5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Meeting Venue: Pandemic Edition

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Now that we have a better understanding of COVID-19 and the best practices to mitigate transmission, we want to get back to live meetings.  Training and education can be delivered virtually but if you are a company investing in the training of your staff, you want to be certain your message or content is being delivered.  When the biggest cost of a meeting is the expense of employee’s salaries and their absorption of your message or training, the cost savings of a virtual meeting may not be worth it.  Similarly, for corporate strategy and planning sessions, face to face interactions bring teams together in a way that cannot be accomplished remotely.  The live meeting still plays an important role in communication.

But the virus has changed how we can get together.  Social distancing requirements have brought on a host of considerations when planning your meeting.  Here are some of the things you have to consider when organizing your next event in this age of COVID-19.

1. Capacity

When planning your meeting, know how many people will be in attendance before selecting your venue.  Aside from the local or federally mandated gathering maximums, all venues are struggling with seating layouts and capacities.  For example, hotels that may have been previously able to host 400 people for dinner at 8 persons per 6 foot round table find that they can now only seat 2 people per table.  Compound this 75% reduction in guests per table with the requirement to spread tables at least 6’ apart, where previously, the tables would be placed much closer together.   Long story short, your favourite unique venue may no longer have the capacity to service your 50 person meeting anymore.

2. Price

Have a good (but realistic) idea of your overall budget (Rental, AV, food and beverage, staffing, etc.) prior to your search. While most of the events industry is doing everything they can to keep pricing consistent to pre-pandemic levels, the cost per attendee will most likely be higher.  

3. Safety Protocols

Ask your venue about their COVID-19 related policies and what your requirements will be.  Whether you are hosting an internal corporate planning session or a public training seminar, you want to know that your selected venue has mandatory safety policies including pre-event health declaration waivers, enhanced cleaning provisions, pre-assigned seating, food and beverage distribution protocols and contact tracing processes.

4. Air Circulation

Ceiling height and routinely maintained HVAC systems have an impact on the transmission of COVID-19.  Check that your all day meeting venue has the air circulation your guests will need to feel comfortable and safe.

5. Access to the Outside

Venues that have easy access to open or outside areas allow attendees the opportunity to connect while socially distanced during break times, as well let guests get a breath of fresh air!  

While virtual meeting movement may be growing, it cannot replicate the in-person experience.  If you are looking for a unique venue for meetings under 25, please give us a call (778-231-4249) to see if the Deeley Exhibition may be the right fit for you!    

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