The mosquito born virus, Zika is “spreading explosively” according to the World Health Organization and is beginning to impact the meeting and events industry. Those looking to plan events are avoiding countries that are highly affected by the outbreak. Other clients with booked events are asking about relocation options from areas affected by the virus. And others who are continuing with their plans into problem areas are taking precautions.
The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta has issued travel notices denoted by 3 warning levels based on the degree of seriousness. Their website includes all the details at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices. The United States State Department also includes their Zika Virus travel alerts and warnings on their website https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings.html.
Here are 3 ways to protect your attendee’s from potential harm as you plan travel for your meetings and events.
1- Research: Review the areas where you are traveling and make sure there are no warnings associated with travel. If one exists then assess the threat risk based on the warning level and find out your options for re-location, re-schedule or cancellation. There are financial and other concerns so finding out the specific details is important before making a decision.
2- Find Help: If you and your team are concerned and are considering a change contact your meeting and events organizer ASAP and ask about a new location options. At AMI we have already worked with several clients who have made travel changes to upcoming events. We’ve been happy to help them find a safe, appropriate location for their team to enjoy their gathering.
3- Precautions: If your team decides to stick with a previously scheduled meeting then taking appropriate precautions is important for the safety of your travelers. Work closely with local health officials, the hotel and your planning team and take steps to protect attendee’s. Precautions include offering mosquito repellent, moving events indoors and offering opt-out for attendee’s if they elect not to attend certain events.
During this time of concern it’s important to realize that, although this outbreak is important to watch, planning a safe, productive and motivating event is absolutely possible. Conducting research, finding help and taking precautions are just 3 ways to be prepared and safe.
For more information, or help with a meeting or event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call American Meetings, Inc. @ 866-337-7799