As we are all aware, COVID-19 (informally known as Coronavirus) is in the news. Our chief priority is ensuring the health and safety of our 160 Clients, 2,000 Suppliers and 70 countries in which we work. Since January, there has been a lot of information circulating which we have been aggregating and analyzing to prepare and make decisions based on facts and observations. Plannernet shares the concerns of the U.S. Travel Association which “strongly encourages decisions to be based in facts rather than fear, given the enormity of the impact to the workforce that supports the events industry.” The following are the steps Plannernet has been taking to prepare.
Monitoring News, Guidelines & Trends
Plannernet has been actively monitoring multiple global news outlets, key industry updates, Client strategy and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Johns Hopkins among many other industry resources. Last month the WHO released its Key planning recommendations for Mass Gatherings in the context of the current COVID-19 outbreak which we find particularly helpful as more stringent requirements are being placed on meetings.
It is said that lack of information leads to imagination. According to our current business intelligence, smaller format meetings are maintaining pace. The few trends we’ve noticed include isolated government limitations on large events, regional travel restrictions and attendee attrition. Through February of this year, our cancellation rates are actually down from 2019. Plannernet will continue to monitor domestic and global trends in the coming weeks in order to adapt and will share pertinent information accordingly.
Partnering with Clients
We are continuing to partner closely with our Clients to understand your strategy around upcoming events, safety guidelines and increasing meeting requirements. Our Clients are taking advantage of Plannernet’s Local Onsite model of Suppliers situated around the world for in-market support. Further, our Clients have been discussing an expansion of hybrid and virtual meetings which our Network is apt to support. As ever Plannernet’s Account Teams will continue to partner with you to ensure your Suppliers remain aligned and prepared.
Partnering with our Global Network
We are in constant communication with our Global Network of Suppliers to ensure they are available, comfortable, informed and prepared. We are actively monitoring the travel of Suppliers and have contingency plans in place for last-minute Supplier cancellations. Plannernet is relaying the aforementioned resources and sharing the most relevant industry guidelines around attendee safety, ensuring best practices are communicated and our Global Network is committed to enabling them.
We are ensuring that our employees remain safe and prepared. Additionally, all employees are equipped to work virtually and without disruption toward business continuity in support of your team. There has been no change to our day-to-day operations. We’ve ensured our Global Network is aligned to support your strategies and will continue to provide an Account Team approach toward all Clients.
We are coming together with you, our employees and Suppliers to proactively plan to assist you by leveraging our local model and preparing our Network. Together we can adapt to ensure the value of live meetings perseveres. Through hard work and resilience, we will see one another through this situation. We encourage you to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have.