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A meeting attendee is tested for Covid in late 2020. AIM Meetings is using a nasal self-swab test.

Meetings Agency Pivots to Facilitate On-Site Covid Testing

AIM Meetings & Events now offers logistical planning and medical staff to test meeting attendees when they arrive on site.

AIM Meetings & Events, an Arlington, Va.-based planning agency, came to an agreement in mid-January with healthcare firm Inspire Health Alliance to get access to thousands of nasal-swab tests for the Covid-19 virus. In turn, AIM has a new service: providing the staff, tests, and logistical management for on-site testing of participants at in-person events.

Walt Galanty, president of AIM Meetings & Events, told MeetingsNet that the firm is also in negotiations with a major hotel company to handle on-site testing for meeting clients who want that service. “It’s a natural fit to have a meeting-planning company handle the logistical details of Covid testing at meetings,” he says.

For meeting participants who do not have a vaccination certificate or proof of a negative Covid-test result within 48 hours of an event, “the event host can provide on-site testing in the range of $30 to $50 per test, which can be paid by the meeting host or by each attendee,” says Galanty. “The meeting host would pay the fixed costs for the diagnostic machinery and the healthcare workers we provide to manage the on-site process.”

Here’s the process: An attendee is provided a nasal swab that is self-administered in a dedicated area set up by Galanty’s firm. The attendee then gives the swab to a healthcare worker along with his or her email address (which also helps with contact tracing) and waits about 15 minutes for the test result. The swab is run through the testing machine by the healthcare worker and the attendee receives an email with his or her test results. 

Galanty0221.pngIf the test result is negative, the attendee can use the email for entry to the event space or can receive a name-badge sticker or wristband. But if the test is positive, the attendee remains in the testing area and is tested a second time. If that test is also positive, “a COVID protocol is put into effect, one that each attendee agrees to prior to testing,” says Galanty (pictured here). The protocol includes sending an attendee home if he or she drove to the event; isolating in his or her hotel room; or going to a local hospital for treatment. He adds that “all testing is confidential, 
and our solution is GDPR [general data-privacy regulation] compliant.”

While AIM has yet to secure an agreement with a meeting client, “some prospective clients are considering testing all meeting participants not just before the start of the meeting but each day, especially for senior-management meetings or other smaller events.”

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