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A New Platform to Help Event Holders Find Encouragement in Returning In-Person


With COVID-19 taking its toll in many different ways across the country, we know that experiences are varying for many in the event world. While some states are allowing more gatherings, some still have very tight restrictions. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all still find some common ground and be on the same page when it comes time for different parts of the country to return to event networking?

Thanks to Meetings Mean Business, the understanding of what’s going on around us to make events continue safely is becoming more of a reality.

The goal of this platform is to showcase how in-person and hybrid events can take place with adherence to health and safety best practices. Meetings Mean Business has partnered with Simpleview, a leading travel and tourism industry provider of DSM, CMS, digital marketing, and mobile technologies in their efforts to help events come back strong.

It’s important to them that event hosts, venue operators, planners, destination marketing professionals, and suppliers are able to learn from others in these sectors who have recently hosted a safe in-person or hybrid event since the onset of COVID-19 protocols.

While we’ve all heard the long list of best practices to keep in mind, like social distancing, hand-sanitizer stations throughout, and constant cleaning of high touch surfaces, there is always more that can be done.

We can surely continue finding new ways to be innovative in our safety measures, and that innovation may come by learning from others’ experiences.

Meetings Mean Business asks organizations who have held an event during this pandemic to share their experience. By sharing details like event size, small changes that make more sense, and a testimonial of the success that these event holders have seen, it’s hope is that it will give others a sense of encouragement.

Not only is it encouraging to see that others in the event industry have been able to come back safely, it also helps event planners to visualize their future events by seeing and hearing about best practices being put in motion.

Whether it’s a 25-person event or a 2,500-person event, being able to see that it can be done safely is an exciting realization to push the event world back into action. A strong list of organizations have already shared their event success stories, including Together Again Expo, which took place in July with 250 exhibitors present in addition to 1,405 in-person attendees and 8,225 virtual attendees.

Another expo that said they exceeded expectations is the Super Pet Expo held in Virginia in August. With over 5,000 attendees wearing masks, the event was able to adhere to Virginia’s guidelines by adding five feet of space between each booth, creating the required minimum of 14-foot aisles.

Connect 2020 Marketplace was able to successfully host 1,000 people by making some changes to follow protocols. While past education sessions would normally take place in small hotel meeting rooms, they were moved to large ballrooms. One on one appointments could still be had by utilizing 10-foot tables. Another useful thing they shared that future event holders can use was scattering food stations throughout the facility so that no long lines ever formed.

Among other organizations that have also shared their success stories, such as Georgia Southern University Graduation, Mecum Auctions 2020, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the North American Space Summit, there seems to be a consistency in their confidence.

Overall, showcasing to the event world how professional meetings and events are able to be organized at this time while keeping safety top-of-mind is a breath of fresh air.

There is no doubt that live, in-person events will prevail, and we’ve already seen the many event holders who are finding ways to do it safely. The Meetings Mean Business platform is a very impactful way to help event organizers, venue operators, and many other organizations in the event world to find encouragement in returning, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.


Vision & Voice from Meetings Mean Business Coalition on Vimeo.


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About the Author

In her experience at Skyline's corporate office in St. Paul, Minnesota, Briquelle Neyens immersed herself in trade show research and the ins and outs of exhibit sales firsthand. She also engaged with Skyline's wide-array of products and services from an insider's perspective. Her blogs portray her expertise on what it takes to be a successful trade show marketer. She enjoys generating information that will help all trade show marketers in their decisions to become successful on the trade show floor.

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