The emergence of a new strain of coronavirus that is currently the subject of a WHO emergency international health declaration reminds us of how easily the freedom and willingness to travel for the purpose of attending business events and other face-to-face interactions can be impacted, says Kai Hattendorf, President of the Joint Meetings Industry Council.
However, he notes that such events also represent the best possible vehicle for addressing these and many other global issues – and for building the required levels of trust and understanding needed to achieve agreements on collective actions in response.
Hattendorf called upon all industry members to actively support measures that help restore and build confidence in event participation including:
- Ensuring that all policies and procedures within the industry’s spheres of influence that help secure the health and safety of event participants are in place and up to date
- Maintaining detailed awareness of both local and global actions and restrictions in order to be able to advise on factors that may affect upcoming events
- Cooperating with local/national authorities to implement any measures that have been determined to potentially impact event attendees
- Consulting with event organizers and related service providers to explore ways in which any program adjustments that need to be made in response to outbreak-related impacts can be accommodated
- Continuing to support awareness of the essential roles of meetings, conventions, exhibitions and business events as drivers of recovery and advancement of global economic and societal development.
The Joint Meetings Industry Council (JMIC) is an organization that represents the combined interests of 19 international Meetings Industry associations. It has provided a forum for information exchange and recognition amongst industry groups for well over 50 years and has recently become more engaged in the process of documenting and communicating the diverse values of the industry to broader community and governmental audiences.