Despite little good news to report about the coronavirus pandemic itself, there are positives to be found in the meetings and convention industry’s response to the global crisis. Here are six that caught our eye.
Helping the Needy. As the front doors closed at Southern California’s Pechanga Resort Casino—one of many hotels to shut down temporarily because of coronavirus—the kitchen door opened. The property has donated about $100,000 worth of food from the resort’s 20 bars and restaurants to three charities in the Riverside County area. Pallets of fresh berries, 461 gallons of milk, and dozens of 25-pound bags of onions, carrots, and celery were among the shipments to organizations providing food assistance to the area’s most needy.
Helping Health Workers. In Manchester, England, two hotels co-owned by Gary Neville, a former Manchester United soccer player, are now closed to the public but free to health workers. Hotel Football and the Stock Exchange Hotel, which combined have 176 guest rooms, will give people on the front lines fighting the coronavirus a place to isolate away from their families.
Still Doing What They Do. Do you have boxes of tote bags or t-shirts emblazoned with your cancelled March or April meeting dates? Don’t throw them in the landfill. Good360 distributes product donations to nonprofits that assist the needy with both day-to-day and post-disaster challenges. The organization accepts clothing, office supplies, water bottles, bags, flashlights, and more, and is taking donations and making distributions to its nonprofit partners during the COVID-19 crisis.
Turn Lemons into a World Record. The official April 14 Global Meetings Industry Day is canceled, but there’s a new hashtag trending: #GMIDgoesvirtual. Visit gmidgoesvirtual.com to read about how #eventprofs plans to celebrate the industry and bring it together on April 14 in an attempt to break the Guinness world record for the largest online meeting.
Something to Look Forward to. In a March 19 video message, Paul Van Deventer, the president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International, reiterated the organization’s plan to hold its World Education Conference June 6-9 in Grapevine, Texas, and spoke of industry’s strength. “What I’ve seen in the past is that we’re an amazingly resilient industry, that we come together as a strong society and as a community to support each other…The business event industry will help drive that economic recovery, because when we meet we change the world.”
Self-Care Event. You can find great industry webinars on legal and crisis management issues to help your events through the coronavirus disruption, but Global DMC Partners is offering a free webinar to help you look after yourself. The 10 a.m. event on March 24, “5 Ways to Increase your Physical and Mental Immunity During a Crisis,” will discuss tactics for regaining control in challenging times.