Meetings Mean Business Launches Meet Safe Platform
One of the biggest challenges facing event planners as the world reopens are the inconsistencies between states regarding health and safety guidelines. The difference between say Florida and California are worlds apart. Trying to keep it all straight adds to the already stressful job of putting on meetings, conferences and trade shows.
Meetings Mean Business, the industry-wide coalition focused on advocacy, is trying to simplify the learning curve. Its new Meet Safe platform is a portal for event organizers to share recent experiences. A re-opening tracker is another valuable information center.
“In doing so, you’ll help future meeting hosts and attendees learn best practices, and ultimately showcase how professional meetings and events are organized responsibly with health and safety top-of-mind,” the website says.
While an ongoing mission, an initial milestone is April 8, 2021—Global Meetings Industry Day. Celebrated annually in April, GMID went fully virtually as the pandemic took hold in March. Through extensive outreach and marketing efforts, more than 12,500 planners and suppliers from 173 countries connected virtually in April 2020.
Promising vaccine news has Meetings Mean Business, and industry at-large, hopeful for in-person meetings on the day to recognize the industry’s impact on the global economy.
“Showcasing our industry’s value has never been more important—particularly at the state and local levels,” the organization said in a press release.
It’s widely expected many meetings will move from 2020’s virtual reality to a hybrid model in which at least a small number of attendees gather in one location while other remain remote. In October, Bizzaboo research showed 63% of marketers—known as corporate event planners in this industry—were ready to return to face-to-face gatherings in 2021, and that number is likely higher now. The same study found 97% of respondents expected hybrid to remain prevalent beyond next year.
What remains to be seen, and why Meet Safe was launched, is how groups convene under one roof. Will rapid-testing be available on-site? How long will masks be required? What impact will the GBAC Star accreditation have on venues?
States with limited restrictions like Florida and Georgia could very well ease regular faster than those in America’s Heartland where the cooler weather may hinder outdoor options many event organizers will require, or at least prefer.