By R.V. Baugus
SmartMeetings.com featured an article entitled “The New Corona Reality” that among its contributors to the story included Mark Herrera, IAVM Director of Education and Life Safety. Herrera joined expert voices from various sectors including hotels, transportation, destinations, event tech, travel, presentations, networking, health and wellness, live events in-person and virtual, and sustainability, to discuss many facets of COVID-19. Below is Herrera’s contribution to the article, which can be found in its entirety here.
The reality of the event industry is one of unrelentingly disruptive change. This change is happening at an unprecedented pace. Venues of all types must successfully adapt and operate under a set of rules and expectations that are constantly in flux based on the current health crisis. The challenge of this disruption has posed an economical and physical risk, but now we will see how resilient the industry is and embrace the growth opportunities.
It is our civic duty to assure we provide safe, secure and healthy environments within all public facilities where crowds assemble. IAVM has partnered with Global Biorisk Advisory Council, where venues can apply to a performance-based accreditation program that helps facilities demonstrate they have the work practices, procedures and protocols to prepare, respond and recover from outbreaks and pandemics as it pertains to deep cleaning and sanitization.
Topline safety considerations for all venues are to allow healthy people to enjoy the facility and event. Enhanced protective measures, such as face coverings and hand-washing stations, will be more common. Managing the crowd density to assure that physical distancing guidelines are adhered to during ingress and egress will be heavily monitored, with physical barriers strategically placed in areas where crowds can be controlled.
Prior to attending all events, messaging and communication with employees and guests—to include signage on how to prevent the spread of germs—will be a common practice. Facility design and touchless points of sale will be more common than before to avoid the transmission of any communicable disease.
Although there is no guarantee to a “zero risk” environment, we will continue to implement and measure a means to mitigate all risk associated with this health crisis, and we will do it together.