Forty-nine states in our union have at least one convention center open as of today in some capacity. For example, in Nevada, meetings and conventions can resume at 50% capacity. The state that hasn’t reopened is California, which authorizes the Anaheim center’s opening next month.
All of this is good news.
Northstar Meetings Group’s recent PULSE survey showed 81% of US meeting planners would hold at least one in-person event in 2021. However, pulling a successful event together requires three key elements: more planning for fewer attendees, active communication among the team, and ongoing collaboration with sponsors, vendors, venues, and booth participants.
Four states successfully held in-person meetings throughout the pandemic. Here’s how they did it.
The Orange County Convention Center has hosted more than 50 events since March 2020. The Breakers in Palm Beach hosted the 2020 Global Wellness Summit in November.
Meeting venues have operated at 30% capacity since April 2020, where many smaller events have taken place in North Carlina.
The Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center has hosted more than 70 events since June 2020.
The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa held an event in November that drew 125 attendees and 16 exhibitors in Arizona.
⦁ All facilities became GBAC Star Certified. To learn more about what this is and the many benefits of following the protocol, please watch this brief video.
⦁ Venues and planners followed the most current CDC Events Readiness and Planning Tool.
⦁ They rented sanitation stations and put them throughout the space.
⦁ Meeting rooms were cleaned and disinfected during breaks and overnight.
⦁ If possible, attendees met outdoors.
⦁ Floor markers reminded attendees to remain six feet apart.
⦁ Touchless door openers were installed.
⦁ Only 2-3 people were seated at 6 feet banquet tables. If the room was set up in a classroom style, only one person sat at a 6–8-foot table.
Meeting Planner Practices
⦁ Volunteers or staff acted as safety ambassadors to remind attendees always to follow COVID-19 protocols.
⦁ Implemented a touchless check-in system
⦁ Sanitized the microphone and podium between speakers
⦁ Broke attendees into groups of 25 or less and rotated the speakers around to each room.
Trade Show Booth Practices
⦁ Widened aisles and reduced the number of booths.
⦁ Booths were at least 6 feet apart.
⦁ Each exhibitor was required to have hand sanitizer available.
⦁ Guests had to make an appointment to visit a trade show vendor.
⦁ Early appointments were given to at-risk visitors.
General COVID-19 Safety Practices
⦁ Always had to wear their face masks
⦁ Needed to complete daily health questionnaires and undergo temperature screenings.
⦁ Were provided upon arrival a swag bag filled with hand sanitizers, disposable masks, and disinfecting wipes
⦁ Had to either:
- Show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within four days before the event or Submit to an onsite COVID-19 rapid testing (if positive, the participant was not allowed into the event).
⦁ They were provided onsite medical attention if they fell ill (none did in relation to COVID-19).
Conclusion and Takeaways
As more and more individuals are vaccinated, and there is no uptick in COVID-19 cases over the next several months, it looks like the meetings and convention industry will slowly come back to life everywhere.
The states and convention centers listed above are models for making attendees feel safe and amid a pandemic. They did not have any reported cases of COVID-19 while attendees were onsite, nor any cases that were directly attributed to their attendance once attendees and exhibitors departed.
Rent Everything You Need for Meetings in 2021
Are you looking for a one-stop technology delivery directly to your business or convention center? You’ll have peace in mind knowing that Rentacomputer.com has the perfect solutions for events of all shapes and sizes.
We will help you create a custom rental package tailored to your unique necessities. With a technology rental from Rentacomputer.com, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing everything will be taken care of for you: from recommending and reserving equipment, to delivery and installation, and even troubleshooting and extra equipment.
Rentacomputer.com has a large stock of equipment ready to deliver including, but not limited to: temperature screening, sanitizing equipment, laptops, desktop computers, servers, tablets, smartphones, WiFi hotspots, Audio Visual equipment, and more. Not only can we deliver your rentals, but we also offer custom configuration and setup, so you know everything is in working order before, during, and after your event.
Furthermore, Randy can answer any questions you have about technology rentals–for any crowd volume, in any venue. Contact Randy today at 1-800-736-8772 ext. 225 or fill out a quick, easy online quote form.
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