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MICE destinations: Adapting to health rules and new operating conditions

Professionals of congresses, conferences, seminars and exhibitions have adapted to the sanitary rules to stop the spread of Coronavirus. They have modified their operating conditions to welcome their visitors in the best possible conditions and provide them with the necessary reinsurance to resume their activity.

  • Protection of people (employees, partners, exhibitors, visitors): wearing of masks, distribution of hydroalcoholic gel, reinforced cleaning of contact areas, etc.
  • Hygiene: enhanced cleaning, maintenance and ventilation protocols
  • Physical distance and flow control: one-way route, delimitation of spaces, visitor flow counting system, digitalisation of certain interactions, multiplication of entry and exit points, etc.
  • Signage and communication: posters recalling barrier gestures, directional signage, audio and digital communication...
  • Some event venues are also relaxing their general terms and conditions of sale by adopting payment facilities and offering a full refund to exhibitors in the case of cancellation of an event.

The events sector is also adopting related services such as room service for some hoteliers and digital check-in and check-out to limit direct contact to a minimum. For instance, it will now be possible for prospects of the Marriott Group to visit the seminar areas remotely. Once on site, clients are offered all the necessary protection but can also organize meetings outside and benefit from remote meeting tools for phygital events that are becoming more and more common.

The break areas are specifically dedicated to each client with individual drinks and food.

Another argument put forward by professionals in the sector is an increase in credits on their clients' loyalty accounts to encourage them to resume seminar activity as quickly as possible.

At Accor, the "Open Air Meeting" concept has been developed for destinations where the latitude allows.

Many business tourism professionals see the digitalization of events as a real opportunity to reach new targets and thus increase their revenues with an increased audience that would justify renegotiating partnerships such as sponsorships.  Technologies in 2020 allow more and more flexibility and reliability for holding events remotely with, for example, the use of holograms and avatars that will change the user experience while making it possible.

September will be decisive for the business activity giving the lead to the recovery that is taking shape in Paris, Berlin and Spain with the lifting of the ban on mass gatherings as of September 1, 2020.

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