Navigating Uncharted Waters to Keep Event Attendees Safe

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Navigating Uncharted Waters to Keep Event Attendees Safe

By Kristi Casey Sanders | Oct 19, 2020

Duty of care is nothing new. But convening people safely during a global pandemic adds a layer of complexity to the already complex work of meeting and event design. Here’s a guide to the resources and MPI communities available to help you and your teams navigate these uncharted waters.


The MPI Academy, in partnership with the Event Leadership Institute, offers a Pandemic Meeting & Event Certificate. The six-week course, worth 20 CMP clock hours, helps participants rethink event strategies to accommodate the global disruptions caused by the pandemic, develop checklists for safer event design and establish and deploy event tactics to reduce risks related to COVID-19.

Other safety- and security-focused certificate courses include MPI’s Emergency Preparedness for Events and Event Crisis Communications. The former is a six-hour course that will help you conduct risk-assessments and identify areas of vulnerability so you can create customized emergency preparedness plans for your meetings and events. The latter helps you identify the ways you can best prepare your organization to respond in the most effective way in case of emergency.


The Event Industry Council’s COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force has released the Meeting and Event Design Accepted Practices Guide, which is updated regularly. Content includes a meeting and event decision grid, attendee communication and conduct considerations and a compendium of resources for events/venues, lodging and workplace—including safety and wellness procedures, guidance and tools for various industry sectors and national public health agencies around the world.

Safety & Security Special Interest Group: Get education and resources designed to help you increase the safety and security of all your events.

MPI members collaborated to create the white paper Navigating the New Normal: Tips for Organizing Meetings & Events in a Post-COVID World. This guide includes a breakdown of considerations by meeting element. So if you’re looking for logistical guidance on what new things you need to think about beyond maintaining a six-foot (two-meter) distance between guests, you can see what other professionals plan to do about everything from ground transportation to staging, from room sets to F&B service when they’re meeting face to face. An additional section goes in-depth into hybrid and digital event considerations and resources.

MPI is proud to be hosting the first industry event to bring people back together in a physical space, and we’re committed to doing so safely with the World Education Congress (WEC), Nov. 3-6 in Grapevine, Texas. Read more about our duty of care. During and post-event we will be sharing what we’ve learned with all of you, so keep an eye out for blogs and webinars featuring those takeaways.

Community Connections

In 2017, MPI collaborated with the National Center for Sports Security and Safety to produce a Risk Management Conclave at the Thought Leaders Summit, which resulted in the first-ever Essential Guide to Safety and Security. If you’ll be attending WEC Grapevine in November and you’re interested in updating this work, join us in the Leadership Lounge on Friday, Nov. 6 from 3-5 p.m. for a collaborative conversation on what updates are needed.

MyMPI is a members-only online forum where you can connect with like-minded individuals, ask questions and share your knowledge with other meeting and event professionals around the world. Two communities you might be interested in joining are Security & Risk Management and Moving Forward Post-Pandemic, which is focused specifically on helping each other get through what’s happening now.

We’d love to hear from you, too! What are you wondering about? Join one of the MyMPI communities and share your thoughts, answer questions and join the conversation.

Safety & Security Education & Resources

·      Upcoming webinar: “Health Security in the Age of COVID,” Oct. 28, 11 a.m. CST

·      On-demand curated education from the MPI Academy: Coronavirus Dialogue Series (in English) and Serie Coronavirus Dialouge (en Español)

·      MPI Trusted Meeting & Event Resource page

·      MPI Wellbeing Resources (including Quarantine Survival Strategies white paper)



Kristi Casey Sanders

Kristi Casey Sanders, CMM, CMP, DES, HMCC, is the former director of community for MPI.