by Annie Fernandez | Jan 11, 2023 | COVID-19, News
While most of the global travel restrictions introduced to control the spread of COVID-19 have been removed, CDC has just announced a new requirement for passengers traveling from China to the US.
From January 5th, 2023, all air passengers entering the US from China, Hong Kong, or Macau must show a negative COVID-19 test or recovery documentation. This is due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in China, and these new measures have been put in place to help slow the spread of the virus.
What does this mean for air passengers from China?
All air passengers (aged two years and older) must get a PCR or antigen test no more than two days before they depart China, Hong Kong, or Macau, regardless of their vaccination status or nationality.
This includes passengers traveling from these countries via third-country transit and from China via the US to further destinations.
If passengers have tested positive for COVID-19 more than ten days before their flight, they will likely still receive a positive PCR test result. In this case, they can obtain proof of recovery, enabling them to enter the US.
What does this mean for my events?
If you are expecting international travelers for your event, which may include people traveling from China, Hong Kong, or Macau, ensure that you communicate this new requirement well in advance of their travel plans.
It may be worth putting contingency plans in place for attendees from the affected countries. If they test positive and can no longer travel to your event, you could consider hosting a hybrid event, whereby affected attendees can join remotely while others meet in person. If this is the case, you may need to consider elements such as:
- Time zones – China is 13-16 hours ahead of the US, so it will be tricky to find a meeting time that falls within both sets of working hours. Instead, consider pre-recording parts of your event or providing on-demand access
- Access – how can attendees from China dial into your event?
- Hybrid interaction – how can remote attendees communicate with hosts, presenters, and other attendees?
Is it safe to hold in-person events?
CDC has extensive guidance on COVID-19 and any necessary precautions, including travel restrictions, vaccination updates, and state- and county-level COVID-19 statistics.
If you follow the CDC’s advice, holding in-person events should be perfectly safe. The new China-US testing requirement is in place to protect US citizens and slow the virus’s spread and is a preventative measure.
To ensure you’re abiding by best-practice health and safety advice, take a look at our PPE for Meetings and Onsite Meeting Sanitation, Safety, and Resource guides. These provide helpful advice not just for events with attendees from China but for all in-person events to help you prioritize the safety of your attendees, staff, and venue employees.
Should I postpone my in-person events?
Generally, there is no need to postpone your in-person events based on the new CDC testing requirements.
The exception may be if you’re hosting an event in the US where you’re expecting a lot of attendees from China. While the testing requirements should keep your attendees safe, surging COVID-19 rates in China may disrupt travel plans, so you could consider postponing until rates are lower.
However, many Americans still take extra precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, such as minimizing indoor socializing or wearing masks. Regardless of the official guidance, continue to provide hand sanitizer, great ventilation, and a supply of masks for those who want them. Ensure that your in-person meetings accommodate these attendees.
by zwika_hb | Jun 24, 2021 | News
Recently, Chelsea Litos of American Meetings, Inc. (AMI), was recognized as one of the 40 Under 40 Young Professionals of South Florida – as awarded by The Business Journal of South Florida. This honor is awarded to only the top 10 candidates across four industries: business, legal, healthcare, and real estate. Chelsea serves as our Vice President of Account Management at AMI, and has helped our company to be known as a global meeting and event industry leader.
Chelsea started building connections early in her career, sitting on committees and boards, fundraising, and nurturing relationships that allowed her to become a community leader. In 2016, she was selected to Fort Lauderdale’s Finest, a group of young professionals who excel in their respective fields, by the organization’s local Cystic Fibrosis Chapter. Award recipients are honored throughout the state of Florida for their fundraising and business success.
As the VP of Account Management at AMI, Chelsea has the role of supporting Fortune 500 clients like Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer, as well as other pharmaceutical companies, educational associations, and financial organizations. While meeting planners and project managers focus on the event details, Chelsea is responsible for maintaining the great relationships she has cultivated and is happy to boast a retention rate of over 85% over the last six years she’s been with the company – a sure sign of satisfied clientele.
Her award gives credence the AMI organization as well, allowing their vendors and planners the opportunity to work with enterprise-level companies and expose themselves globally through The American Meetings Network. In addition, AMI clients benefit by being connected to a wide diversity of suppliers because of the recognition and integrity these types of awards attract.
Bridging Fortune 500 companies with diverse suppliers is another way AMI brings value to both, which is the true goal of networking, and something Chelsea has helped champion. When asked what advice she’d give to other young professionals, she said simply, “Put yourself out there and make those connections, and don’t let anyone discourage your ambitious attitude.”
by zwika_hb | May 24, 2021 | Diversity, News
Learn more in this Out Entrepreneur interview with CEO and Founder of AMI Andy McNeill on his advice for the next generation of Out Bosses.
For over 25 years, Andy and his husband and business partner Todd have witnessed a number of ups and downs in the travel and event industry but believe the recent pandemic has changed the industry for good. Andy said the pandemic had driven the “largest, most jarring shift” they’ve experienced, and forced what AMI did to GROW during this challenging time.
In this interview, Andy also shares the philosophy of AMI’s Supplier Diversity Program and how it is successfully positioning minority businesses to pitch to large corporations and win bids. He gives tips on how to be more effective, as just being able to pitch doesn’t simply seal the deal. (Even though AMI’s suppliers have received millions of dollars in contracts because of the program.)
And finally, Andy shares how his LGBTQ life experience and the experiences of others in the community have allowed him to be MORE successful. He advises the next generation of Out Bosses to use their platform to offer themselves as beacons of safe space, education, and connection.
“If you aren’t your whole self at work, people can feel the un-authenticity. And when people aren’t comfortable with who I am or our philosophies, we are fine not working together because it won’t be successful for either party.”
Check out the podcast, The Out Entrepreneur here (@outentrepreneur), and be inspired today!
by dev_hb | Dec 28, 2020 | News, The American Meetings Network
The American Meetings Network recently held its Virtual Global Procurement Day Conference. A special thank you to sponsors, Intrado, and edgefactory for helping make AMI’s Global Procurement look so amazing. Hosted on Intrado’s world-class platform, with a variety of creative enhancements and video production elements, provided by The American Meetings Network, prime supplier member, edgefactory, Virtual Global Procurement Day showcased some of the latest and greatest technology and creative offerings – demonstrating some of the innovative new possibilities that AMI’s clients can take advantage when bringing their virtual meetings and events to life.
A general session webcast featured a welcome and introduction by AMI’s Founder and CEO, Andy McNeill, followed by a client focus session fireside chat with Charlie Alverez, CEO, Stratus who spoke with AMI’s SVP of sales, Aurelio DeMendoza about his experience holding hybrid meetings in the COVID-19 era, how Stratus has been navigating the new normal, while still having critical national sales meetings, safely and effectively. The guests were treated to a supplier focus session with Wasif Bhatti, President of Limo Corp. Worldwide, a Chicago-based global provider of ground transportation for meetings and events. Wasif spoke with Paul Steinmetz, Director of The American Meetings Network about his experience working with AMI and the success Limo Corp. Worldwide has had to leverage the power of The American Meetings Network Directory.
With topics ranging from hybrid meetings to ways suppliers should best prepare for 2021, Virtual Global Procurement Day provided suppliers, planners, and clients who attended a chance to hear directly from AMI’s clients and prime suppliers about the future of meetings and events and what Suppliers should be doing to position themselves for success in 2021. Prime suppliers then spent the afternoon having 1:1 matchmaker appointments with meeting planners and sourcing managers to strengthen relationships and plan for 2021.
To learn more about how AMI and The American Meetings Network can help drive sales for your organization, please contact Paul Steinmetz, Director, The American Meetings Network at (954) 440-1274 or email@example.com
by zwika_hb | Aug 5, 2020 | News
In the Face of a Global Pandemic, AMI is Innovating a Path for Clients Worldwide
AMI’s CEO Andy McNeill talked to Affinity Inc Magazine about how AMI was among one of countless organizations forced to reevaluate its offerings in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic by increasing their virtual offerings, while still offering world class live meeting services.
Changing with the times
Right from the onset of COVID-19, AMI has demonstrated a willingness to rethink their client offerings in a way that highlights community focus onto socially relevant initiatives. For McNeill, flexibility in business has meant working with industry leaders to help develop comprehensive education programs and promote public awareness of COVID-19 when live meetings return. It has also shown up in its work with clients.
Click here to read the full article
Click here to download the digital version
by zwika_hb | Jun 23, 2020 | News
We recently sat down to interview Marc Viens, MS, CMM and Co-Founder of AXIS Medical Education in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to determine the impact the recent pandemic has had on medical continuing education.
Impacted by the COVID – 19 pandemic, as many industries were, AXIS found themselves in a prime position to get a quick pulse on what was happening on a national basis by creating a survey to gauge interest, accessibility, and need for live event continuing education.
While he primarily focused on the area of medical education trends in Oncology, the information is incredibly helpful to know as the trends are likely wider reaching.
AMI: What is your overall consensus about the survey findings?
Marc Viens: As we looked at previous surveys we conducted, there were similar response patterns: learners like live meeting formats; online education has taken its place to complement live meetings; and there is still a desire for print based education.
What is apparent is the overwhelming willingness for learners to embrace technology for their education during this pandemic.
Another important data point that emerged was that 73% of healthcare professions were under some form of travel restrictions; and that 41% stated they would avoid live meetings for 4 -6 months at their own institutions, and 28% stated they would avoid international travel for 7-12 months. This data was really important to have for a live meeting company and helped shape our business decisions. (AXIS Medical Education, 2020).
“This data was really important to have for a live meeting company and helped shape our business decisions.”
AMI: In your opinion, what areas of a live educational program cannot be transferred to a virtual platform?
MV: Live education offers the opportunity for robust interaction. This includes the interaction with the speaker and stimulates discussion within the institution’s care teams. Many speakers are quite talented and pulling out compelling clinical discussions during a presentation. While I believe this can occur in an online format, the live, in-person format, (AXIS prefers to call this live “place of practice” education), is a time-tested format for the healthcare team.
AMI: Are there certain areas of the globe you believe will turn back to live meetings first?
MV: I am not really able to speak to timing, but my inference is we will likely see live meetings more-or-less opening up at the same time. As geographic areas report fewer reported cases, we may see live meetings within local and regional areas return sooner than international ones. The larger format conferences tend to have global attendees, so there will need to be a world-wide lift on travel bans, hotel closures, and evidence that large gatherings are safe to conduct, before anything can occur.
AMI: Are you seeing any softening on restrictions of travel by institutions yet?
MV: So far, not really. We are hopeful toward the end of the year, perhaps the fourth quarter, we will be able to resume our live, in person meetings. This will be dependent on the continued decline of reported [COVID-19] cases and the ability for the travel industry to manage the safety of travellers and those who support the travel industry. Additionally, due to the pandemic, there will be substitutional fallout of travel providers. We may see a reduction in travel options and pricing changes (Business Travel News, 2020).
However, what is really important to grasp is that healthcare professionals are uniquely vulnerable during this pandemic. First, as most everyone can assess, is that most institutions treat patients who are infected with the COVID – 19 virus. As such, it is quite risky to have a speaker from another institution, who has traveled through an airport then on the plane, come in to speak, and then return to their institution, having once again traveled to return to their home institution.
One can see that there is a lot of opportunity for exposure to infection. Further, within institutions themselves, we have been told there are restriction on the size of gatherings. So, this quite limits the opportunity to have any sized meeting beyond a handful of learners.
AMI: Within the medical community, what are you seeing from a live meeting standpoint? Are they being rescheduled?
MV: What we are seeing a tremendous effort to move some of the largest global meetings to online web streaming formats. For example, the American Society of Clinical Oncology last year had an attendance over 42,000 – thirty-five percent of those were international.
This year the entire annual conference has been moved to a virtual environment, including sessions, educational symposia, poster presentation and exhibits (American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2020).
The same is true for the Oncology Nursing Society. This congress was scheduled for April and was entirely cancelled. Think of that! A conference of 4,000 just cancelled weeks before the event. As meeting planners, your stomach just drops thinking about that! This entire congress is now going virtual and will be conducted later this year (Oncology Nursing Society, 2020).
Most of our live meetings have been moved to live streaming webcasts though October. Our recruitment team has quite a list of institutions that want us to touch base in the late fall to see about scheduling live meetings again.
Healthcare professionals are always seeking education. This is the primary way they stay up to date with current care guidelines. So, we are seeing meeting organizers stepping up to ensure that the educational needs of healthcare professionals are being met, even during this pandemic.
AMI: Do medical professionals prefer on-demand or live streaming content?
MV: Historically, our data show that overall, the interprofessional care team prefer live, in person meetings, specifically, live meetings within their institutions, then followed by live meeting at conferences such as symposia.
When it comes to both synchronous (live web streaming) and asynchronous (on-demand,) the preferences are close. Our data show that 81% are extremely or very likely to participate in an Internet live streaming activity; and 79% would engage an on-demand activity.
AMI: Do you find because of the increase of telehealth, medical professionals are more, or less, receptive to online formats?
MV: I do not believe telehealth and online education are tied together that closely per se. Telehealth has been a growing tool for provider-patient interactions. What I see is that technology offers greater expansion for both clinical practice and education.
AMI: In your opinion, what does the educational landscape look like in 2021?
MV: It will change. Likely there will substantive reduced travel leading to more virtual meetings. As the effects of the pandemic wane, and the disease is brought under more control, it seems inevitable that the pent-up demand for live interaction will drive the return of live meetings. Certainly, the meetings and gatherings will be smaller and likely more controlled, but they will return.
Editor notes: references were provided by Marc Viens regarding information he cited during the interview. See below.