Welcome to another edition of Aventri’s Connect Weekly column, where we share the top five news stories from the week that today’s meeting and event planners should know. We aim to cover everything from the worlds of events, technology, business, marketing, social media, travel, hospitality and beyond. Check out the top stories from the week of August 3, 2020.
Lobbying for Business Travelers in D.C. Takes on New Challenges These Days
Leading lobbyist for airlines, agencies, hotels, and ground transportation firms, Shane Downey, had ensured that those “four pillars of travel” were represented in the CARES ACT. Now Downey is focusing on testing and corporate travel liability, however lobbying in D.C. during the pandemic has presented new challenges and taken on a new form. In an interview with Skift, Downey remarks, “In normal terms, you’d be up there in Washington doing things…Now we’re all doing it from our spare bedroom, via calls, text messages and email, and just trying to push it forward.” Learn more about Downey's lobbying and how he is able to navigate these new challenges, here.
Do The Right Thing: Create Event Bubbles by Requiring Negative Tests
Planning event bubbles may be the only way for in-person events and meetings to come back, as Coronavirus cases continue to increase around the world. An interview with Dan Berger, an investor in an event company that created the Elements Arts and Music Festival that drew 200 attendees in PA, reveals the necessary steps and resources needed to create an effective event bubble. At their own event, all attendees were tested three days before the event and then testing again 8 hours before the event started. Read all about the benefits of creating an event bubble and how they might be the key to bringing back the industry, here.
Hotels Offer Lower-Risk Cancellation Terms and More Flexibility to Entice Planners
As a growing number of hotel companies and destinations offer flexibility promotions, planners looking to book meetings for 2020 are likely able to find favorable contract terms. Recently, Hilton rolled out its EventReady Flexible offer, which offers relaxed cancellation terms through the Hilton Express Meeting Agreement on bookings now through Dec 31 and held by May 31, 2021. Planners with a contract budget of up to $50,000 are able to cancel without penalty up to eight days in advance of travel. However, Hilton is not the only hotel offering more flexible bookings. Learn more about how hotel policies and what they are doing to make booking an event or meeting less risky and more flexible, here.
Bermuda Welcoming Remote Workers to Log on From Paradise With One-Year Residency Program
Bermuda’s Ministry of Labor recently announced that the island is offering a one-year residency for professionals or students whose return to office plan is still up in the air. The government is hopeful that this extended-stay program will provide Bermuda with a much-needed economic boost after Coronavirus crippled its tourism economy. Applicants are able to apply starting August 1 for a one-year visa following an application fee of $263. To enter the country, travelers must present a negative Covid test 72 hours prior to their arrival and get screened before leaving the airport. Learn more about this program here.
A Guide to Successful Virtual Events: Tools, Tips and Strategies for Sales Execs
Aventri’s Senior Director of EMEA and APAC marketing, Brecht Fourneau, answers sales and marketing professionals’ top question: “How can I create a successful virtual event?” To help, Fourneau has put together 14 best practices to drive engagement and return on investment while using virtual event technology. Fourneau breaks down his tips into three buckets: boosting engagement, driving virtual networking, and optimizing technology. One way you can increase engagement is by shortening your sessions to less than an hour, and selecting your most compelling content, as attendees may not want to sit through a whole day of virtual sessions. Learn the other best practices by clicking here.