With the COVID-19 outbreak, additional safety measures have been integrated in our processes to avoid spreading the virus in connection to an event.
Aware that the crisis will last over time but will be evolving, MCI has developed its own methodology for organising events in the COVID-19 period. Our 12-step method is intended to be adaptive to respond to the reality of the place and the time, and not to impose measures that would no longer fit the situation at the time of the event.
Out of this thorough methodology, here are the most important aspects to consider for a safe event.
The first important aspect to keep in mind is that there is no “one-fits-all” approach.
Local legislation and measures implemented to combat a virus differ from one place to another, at the country but also regional and local levels. Also, these measures are continuously adapted and keep evolving over time.
Therefore, it is essential to get up-to-date information from local authorities, public health officials and the World Health Organisation about how COVID-19 is affecting a destination: regulations and recommendations about gathering size allowed, countries’ entry and exit requirements, movement restrictions and other specific regulations (wearing masks, social distancing, etc.).
At MCI, we define and implement the best response plan based on the information gathered. For example, it seems important to us to strengthen medical protocols and adapt them to the specificities of the COVID-19 context.
Besides, regulations and recommendations might change from the moment the event is confirmed to when it is taking place. This information must be reviewed regularly in the lead up to the event, to be able to quickly adapt our solutions.
A presence on the ground is paramount to have access to the latest information about the local situation.
Thanks to its global outreach, MCI was able to set up COVID-19 coordinators in each of its 60 offices. This provides us with a source of information on the evolution of the virus in the world, but also valuable insights into the best practices used to respond to the crisis.
Coordinators ensure that the defined measures for every project are relevant and adapted to the local situation.
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Many factors can influence an event’s risk profile, including the location of the venue, the purpose of the event and the event attendees. Many stakeholders are involved in the planning process. This means that collaboration with all the stakeholders involved is crucial.
Governments and local authorities set rules and regulations.
Partners and suppliers have defined their own appropriate procedures and, in most cases, have elevated their standards.
Clients and event attendees have specific expectations and specifications.
Our mission is therefore to collaborate with all stakeholders, to define relevant and adapted solutions together and ensure alignment.
It is essential to communicate safety procedures to all parties involved.
Attendees and all event staff play a critical role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, e.g. by respecting and enforcing barrier gesture and distancing measures on-site.
The safety procedures should be shared online on the event website, in the confirmation email to ticket-buyers, at the entrance and inside the venue using signage and announcements, and with all staff in a pre-event briefing.
All on-site event and hospitality staff must receive COVID-19 specific instructions as part of our Health & Safety pre-event briefing.
Finally, MCI has a crisis cell which can be alerted 24/7 in the event of an emergency.
Members of the cell are trained to perform an advanced crisis management plan; this includes responding to emergencies linked to COVID-19.
Since the appearance of COVID-19, MCI has adapted its approaches and protocols to meet the requirements of destinations, customers and partners, and our teams are trained to respond as best as possible to these new constraints.
Our key success factors in these uncertain times remain our agility and our capacity to collaborate and adapt our solutions.