The first deliverables from the Events Industry Council’s 44-member APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force are expected in the next few weeks. That’s according to Amy Calvert, CEO of the Events Industry Council, who talked about the mission of the task force during a session at Pharma Forum, an education and networking event for pharmaceutical and life-sciences meeting professionals that was held virtually June 15-19.
EIC’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) Commission has been around since 2000, tackling accepted practices development in a range of areas, from housing and registration to green standards. Its newest mission is “to examine not only recovery” from the pandemic, says Calvert, “but transformation” so the industry isn’t as vulnerable in the future.
“Everybody has been inundated with information about health and safety guidelines, and I know that many have struggled with how to make sense of what one [set] means over another. Our aim is to try to curate a list of accepted practices around health and safety guidelines by sectors,” Calvert says.
“There are probably 50 different health and safety guidelines out there from various hotel companies—all really fabulous work and really meaningful—and then there’s some baseline guidelines from groups like AHLA [American Hotel and Lodging Association]. Our group’s aim is to make sense of all that by aggregating it and curating it, creating crosswalks and different resources that help make sense of it.”
Calvert refers to the work as “living workstreams,” noting that the guidelines will be adapted and evolve over time as more research is done on coronavirus and as the severity of the pandemic changes. She also says the guidelines’ applicability could be impacted by the phase of recovery a given meeting destination is in.
“There’s a lot of interest in when we’re going to come to the table with our first unveiling of our work. I think that’s going to be in the next few weeks,” said Calvert. “But this isn’t a sprint, it’s more of a marathon, and the beauty of this work it is will help inform not only the recovery but also how we advocate on behalf of future legislation, such as PRIA: the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act.”
Calvert says the task force will solicit feedback on their findings using focus groups, a town hall webinar series, Twitter chats, and Facebook Live chats. “I think you’re going to see a lot more interaction in the coming weeks,” she said.
Co-chairs for the APEX group are Michael Dominguez, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International, and Kristin Horstman, senior director, strategic events at Salesforce.