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March 2020

Observing Safety During Events in the Midst of Coronavirus

By Blog, Events

Events are indispensable for B2B and B2C industries alike. One only has to take a look at the statistics: 74% of attendees harbour a more positive perception of a business/organization post a successful event, and 96% of customers are more inclined to make a purchase, based on their favourable experiences of event engagement

Considering the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which, according to WHO, holds the potential to evolve into a full-fledged pandemic, event organizers need to stay updated regarding its developments, boost communications, and plan added safety measures for attendees. While the situation seems sombre, it is fruitless to spread unnecessary panic – instead, what we can do is observe requisite safety measures against the spread of the virus during events, seminars, conferences, and so on. Let’s take a look at the precautions that can be taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of organizers and attendees alike: 

Keep the Event “Handshake-Free”

As per WHO, one should maintain a minimum distance of 1 metre [3 feet] between themselves and someone who appears to be coughing/sneezing. While this precaution is to prevent viral transmission from a potentially infected person, one needs to observe a similar stance when in the midst of a gathering, especially during events. Keep the event handshake-free, in order to prevent spreading of the virus via physical contact. 

Focus on Thorough Sanitization 

One can reduce the chances of infection by cleaning their hands with an alcohol-based rub/sanitizer or washing them with soap water for a minimum of 2 minutes. While both organizers and attendees should maintain these hygiene routines, event organizers need to: 

  • Add hand-sanitization stations for easy access and hands-on prevention of viral transmission.
  • Offer disinfectant sprays in high-traffic areas, which would increase the hygiene frequency of high-touch areas, such as doorknobs, furniture surfaces, and escalator rails
  • Vendors should regularly disinfect their work stations, while also making sure that they wash their hands frequently.
  • Event attendees should also be proactive and follow these precautionary measures for their own safety. 

Conduct On-Site Screening and Provide Guidance 

Apart from churning out thorough plans and blueprints before conducting on-site screenings throughout the course of the event, it is important for event organizers to provide guidance at information booths in the form of printed copies of safety measures and verbal guidance/assurances in order to restrain unwarranted panic. These measures should be broadcasted while the organizers are still in the event marketing stage, and are in the process of creating responsible buzz around an event.

Anyone Feeling Unwell Should Skip the Event

As a safety measure for themselves and against the further spreading of the virus, anyone, be it organizers or attendees, feeling unwell or exhibiting symptoms of the virus, should skip the event. They should also keep a medical-grade mask handy in order to prevent viral transmission. This is encouraged because if an infected person is too close to another person, the latter might end up breathing in cough/sneeze droplets that carry the virus. 

Apart from following the above measures, everyone must observe the following in the midst of the outbreak, as per WHO: 

  • Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth, as your hands might have been in touch with infected surfaces and inadvertently transfer the virus inside your body. 
  • Follow proper respiratory hygiene, especially when you’re among large crowds and gatherings. Cover your nose and mouth with your elbow or handkerchief when you cough or sneeze, and dispose of the used tissue/handkerchief immediate to prevent viral transmission. 
  • Keep yourself up-to-date regarding the recent developments of the COVID-19, as this will allow you to make informed decisions for protecting yourself and those around you. This way, you can also avail the healthcare services that you need during situations that are stressful/anxiety-inducing. 

Apart from these measures, one can always reschedule and transform their event into a virtual one, when the necessity is dire and circumstances are predominantly unsafe. Stay safe at events by following these precautionary measures and hopefully, we will soon be able to contain and beat the COVID-19. Until then, the magic of events shall always shine through.  

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

Are event apps a solution during Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at events & conferences?

By Blog, Events

The recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has gripped the world in a mire of panic and uncertainty. While it is undeniable that this has disrupted daily life to a certain extent, it is unwise to give in to sheer alarm and obstruct everyday experiences altogether. The same is applicable for events – which are wonderful nexuses for interaction, business, and growth, carrying meaningful learning opportunities at every turn. It is understandable if attendees feel iffy about attending an event with a large gathering at this particular juncture – so what’s the solution?

Event Apps. With the world already on its way to embracing virtual realities, event apps emerge a the go-to solution in times of adversity. With adversity, comes hope – the hope to connect as human beings and forge genuine bonds that lead to extraordinary things, even during dark times. Virtual event technology is the future, allowing organizers to enhance and improve audience experiences, irrespective of geographical barriers and socio-cultural factors. Now, one can organize major conferences, seminars, and exhibitions with the touch of a button!

Why Event Apps Excel in the Virtual Realm

Over the last decade or so, event apps have evolved into a multifaceted tool for event organisers. Why? Event apps used for virtual events:

  • Make events more productive by raising the ROI for all the stakeholders involved
  • Grant valuable data that provide significant insights
  • Allow attendees to filter their interests and navigate what’s relevant to them
  • Act as a platform for broadcasting important event-related information
  • Last-minutes alterations can be updated seamlessly and in real-time
  • Reduce carbon footprint and helps save paper, among other natural resources
  • Allow organizers to sell advertising space, which is always a plus for sponsorships

Unmistakably, the ingenuity of event apps is not limited to the pointers above. You can use the app platform to promote the event effectively, with the help of in-app reminders, dedicated mail-outs, social media buzz, and so on. Event apps for virtual events can also be used to provide rewards to attendees in exchange for creating buzz prior to the said event.

Making the Best Out of Trying Times

Once organizers are able to master event app usage in a manner that is fruitful in a holistic manner, they can evoke an aspect of deeper engagement from attendees, garnering greater satisfaction levels. In the light of the Coronavirus outbreak, event organizers should try their optimum best to sustain the magic of events, without aggravating concerns in the minds of the masses. How can they do that? Here are some methods that work:

  • Use digital media extensively. Make efficient use of videos, podcasts, live streams, documents, etc to convey important information relevant to the event. You can also broadcast sneak peek snippets of key speakers who will be presiding over the event. Set up virtual sessions, so that attendees can log in at an appointed time, which helps evoke a feeling of community, which is much needed during tough times.
  • Highlight sponsors with product showcases. Make use of the event app to send in-app notifications and reminders to attendees, in order to highlight specific sponsors and exhibitors. Highlight the best product innovations from your event and showcase them with the help of the app.
  • Live streams are the way to go. Run all of your virtual events through live streams – you can either use Facebook/Instagram LIVE, IGTV, or streaming channels such as Twitch. You can also add in-app questions and pose them to your audience, share your own thoughts, along with that of your speakers, add a poll, etc. These strategies will not only increase event reach but also bolster engagement at t5he same time.
  • Run in-app contests for more engagement. You can do this by formulating a contest that is bound to bring in a certain amount of traction.  For instance, you can run a quiz, asking audiences to choose the right answer, on which, they receive a virtual reward of sorts. Activity walls can also be used to bring people together during difficult times.

Meanwhile, stay calm, be safe. Remember to follow verified best practices. WHO link