By Barbara Connell, CMP, CAE
Right now, the world seems like it is upside-down.
I don’t need to tell you that. Everyone is feeling the effects of COVID-19, and for us meeting and event professionals, the uncertainty of when this will all be over is a dark cloud hanging over our head. It’s more than just stressful—at times it can feel demoralising and hopeless. Now more than ever, though, we need to remember how significant kindness can be.
The reality of COVID-19 reminds us that we are a global community representing a rich and diverse fabric of talented and dedicated professionals. We are also reminded of our common humanity in our vulnerabilities. As individuals, now is the time to focus on what matters most: the collective wellbeing and safety of our workforce, event participants and communities.
These circumstances are deeply affecting our society as a whole. As stewards of our industry, we lift up and hold in our hearts all of those who have lost loved ones and who face new struggles as a result of this crisis. We know that our 26 million industry professionals are part of a global collective and that we are seeing disruptions that are unprecedented.
This is the time to support one another as best we can while the world health and economic systems work toward the path of recovery. We commend event professionals around the globe for maintaining their continued focus on supporting safe, healthy and inclusive communities.
When facing uncertainty or crisis, identifying reliable and timely sources of information is critical to making responsible decisions. The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has raised global concerns that will have both short-term and long-term impacts.
The Events Industry Council has compiled a list of industry-related resources
to help guide event and meeting planners through this time. Please take the time to review these. Also, be sure to view EIC's webinars on COVID-19 which are free to access on the resource page.
By Nicole Brusewitz, CMP
By now you’ve faced some amount of disruption in your life due to COVID-19. For some the disruption has been small and for others life feels completely upended. Regardless of the amount of disruption, what makes this current time unique, is the ongoing and undetermined nature of it. When the pandemic first kicked into swing, I told my husband how stressed I was feeling. He wasn’t surprised, saying “you’re a planner…and right now you don’t know what to plan for.” He hit the nail on the head!
In 2013, we had a flood in my hometown. Living in the high-water zone, we watched our streets, cars and homes fill with water. But in just a few short days the waters began to recede, and we could see the tide shift and begin to move into recovery mode.
In the past couple weeks, most of us have had to cancel events small and large, postpone others and transition some into virtual formats. But before we exhale, it looks like our work is not done. The time horizon for the pandemic is unclear.
How do we proceed?
We can tap the expertise of some of the best-prepared leadership organisations. The Marine slogan “Improvise, adapt and overcome” is a mindset that allows Marines to deal with any physical, mental or spiritual hardship. As meeting professionals, how can we maintain the pace of our lives while improvising, adapting and overcoming for the long haul?
By Mandy Dean, CMP, HMCC
This article originally appeared on LinkedIn and was reprinted with Dean’s permission.
Many people wonder why meeting planners are consistently rated in the top five most stressful jobs lists. It can definitely be argued that first responders, doctors, military personnel, nurses, etc. all have more difficult jobs, and as a planner myself, I wouldn’t disagree with you. It is a stressful job for sure, but we are very aware that we are not in the business of saving lives.
While planners are not likely to be putting out literal fires, they certainly have their own fires to put out throughout the entire planning process and onsite. Planners are meticulous and focused on the details. As the primary point of contact for countless vendors, they must be prepared to handle or delegate any situation that arises. The event may be a once-in-a-lifetime programme or a primary revenue source for the organisation, adding to the pressure to make everything perfect. It takes a great deal of organisation, multi-tasking, time management, budget oversight, staff wrangling, vendor connections and communication to pull off an event. All these tasks often occurring within a 30-minute period.
The health and safety of those taking the CMP exam continues to be paramount to the EIC and our testing vendor Prometric. Following updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prometric announced all testing centres in the United States and Canada will be closed for 30 days effective 17 March.
As of 30 March, centres are currently scheduled to be reopened on 18 April.
The next CMP exam window remains scheduled to open on 1 May and candidates may continue to sign up. The Events Industry Council wants to reinterate that while the testing centers are temporarily closed, CMP exam testing will continue throughout 2020.
In light of these challenging times, Prometric is extending a liberal rescheduling policy due to COVID-19 for the May CMP exam window. Candidates that are impacted due to travel restrictions in place, test centre closures or other concerns related to COVID-19 will have the $75 USD reschedule fee waived.
Impacted candidates should contact email@example.com for EIC staff to review and submit the reschedule fee waiver to Prometric. EIC staff will also approve eligible window extensions to the August 2020 CMP exam for candidates who are not able to sit their May CMP exam due to COVID-19.
- Candidates will now be permitted to use medical masks and gloves while they are testing (before these were banned items). Please note these items will be subject to visual inspection upon entry to the test center.
- Prometric has increased its regiment of regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces (ex. test station keyboard keys, mouse, biometric touch chip device) and providing disposable wipes to candidates so that common surfaces can be wiped.
- Test centre closures are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis with a close eye on specific government actions, including closing local offices, public spaces and university campuses, along with building closures where the test centres are located. All test centre closures will be posted at www.prometric.com/closures and Prometric will contact impacted candidates directly.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
Moving online: How to transition your live event to an engaging virtual experience
Tuesday, 31 March | 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT/UTC-04:00
This webinar is full, however the recording will be made available later in the day.
CEs will be available after taking a free short quiz on EIC's Knowledge Hub
With many events moving online in response to COVID-19, now is the best time to explore the options for creating interactive, engaging online experiences. Join us for an interactive virtual meeting that is all about engaging audiences, improving event outcomes and continuing to have meaningful dialogues in a new virtual setting.
- Discuss the best ways to engage virtual participants
- Learn about fundamentals of creating meaningful dialogues, and how do this in a virtual setting
- Hear first-hand from event organisers about how they are transitioning live events to virtual experiences
- Miguel Neves, CMP, DES, Social Media Strategist; Member, MPI International Board of Directors, MiguelSeven.com
- Paul Salinger, VP Marketing, Oracle
- Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Simon Fraser University
- Moderator: Angie Ahrens, CMP, VP Operations, Leadercast
Looking for readily available options to advance your professional development and earn CEs? Drop into the Events Industry Council Knowledge Hub. This educational catalogue houses more than 100 products for CMPs and prospective CMPs to use, which includes CMP Conclave recordings, webinars and CE quizzes. It's easier than ever to enhance your knowledge from the comfort of your own home.
The hub is connected to your regular EIC website login, and can be accessed on any device with an internet connection.
The global events industry is suffering unimaginable and unprecedented loss from COVID-19. It is impacting us personally and professionally.
The Events Industry Council is working with members and partners to unify our voice and communicate loudly: We are the events industry and we will drive economic recovery – but we need help now.
Our ask today is to reach out to your elected officials and key decision makers, who are looking at ways to provide economic relief. We may not be able to control what’s happening in the world right now, but we absolutely control how and with whom we share our message.
Our voices must be heard globally. This letter
can be used globally and customized by using your letterhead and statistics. Make it your own and send it to your regional, national and local stakeholders. When you send the email, please cc: email@example.com
Share these letters via your social channels and tag EIC @Events_Council.
We are 26 million industry professionals. Together we are stronger. Please act today.
Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council
During these difficult times, community is more important than ever. It is important to support and foster the 12,000+ CMPs around the globe, and those most impacted by the unprecedented loss we face in light of COVID-19. We can remind one another during the toughest of times, help and support is often just a phone call away, and that by sharing our stories we lift up one another in a very special way. So please, share your thoughts, feelings and experiences, and please tag us on social media using the hashtag #CMPProud.
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