María Teresa Yagüe Martín

If you still need a leg up.

María Teresa Yagüe Martín

In case we have not said it yet enough times, we are more than ready to hold live events again. And here is still another proof that we can handle your business events, without further delay and COVID-19-free:

As some of you might know, one of the associations that ENITED is a member of is the Event Marketing Board Austria (EMBA), which gathers the leading live marketing agencies and event organizers in Austria.

Recently, like everywhere else now, Austria’s’ government has issued regulations by which all events hosting more than 200 people, either outdoors or indoors, must be based on an individual COVID-19 prevention concept.

EMBA led the way in this sense, teamed up with the Vienna Red Cross and organized a (LIVE!!) 1-day training for its members about the requirements and rules that event organizers must follow when planning a meeting/conference/congress, etc. in the “new normal”.

The topics included in the course were:

  • – Data protection
  • – Virology
  • – Health/hygiene measures
  • – Safety/security measures
  • – Crowd management

Accordingly, for an event to be allowed to take place, a verification process following a series of requisites needs to be carried out. A key piece of information that raised some questions and concerns was that, in case of problems, the full responsibility relies ultimately on the event owner alone, even if there are several suppliers involved (venue, caterer, transport, IT, etc.). Course presenters also informed that, while no individual or new criteria in this respect will be developed, the person/company concerned may always contact the Austrian Health Ministry directly should any doubts arise.

This course was aimed at having (at least) one specific person within each event organizing team who is a COVID-19 expert, and thus responsible for related health and security regulations.

Such measures include e.g. that the venue capacity is reduced or a bigger venue is needed for the same amount of people in order to ensure distance, wearing a mask may be mandatory, participants are highly encouraged to wash or disinfect their hands often, and food is individually packaged and handed in by waiters to avoid people touching food other than their own.

Besides, the Austrian Red Cross has launched an app (Stopp Corona) by which a person can trace the people that they have made contact with and be notified in case any of them is diagnosed with coronavirus. The identification of such person will not be disclosed, but the infection chain can be stopped faster. Our whole ENITED team has this app in their phones now.

In a nutshell, those were the key points and lessons learned during that 1-day training course in July. Both Rosa Reyero and myself took part in it and obtained a certification from EMBA and the Competence Centre Event Safety Management of the Vienna Red Cross.

The fact that the gathering was face-to-face is already a positive example that, with the right setup and precautions, events can come back to life. And the experience or result obtained is equally successful than before restrictions against COVID-19 were introduced. In our case, we felt safe throughout the whole day and happy to see people again.

This shows, once more, that we are not only talking about the situation and the impact of the virus on us, but already tackling the problem and taking action in order to be in full shape for live events to come. In conclusion, if you still need a leg up, we say: with the right mix of caution and common sense, take that step and jump right back to face-to-face, travelling and live communication.