If you’ve been following our recent webcast series, Managing Today’s Challenges While Preparing for Tomorrow, you’ve heard us talk about the importance of using this time to plan and prepare for the safe return of guests and groups to your hotel. For guests, this includes creating or refreshing your duty of care document and training your staff on the new standards.
This is also the time to develop safety protocols for groups and meetings. Though specific requirements may change from group to group, don’t assume that planners already have these standards figured out, this is uncharted territory for all of us. Many planners will look to you for guidance and having well thought out recommendations at hand will go a long way in differentiating your property from others.
Connect 2020, an annual event that brings together planners, suppliers, and experts across six meetings and events industry markets, is moving forward with plans to host their in-person conference in August this year. To ease safety concerns, they developed a comprehensive plan featuring the most cutting-edge safety measures available today. These safety measures from the Safe + Clean Connect Plan are a great place to start as you begin to craft your group safety plan.
- Temperature checks before entering the event.
- Recommend providing cotton masks for all attendees and staff at a minimum.
- Contactless F&B (i.e. pre-packaged food, pre-packaged silverware, no self-serve buffets).
- Service staff will wear gloves, masks, and protective gear while serving coffee and refreshments.
- At receptions, offer grab and go pre-made alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and other items at sanitized stations.
- No onsite registration lines. Consider instead mailing registration materials in advance of the event.
- Make glove and touch-less hand sanitizer stations readily available throughout the event. Recommend enough nitrile disposable gloves for each attendee to wear 3x a day.
- Set up disinfectant foggers in the indoor exhibit space.
- Utilize indoor/outdoor spaces as much as possible.
- Find creative ways to use indoor/outdoor spaces for receptions, education sessions, and other breakouts during the programming.
- Manage traffic with larger aisle ways and dedicated travel lanes.
- Set up rooms to allow for six feet of space between seats.
- Use space markers for attendees throughout the event to indicate a safe amount of space to allow between each other.
- Skip the traditional large general sessions and keynote events. Reallocate those resources toward the implementation of safety features instead.
Creating your hotel’s safety guidelines is only the first step, to be effective you must communicate your plan. Take a page out of Connect 2020’s book and package your plan in a shareable, easy-to-read document, send it to planners, post it on your website, and share it on social. The hotels that do the best job communicating exactly how they’re going to safely bring guests and groups back will lead the way in recovery.