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Coronavirus Conundrum: Your Conference Is This Month, Should You Have It?

The month is here. Your annual conference is in four weeks. 

You, the Director of Communications or Chief Marketing Officer, have been planning for months, if not a year. 

The keynote deposit is paid. Hotels are booked. And yet your membership director and finance department are having closed-door meetings. 

You can see through the glass: their hands are in the air, they’re shaking their heads and a slight panic seems to be wafting through the kitchen and down the hall. It’s coating the open space work area, where your team sits,  with a sweaty sheen.     

It’s the Coronavirus Conundrum – What should you do? Have the conference, or not?  How will you make such a weighted decision? Here at Proof, we’ve got you covered!

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First, breathe. Leadership is about calm and leading with data not reactivity. 

Second, alert your stakeholders – both internal and external – that you are considering all possibilities. Yes, you might cancel the conference, but you are using data to make an informed decision. You are not making a decision with the reactivity of Twitter in your head. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not currently have a COVID-19 travel health notice for Continental U.S.  In fact, the CDC “does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low.”

As you and your attendees plan to travel, the CDC strongly suggests taking the following routine precautions including:

  • Avoiding contact with sick people.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. 

It’s especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

Lastly, stay up to date! The CDC page is continuously updated with the latest information, which you should keep an eye on and update your stakeholders – via Facebook, Email, LinkedIn, Twitter, you name it – and stay on it. 

Communications in a time of uncertainty is important. But communications based on data and information is even more so important in a time such as this.

So, stay calm. You’ve got this. 

Learn more about Proof Strategies Healthcare communications work.

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