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More than 175 industry professionals joined us for the Safe Meetings in Michigan Virtual Conference, held June 16-17. It was a truly fascinating learning experience, which sought to discuss and address the gorilla in the room; what would the future of conferences and meetings look like for the rest of 2020 and beyond?
COVID-19 has completely changed how members view meetings and events. For as long as there are still new cases across the country, potential conference attendees are going to hesitate to join a few hundred (or thousand) of their peers in a singular location and sit in big rooms with other people. While we’re certainly headed in the right direction in many locations (particularly Michigan!), we’re not anywhere close to being out of the woods.
Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, ORGPRO was always going to look different in 2020. On our call, we went over why we’re offering a hybrid conference, with a virtual experience to complement the option of attending in-person. The conversation was enlightening in a variety of ways, but in two polls we conducted during the call, it was clear that many executives share similar attitudes and concerns about the future of their events.
As you likely know by now, MSAE has convened a Safe Meetings in Michigan (SMIM) Work Group.
· This is a short-term work group whose purpose is to develop recommendations/guidelines for groups of 10 – 10,000 to meet safely.
· We know how important hospitality/tourism/events are to Michigan’s economy and to the missions of our respective organizations.
· SMIM is comprised of representatives from some of Michigan’s largest organizations representing health, tourism, meetings and trade associations.