Organizing Business Meetings or Events During the Coronavirus Crisis

Dr. Syed Farhan Ali Tirmizi, MBBS, MSc – Epidemiologist

Business Meetings and Events Guidelines

Before the Event

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  • Reconsider if physical meetings or events for specific agendas are really needed. Otherwise, online ones will do.
  • Avoid gathering a large number of people and scale down meetings or events for essential participants only.
  • Mention the following when inviting participants in meetings or events:
    • The management’s preventive measures that will take place
    • The required sharing of information
  • Advise participants with older age and/or chronic medical conditions not to attend.
    • If they need to attend physically and to highly practice social distancing, require them to wear face masks. (Discover the correct use of face masks here.)
  • Prepare the following near and/or inside the venues:
    • Handwashing facilities (Handwashing is important.)
    • Hand rubs with 70% alcohol
    • Posters and visual cues about social distancing
    • Chairs, tables, and other items suitable for social distancing
    • Tissues and closed bins
    • Isolation rooms for suspected coronavirus cases
  • Open doors and windows to increase room ventilation.
  • Get updated on the latest information and recommendations for meetings and events from health officials.
  • Come up with emergency plans in case participants show any symptoms during meetings or events.

During the Event

  • Advise the participants to practice social distancing and observe coughing and sneezing etiquettes.
  • Document the contact details of the participants to make contact tracing, information dissemination, and self-isolation recommendations easier for health officials in case one of them becomes symptomatic or positive for coronavirus after meetings or events.
  • If anyone starts to show symptoms, follow emergency plans or call health officials.
  • Before ending meetings or events, remind the participants that once they become symptomatic or positive for coronavirus:
    • Inform the management.
    • Self-isolate for at least 14 days.
    • Wear face masks.
    • Wash hands more often.

After the Event

  • Keep the contact details of the participants for at least three weeks.
  • If one of the participants becomes symptomatic or positive for coronavirus right after meetings or events:
    • Inform other participants.
    • Advise them to:
      • Self-isolate for at least 14 days.
      • Wear face masks.
      • Wash hands more often.

MacArthur, H. V. “Company Survival Guide To Care For Staff During The Coronavirus Pandemic,” Forbes Media, 01 April 2020.
LINK. Accessed 05 May 2020.

Mumford, Lauren. “4 Options for Meetings & Events in the Wake of Coronavirus,” Aventri, 12 March 2020.
LINK. Accessed 05 May 2020.

Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19: How COVID-19 spreads?” WHO Global.
LINK. Accessed 06 May 2020.

Written By

Dr. Syed Farhan Ali Tirmizi, MBBS, MSc

Epidemiologist

Communicable Disease Control (CDC), Alberta Health Services

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