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IACC Releases COVID Safety Protocols for Venues

The report presents re-imagined spaces, services and attendee experiences

The culmination of an effort that began only six weeks ago, IACC (formerly the International Association of Conference Centers) has released a detailed blueprint of protocols and tactics that meeting venues can use to ensure cleanliness and social distancing. The goal: Building confidence among planners that in-person meetings of up to 200 people can happen once local governments allow it.

Titled “Critical Pathway for Reopening Meeting, Conference, and Training Spaces,” the report comes with dozens of photos taken at several of IACC’s 400 member facilities to illustrate the concepts, tactics and designs that are described. Mark Cooper, CEO of IACC, notes that besides getting input from experts in health and hygiene, “those who contributed to the content are generally senior leadership overseeing many venues, so the report draws on their knowledge, experiences and perspectives. We had case studies from many members in the U.S., Canada and Europe.” Aramark Conferencing, Benchmark Hospitality and Sodexo Conferencing are among the largest facility-management firms that contributed.

The $200 report covers attendees’ and presenters’ interactions with a venue’s indoor and outdoor spaces, venue staff, event-host staff, and each other from arrival through departure, starting with the possible ways to conduct health screenings at arrival and throughout an event’s duration. Various cleaning products and processes are covered, as are different types of set-ups for meeting spaces, pre-function spaces, covered and uncovered patios and courtyards, break and meal spaces, and lobby spaces. Safe yet streamlined traffic-flow patterns through and between spaces is also addressed. Lastly, the guide provides ideas on how venues can structure their pricing to account for the greater amount of square footage required per attendee.

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