After a tumultuous year of canceled conferences and virtual meetings, the events industry is ready to return to in-person in 2021. While some organizers may choose to offer a hybrid experience–both face-to-face and virtual–others are tepidly testing the waters of offering a full in-person agenda. Especially if the event takes place later in the year, event organizers are looking to provide as much of an in-person experience as possible during the ongoing pandemic.
No matter what type of event your organization is planning, one thing is certain–the events world has definitely changed for the foreseeable future. There are many new considerations (such as increased production costs), but one of the most important investments is hiring a Pandemic Compliance Advisor.
What is a Pandemic Compliance Advisor?
A Pandemic Compliance Advisor (i.e. PCA) is a trained production manager who understands the latest COVID-19 safety protocols, guidelines, and regulations on how to best implement them for any event. A PCA has completed a training course, passed an exam, and receives regularly updated information from Health Education Services and the Events Industry Council.
While it may seem that it is intuitive at this point to enforce mask-wearing and social distancing, a PCA understands other vital protocols to host events that go above and beyond basic safety measures.
Do I Need A PCA If My Venue Is Up-to-Date With The CDC Guidelines?
Yes, and here’s why: Even if you are planning an event with a space that ensures CDC compliance, the events space is not communicating regularly with your speakers and attendees. In addition, there are often many other opportunities for event participants to interact beyond the event space hosting your meeting, so it is critical that a dedicated person manage and oversee that all participants and activities are compliant.
Is Hiring a PCA Expensive?
No and, in fact, they can often save you money. The Health Education Services website has a directory of all the producers and production companies that have received this certification. You can easily search and find any local or national company to help plan your event.
A PCA can also save you money because there are many hidden pandemic costs that can quickly eat away at your planning budget. PCAs can help you navigate finding the most affordable food and beverage vendors, web hosting, and venue recommendations. Their job is to be as creative and resourceful as possible, so hiring one can give you peace of mind that you are making the most of your event planning dollars.
My Organization Has Been Planning Events For Years, Will Face-to-Face Really Be that Different?
Planning any event is always a challenge but planning an event in a pandemic is even more added stress. Local, state, and federal guidelines are constantly shifting and evolving, so a PCA will be better able to anticipate these changes to prevent expensive production changes, cancellations, or unintended costs.
Even if your organization has hosted the same in-person event for years, your attendees will appreciate knowing that a PCA helped to organize the meeting or conference. If anything, your organization members who are on the fence about choosing to attend may be convinced to return to face-to-face meetings if they see you’ve taken the extra precaution of hiring this type of pandemic consultant. In fact, the PCMA calls hiring a PCA a “wise strategy” and notes that legally it can be problematic to rely on volunteers or untrained workers to enforce COVID-19 compliance.
Ultimately, engaging a production or production company with a Pandemic Compliance Advisor certification means you don’t have to take on the additional burden and worry about your event’s safety.