect people to contribute, ask questions, seek clarification, and ensure they are viewing the correct documentation.  Pause to ask if any updates or changes are needed for this particular call. Remind people as needed how to use various meeting tools for each type of contribution. Consider how best to provide the appropriate environment for people who are uncomfortable or unwilling to speak out, especially those who need reflection time. If you provide multiple ways for people to contribute at any time during the meeting, whether anonymously or not, you may be amazed at the ideas, solutions and issues that may suddenly surface!

8. It’s impossible to know who else is on the call.

In the virtual world, we may never know who might be lurking silently, especially if the meeting technology doesn’t allow us to “see” everyone who is present. As a result, people can be more guarded about how and when to participate, and thus silence often becomes the default. When this is the case, decisions can be made without complete information or needed discussions, slowing down progress. You can ensure that your participants are aware who is participating a few ways. First, choose a tool (audio and/or meeting tool) that makes all participants visible to everyone. Many meeting tools allow the meeting planner to assign each invitee a unique password, making it difficult if not impossible for others to join. You can also do a quick verbal roll call (if you have 12 or so participants or fewer), or you can invite participants to type in some sort of hello as they join. Finally, in your meeting request, make it clear as to whether others can be invited, to cut down on the number of possible eavesdroppers.

9. We don’t need meeting notes if everyone was paying attention.

Let’s assume for a minute that everyone really was paying attention (which requires a big leap of faith). Different people may have a different recollection as to agreements, decisions, or next steps. (Plus, we tend to get fuzzy on our commitments as soon as new priorities come into play.) Discuss what level of detail is appropriate for any given type of meeting, and make sure that someone is assigned to capture and post (or send) notes. Some virtual meeting tools make it simple to capture meeting output, while others may require extensive writing, cutting, pasting and formatting. Even if your meeting notes consist only of decisions made and actions taken, people will feel more accountable as a result.

The next time you find yourself bemoaning the inherent shortcomings of virtual meetings, challenge yourself by asking: In what ways can we more effectively use technology, clear operating norms, and instill a healthier meeting culture to achieve our outcomes in an efficient, effective and engaging way? We promise you, it can be done!

Note: The article originally appeared in Guided Insight’s Communique

Nancy Settle-Murphy is the President of Guided Insights. She is a renowned expert in the fields of virtual leadership, remote collaboration and navigating cross-cultural differences, and the author of Leading Effective Virtual Teams. Learn more about Nancy at www.guidedinsights.com.

Cheeca Lodge & Spa Safety and Well-Being Promise

Our Safety and Well-Being Promise builds upon Cheeca’s already high standards of housekeeping, food & beverage and overall hygiene where Cheeca uses the highest-grade cleaning products and enhanced safety protocols are currently in place. The goal with the Safety and Well-Being Promise is to serve as both an assurance and a promise that the well-being and safety of our guests and team members is our number one priority. The Safety and Well-Being Promise focuses on three key pillars: Prevention. Cleanliness. Reducing Contact. During your stay, you will experience a heightened focus throughout our entire hotel – public areas, guest rooms, restaurants, bars and outlets.

PREVENTION

Masks & Gloves

  • Team members will wear masks & gloves for safety and prevention

Temperature Checks

  • As an additional precaution all team members will have temperatures taken daily with infrared, touchless thermometers

Plexi-Shield Protective Screens

  • Shield protectors have been added to applicable areas including front desk stations, reception desks, host stands and retail outlets

Social Distancing

  • Team members at hotels will follow and enforce social distancing policies and procedures
  • Additional signage across hotels will remind guest and team members of practicing social distancing
  • Common areas have been re-arranged to follow adequate social distancing practices
  • Restaurant and bar seating have also been re-arranged to follow social distancing guidelines

CLEANLINESS

Disinfecting & Sanitation Technology

  • Antimicrobial fogging sanitizing & cleaning systems will be used in all guest rooms, common areas including elevators, meeting areas, pool, bathrooms, retail, spa and F&B outlets
  • UV light cleaning technology will be used to sanitize all room keys, key card packets and credit cards

Hand Sanitizer Dispensers

  • Hand sanitizer dispensers have been added around the hotel (indoor & outdoor) and the back of house

Sanitizing Wipes in All Guest Rooms

  • All guest rooms will offer individual packet(s) of sanitizing wipes as an additional amenity

Housekeeping Services

  • Housekeeping services will only be provided upon request; additional towels and amenities are also available upon request
  • Guest rooms will remain vacant a minimum of 48 hours (based on occupancy); before guest room becomes occupied

Clean & Clean More

  • Additional guest room sanitation and cleaning procedures are also being applied to cleanliness guidelines
  • Hotel have increased the frequency of cleaning public areas including but not limited to high traffic and touch areas

REDUCE CONTACT

Guest Rooms

  • All non-essential items have been removed from guest rooms including but not limited to decorative pillows, magazines, compendiums, pens, paper, etc.
  • Glassware has been replaced with disposable & sealed paper cups
  • Turndown service will not be offered

Food & Beverage

  • The resort may only offer food & beverage solely as a “to-go” style, using only disposable serve ware.    
  • In-room dining will be served “to-go” style, using disposable serve ware and delivered to the guestroom door or available for pick-up 
  • Where possible menus will be displayed on guest-room TV’s along with website. Disposable menus available for all outlets and in-room dining

Touchless Dispensers – Soap and Paper Towels in Restrooms

  • Touchless dispensers for soap and paper towels will be accessible in all public and team member restrooms

Additional Guidelines Include

  • No kids activities/kids camp offered
  • Spa services will be offered on a limited basis and by appointment only per local governance
  • Group fitness classes may be offered on a limited basis based on local governance. 

For more information about your visit, please contact us by phone: (305) 664-4651 or email: info@cheeca.com

*Individual item restrictions may apply 

Virtual Meeting Etiquette Tips

With the increased number of remote meetings taking place these days, let’s take a moment and refresh ourselves with some etiquette best practices for virtual meetings.

1. Log On Early

Be respectful of others and their time by logging in early to test your audio, webcam, screen-sharing tools, etc. That way, the meeting can start right on time.

2. Dress the Part

Proper work attire is expected for all web-based meetings, even if you’re sitting on your couch. Remember, you are still a professional who wants to be taken seriously. You will also feel more productive and confident, so you may want to dress up even if your meeting is phone based. 

3. Consider Your Background

While not everyone has a home office, it’s important to make it look like you are in an appropriate setting (ie no dirty clothes, household clutter, or open closets visible). Prior to your meeting, test out what will be seen in your camera. Try and sit in front of a wall instead of an open room or a window (can make you appear dark).

4. Address Distractions

It would be considered rude if your phone started ringing in a boardroom, and the same is true for a virtual meeting. If possible, close the door to the room you are in and turn off your phone, music, tv, etc. Take notes with a pen and notebook to avoid keyboard noise, and no eating!

Some potential distractions are unavoidable if you are sharing your work space with others in your household temporarily. Be upfront and let your colleagues know they may hear your dog bark, children playing, or the landscaper working outside. This will save time from needing to pause to apologize mid-meeting.

5. Be Present

Look directly at the camera and speak clearly. Make virtual eye contact when speaking and listening. Pause for a response after you speak to account for wi-fi delays.

6. Mute Yourself

Since some level of background noise is likely when working from home (see above), it is extremely important to mute yourself when you are not speaking. Sometimes the meeting host will handle this, but be sure to know how to do it yourself just in case.

Dive into the hub of the business events community on PlanetIMEX’s new Networking Island

Connect and do business with IMEX Introductions

Business event professionals can do business, network and find out the latest industry news – all on a desert island. Sounds too good to be true? Not when you’re on PlanetIMEX!

Networking Island, the third island on PlanetIMEX, goes live today and is the virtual hub of the business events community – the place to connect, network and keep up with the latest industry news. 

A core element of Networking Island is IMEX Introductions, which also launches today. Planners and suppliers can register – for free – to be part of IMEX Introductions which gives them access to a wide industry network with which to do business. 

This new offering is a virtual extension of IMEX’s live in-person appointment system which forms the bedrock of the shows and has already seen over 1,000 people register.  Networking Island explorers are advised to head for the Introductions Lodge to sign up. They can rest assured the island’s wildlife – this time a roadrunner – is both friendly and static. 

SITE’s Got Talent and isn’t afraid to show it

The launch of Networking Island today is rounded off with a fresh take on SITE Nite Europe. This free celebration enables incentive professionals to catch up with SITE friends, build new connections and take to the virtual stage for the new SITE’s Got Talent. Expect entertainment and fun from across the incentive industry, whether it’s magicians, ventriloquists, musicians, comedians, dancers or singers, all under the tagline – SITE’s Got Talent….and we’re not afraid to show it!

Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group and President of the SITE Foundation, explains: “Building business connections and supporting the community are core IMEX values which are brought to life perfectly in our new Networking Island on PlanetIMEX. 

“We’re inviting planners and suppliers from across the globe to join those already registered for IMEX Introductions and have some really valuable business conversations. Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that our industry comes together – to do business, to reconnect with friends and have fun. 

With that in mind, we are delighted to round off the day with SITE’s Got Talent – a fantastic way to bring the community together at the same time as raising funds for the SITE Foundation to benefit the incentive travel community.”

‘Watercooler conversations’ coming soon

The hive of activity on Networking Island continues with Brella, offering informal person-to-person networking. Registration is now live for Brella which is open to all and offers a virtual opportunity to enjoy casual, creative or more formal business conversations on a one-to-one basis. Think of it as a series of virtual ‘watercooler’ moments! More details will follow soon.

Networking Island is now open to explorers! Visit PlanetIMEX.

How to register for IMEX Introductions is clearly signposted and explained at Networking Island’s Introductions Lodge. 

For further information about SITE Nite Europe and to register for free to join the celebrations click here.

#PlanetIMEX

ASAE, MGM Resorts Announce Cancellation of Face-to-Face 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Las Vegas Due to COVID-19

ASAE to Deliver First-Ever Virtual Annual Meeting & Centennial Celebration Experience in August 2020

ASAE, in close collaboration with MGM Resorts International, announced today it will cancel its in-person 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition, scheduled to be held August 8-11, at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas due to public health and safety concerns related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

ASAE is instead working with scheduled speakers, sponsors and industry partners to deliver a reimagined Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition the week of August 10. Registration information, exact dates and industry partner opportunities for the Virtual Annual Meeting will be shared with the ASAE community by the first week of June. The ASAE Board of Directors will also hold a virtual meeting on Aug. 7.

“After careful discussion of every aspect of the meeting and experience with our fantastic partners at Mandalay Bay and MGM Resorts, ASAE has made the difficult decision to move the 2020 Annual Meeting & Expo to a virtual experience,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “As excited as we were to put on a robust, memorable in-person Annual Meeting in Las Vegas this August and to celebrate ASAE’s Centennial with the association community, the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers and the MGM staff outweighed any other considerations in our collective decision-making process.”

“Our team worked closely with ASAE to build out what would have been an incredible event in August, but we understand the hard decision they had to make in the current climate,” said Stephanie Glanzer, Senior Vice President & Chief Sales Officer for MGM Resorts. “We have long valued our relationship with ASAE and are eager to welcome the association community back to Las Vegas very soon.”

ASAE, MGM and other event partners in Las Vegas were in regular contact during the planning of ASAE’s 100th Annual Meeting and paid careful attention to the timing of federal and state of Nevada plans to ease air travel restrictions, social distancing guidelines and restrictions on large gatherings once the COVID-19 threat has abated. Given the number of still-unknown factors related to the containment of the virus, and with ASAE Annual Meeting attendees typically coming from all over the country as well as internationally, all parties concluded that cancelling the face-to-meeting meeting was the safe and responsible action.

“ASAE and MGM were beyond prepared to exceed attendee expectations for the 2020 Annual Meeting. We look forward to working with our Las Vegas partners in the future,” said Amy Ledoux, CAE, CMP, ASAE’s Chief Learning and Meetings Officer. “Shifting gears, we are now fully immersed in creating the most dynamic Virtual Annual Meeting experience for our members possible. Virtual attendees can expect the same great content that we were primed to deliver in Las Vegas, so stay tuned. We’re going to structure this reimagined experience to fit every member’s schedule and budget and there are going to be multiple options for engagement.”

Further details about ASAE’s Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition will be communicated as soon as they are finalized and updated on ASAE’s Annual Meeting website. ASAE’s 2021 Annual Meeting is scheduled to take place Aug. 14-17, 2021, in Dallas, TX.

A Letter from the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) Department of Tourism has remained committed to protecting the health and safety of our residents and visitors, and we continue to be guided by public health experts in order to minimize the spread of the virus and to make prudent decisions concerning the management of our tourism sector.

Like every other destination affected by this crisis, we are actively looking forward to and planning for the eventual resumption of tourism activity. At this time, we will not be accepting leisure visitors until at least June 1, 2020.

We greatly value our partnerships with all our colleagues in the meetings and events sector. Our local MICE stakeholders have been using this “down” time to refresh and enhance their product offerings and to ensure that each property, venue or activity is fully prepared and equipped to provide a safe, healthy and exceptional experience to arriving guests. This is a coordinated, integrated effort between local USVI government agencies, tourism stakeholders and organizations including the U.S. Virgin Islands Hotel & Tourism Association.

Until our MICE offerings are fully reopened, the Department of Tourism continues to engage with its various audiences to share the beauty and appeal of the Virgin Islands and to encourage safe public health practices, including social distancing.

We remain fully committed to meeting your business needs once this health crisis has abated. When we are assured that the Territory is equipped and ready with all testing and containment protocols recommended by public health experts and our local authorities, we stand ready to work with you to welcome your groups back to the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands, where a truly wonderful experience awaits your clients.

We look forward to sharing more positive news and developments in the weeks ahead.

Until we “meet” again, all the best!

Here are some highlights of our recent activity:

·   Click here to see the video message highlighting the Department’s commitment to welcoming back leisure visitors when public health experts deem it safe to do so.
·   Department of Tourism Launches New Brand For St. Croix: a vibe like no other (https://bit.ly/2VFeIk9)
·   Department of Tourism enlists iconic Mocko Jumbie to help educate travelers and residents about COVID-19 prevention measures: (https://bit.ly/35buaru)

Make sure to follow our social media channels for updates.

Kay Kitchens
Director of Sales
U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
E: kmilliner@usvitourism.vi

How the Events Industry is Changing

PCMA Convene recently surveyed event professionals to gain insight about the impact of COVID-19 on the business events industry. Here are our key takeaways:

  • Meeting professionals are resilient: the survey reports many are taking the opportunity to reset and rethink a future with digital events and face-to-face working together while they redraw their value propositions.
  • Contracts and insurance will look different: planners will be more specific in the wording used for cancellations and what unforeseen circumstances the force majeure clause covers. Some will consider not just where the event takes place, but where the attendees are coming from.
  • Rebooking windows remain generally unclear: over 25% have not determined when they will reschedule their meetings, and another 25% have booked for September or later.
  • Virtual meetings are happening: 70% of respondents are moving all or some of their meeting to a virtual platform. They will use livestream speakers, webinars, abbreviated programs, have an emcee, include Q&A and chat and interactive features, and virtual exhibits.
  • Virtual meetings will offer new perks: respondents noted they will add new features to their virtual meetings including small group peer coaching, sending gift baskets to registrants with a dessert to be consumed en masse to end an event, creating a closed Facebook group, virtual networking lounges, happy hours and round tables, speaker podcasts, instant translation services, virtual awards ceremonies, and quizzes with instant results for certifications.
  • Pricing will change: 46% of respondents said the registration cost will be lower with the virtual meeting.
  • Re-education is key: planners are re-skilling themselves in virtual meetings and digital technologies and are studying crisis management, honing contract and marketing skills.

Have something to say on the topic? Comment here to continue the conversation!