In The Scientific-Based Evidence for Conducting Safe and Healthy Professional Meetings and Events (PMEs), the authors rely on science and guidance from trusted sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network to outline the best practices to ensure a safe return to large-scale, in-person PMEs. The paper also differentiates PMEs from other large gatherings, noting that PMEs offer a controlled environment that allows for scientifically proven safety measures.
“Getting back to our pre-pandemic ways of doing business must include taking evidence-based tactics we learned during the pandemic to keep people safe and healthy,” said study co-author Bernadette Melnyk, PhD, APRN-CNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer and Dean of the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. “We must continue to follow the best evolving science as we make plans to hold in-person events again.”
Polling indicates that 85% of American workers view in-person events as “irreplaceable,” and 81% who attended work-related PMEs before the pandemic miss doing so and are likely to attend such events in the future.
Said U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow: “A thriving travel industry—and the broader U.S. economy—are dependent on the return of business travel and PMEs. Americans are eager to reconnect with colleagues in person, via business meetings, conferences and conventions, and these scientific analysis and recommendations make clear it is possible and safe to do so.”
Dow continued, “A consistent approach to reopening PMEs, including guidance from the CDC that differentiates PMEs from other large gatherings, is critical to infusing confidence and optimism into this key sector of our economy.”
To support the return of professional meetings and events, a coalition of travel industry businesses and organizations, under the U.S. Travel Association umbrella, is also launching an initiative called “Let’s Meet There” to advance the full and safe reopening of the business travel sector. “Let’s Meet There” will be detailed at a press event in Las Vegas on June 16.
“As more American adults are vaccinated and pent-up demand for travel is released, it’s more important than ever that businesses and local, state and federal governments recognize the role meetings and events will play in our ability to make a full economic recovery,” said Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton. “By following CDC guidance and implementing common-sense safety measures, we’re hosting professional meetings and events in our hotels across the country and are confident that these important gatherings can happen safely once again.”