i-Meet has re-started destination features to assist meeting professionals as they begin to envision how, when and where face to face meetings will resume after Covid-19.
For all of us in the meetings industry, 2020 was the year we will all remember as a make-it or break-it scenario. 2021 is bringing optimism fueled around vaccinations and the increasing confidence of event participants. There is a buzz within my colleagues I have not heard for the past 12 months. RFPs are being sent again – a sure sign that people, companies and organizations are ready to meet again. A recent article in an industry paper mentioned that the event industry is forecasting the return to in-person corporate and leisure events with safety precautions still in place by this fall.
A year after WHO declared COVID-19 a worldwide pandemic, where do the largest meeting destinations in the U.S. stand with welcoming in-person meetings and events?
As the number one meeting destinations in the U.S., Orlando is adding even more resources for meeting attendees. Improvements at the convention centers, as well as convention hotels, venues, attractions, and dining options are being added throughout 2021 and beyond.
Orange County convention center offered incentives to book by giving the building away for free, especially for short term bookings. “The rent break is being handed out for events big and small” reported the Orlando Sentinel in December.
But more is being done to attract business. The Orange County Convention Center was one of the first in the nation to become GBAC Star certified in coronavirus cleaning and prevention. Events are organized in accordance with guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it seems to be working well for Orlando.
Additional precautions are being added to ensure the safety of all:
- Deep cleanings of the venue conducted daily, and sanitizing stations are set up throughout the center.
- Safety ambassadors reminding attendees to follow health protocols.
- A mobile app used to provide touchless check-in and reduce lines. The same technology also allows for contactless lead retrieval at booths.
- Widened aisles and reduced booth capacity on the show floor.
- COVID-19 test requested before entering. On-site rapid test can be provided, with results available in 15 minutes.
In reality, Orlando already has one big advantage over many other destinations. There are hundreds of event venues that take advantage of the warm sunshine and outside space available year-round. This is one aspect that not only makes meetings safer, but also more memorable.
Check the video on Visit Orlando website to determine the best path forward, when you are ready to return to in-person meetings.
As always Safe Travel!