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How To Develop A Hygiene Plan For Your Next In-Person Business Events

von | Feb 22, 2021 | Blog

Hygiene plans for business events have existed for a long time. Some of them took the form of occupational health and safety regulations But their relevance was usually overshadowed by other aspects of event organisation. However, from 2021 onwards, it will be essential for professional event organisers to be directly involved with hygiene and infection prevention actions in order to design and manage safe events.

Download our free White Paper: White Paper 12: Hygiene and Infection Protection for Business Events and Venues

At its most basic, a hygiene plan should detail the strategy that will be used to ensure optimal health, safety, and infection prevention during an event. The hygiene plan should also specify how each preventative and containment action will help event organisers comply with the relevant regulations and standards. The four main sections that the event hygiene plan should cover are:

  • An event-specific risk assessment.
  • An outline of the applicable health, safety, and infection prevention regulations.
  • A step-by-step account of how these regulations will be enforced during the event (checklist format is acceptable).
  • An outline of emergency measures that demonstrate readiness to handle incidents at short notice.

RELATED: Mitigate Online Event Risks by Developing Protocols 

The Risk Management Matrix

There are different approaches to risk management both at a theoretical and practical level. In the events industry, the use of a closed-loop or bowtie approach is common. Under this model, risk management and related actions are continuously monitored and evaluated. The resulting feedback is incorporated into future event planning, therefore “closing” the loop but at the same time providing a new starting point.

An event risk management loop would look like this:

Establishment of risk management goals > Assessment of current risks and hazards > Creation of event-specific risk management measures > Implementation > Monitoring > Results assessment and evaluation > Refinement or redesign of measures > Back to start

RELATED: 10 Actionable Steps for Organising a Science Conference

At a more practical level, managing crowds is one of the main challenges during in-person events. The different risks associated with this factor can be subsumed under a risk management matrix. [Please download our free white paper for frameworks and a matrix that can be used as a template that event organisers can modify according to the characteristics of a given event.]

Implementing a Hygiene Plan for Business Events

Since health and safety measures are event and location-specific, the aim of this section is informational rather than normative. We must highlight the importance of being informed about the latest guidelines or working with a knowledgeable agent. Below are some sample solutions.

Registration or check-in

Minimise risks by enabling online registration (web or app-based). Tech solutions include:

  • QR code scanning.
  • Facial recognition AI-driven software.
  • Pre-event badge printing (printing at home).
  • (more info in our white paper)

Venue access and exit

  • Use signage to help maintain the recommended distance between attendees and to reduce crowding or to limit queue formation.
  • Some events may benefit from a staggered intake, whereby access to the venue is split over multiple time slots (e.g., allowing X number of people every X minutes).
  • (more info in our white paper)

Information desks

These may be replaced by kiosks, but ideally, you should consider the use of an event app or bots that can provide answers to common questions (e.g., venue maps, session schedule, catering information, emergency procedures, exhibitor list, etc.).

Other areas of which you will find more information in our free white paper are:

  • Cloakroom / Changing rooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Conference halls/lecture rooms
  • Payments
  • Networking
  • Catering / Food & Beverages

RELATED: Hygiene and Infection Prevention: What’s Next for The Business Events Industry?

Conclusion

Event organisers must now take on a hands-on role in designing a new roadmap for the meetings and conferences sector. Within this new approach, hygiene and safety must necessarily underscore every aspect of event management. From strategy and theoretical concepts to practical implementation.

In the current environment, regulatory awareness is a must. At Congrex we are aware of the needs and challenges event organisers face today. But we are also future-ready, and we continue to train our staff in the latest and most efficient protocols.

Download our free White Paper: White Paper 12: Hygiene and Infection Protection for Business Events and Venues

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Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering customised solutions. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences and meetings, including the management of hotel rooms and strategic consultancy. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 45 events with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisations and corporations.

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