Events Industry Council Announces APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force

The group of meetings industry leaders will aggregate, curate and communicate protocols globally for meeting face-to-face safely again.

Coronavirus and Meetings
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As national and local COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, meetings industry members are looking for guidance on when groups can gather in person again — without compromising attendee health and safety. To address these concerns, the Events Industry Council has announced the members of its APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task Force and the next steps the group will be taking. 

The global group is charged with identifying and mitigating risks as the meetings industry plans its recovery, by aggregating, curating and communicating resources and standards that are being developed across the industry and around the world in support of meetings safety. The group’s goal is to help expedite safe meetings by finding and filling the gaps, should they exist, in support of the industry’s global recovery ecosystem. The task force will meet biweekly, and will be organized into subgroups addressing two parallel challenges. The first is more immediate, to provide direction on safe practices in order to hold face-to-face events, and when it will be acceptable to do so. The second is more long-term, to address issues related to adaptation, transformation and workforce stability with the objective to achieve resilience in response to risks to meetings and events, and the ecosystem that supports them.

“We are a global industry of 26 million professionals who fundamentally believe in the value of face-to-face meetings,” said Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council. “We know the impact we have on the communities we serve, and we are grounded in our common beliefs and commitment to social responsibility and sustainable practices. Together we will positively impact our recovery. We will offer our collective leadership through these necessary adaptations and leverage this moment to transform so that our industry is better understood, supported and relevant now and into the future.”

Task force co-chair Kristin Horstman, senior director of strategic events for Salesforce, added that, "We all look forward to the day that we can meet face-to-face again. First, we have to focus on making sure our attendees, employees, partners and community are as safe as possible when we gather together. The urgency of the current crisis demands our focus and our very best thought leaders to help guide and offer solutions."

Co-chair Michael Dominguez, president and CEO of Associated Luxury Hotels International, said the group's work "will be guided by a roadmap to accepted practices. The subgroups will follow a process that looks at resources, gaps, stakeholders, policies and procedures, the 360-degree attendee/customer experience, and risk-management guidelines. This comprehensive and global work will result in a resource that will be invaluable across all sectors."

In addition to the two co-chairs, the APEX COVID-19 Business Recovery Task force members include:
• Amanda Armstrong, assistant vice president, Global Meetings and Travel, Enterprise Holdings;
• Cleo Battle, COO, Louisville Tourism;
• Scott Beck, president and CEO, Tourism Toronto;
• David Blansfield, executive vice president and group publisher, Northstar Travel Group;
• Amy Calvert, CEO, Events Industry Council;
• Rod Cameron, AIPC, CEO, Joint Meetings Industry Council;
• Gregg Caren, executive vice president of sales and business development – convention centers, ASM Global;
• Jerry Cito, executive vice president of convention development, NYC & Co.;
• Nalan Emre, COO, IMEX Group;
• Heather Farley, COO, Access Intelligence;
• Kelly Fox, CAE, senior vice president of meetings, learning and business partnerships, Institute of Food Technologists;
• Peggy Fritz, event services supervisor, Toyota North America;
• Stephanie Glanzer, CMP, chief sales officer and senior vice president, MGM Resorts;
• Chuck Ghoorah, co-founder and president of worldwide sales and marketing, Cvent;
• Linda Gray Martin, senior director and general manager, RSA Conference;
• Stephanie Harris, president, Incentive Research Foundation;
• Mark Herrera, director of education and life safety, International Association of Venue Managers;
• Juli Jones, vice president, Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International;
• David Kliman, president, the Kliman Group;
• Mary Kreins, CASE, senior national sales director, Disney Meetings & Events, the Walt Disney Co.;
• Amy Ledoux, CAE, CMP, chief learning and meetings officer, ASAE: the Center for Association Leadership;
• Tony Lorenz, Founder, Headsail;
• Karen Malone, vice president meetings, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society;
• Richard Maranville, executive vice president and chief digital office, the Freeman Co.;
• Frank Passanante, senior vice president, Hilton Worldwide Sales – Americas;
• Tammy Routh, senior vice president of global sales, Marriott International;
• Stuart Ruff-Lyon, vice president of events and exhibitions, Risk and Insurance Management Society;
• Gary Schirmacher, CMP, senior vice president of industry presence and strategic development, Maritz;
• Cathy Schlosberg, senior vice president of marketing, PSAV;
• Peter Scialla, president and COO, Delos;
• Bita Seow, executive director, Singapore Association of Convention & Exhibition Organisers & Suppliers;
• Julie Smith, CEM, CTA, senior vice president of exhibition sales, Global Experience Specialists;
• Scott Solombrino, CEO, Global Business Travel Association;
• Yen Tsutsumi, senior vice president of operations, George P. Johnson Experience Marketing;
• Paul Van Deventer, president and CEO, Meeting Professionals International;
• Ana Maria Viscasillas, MBA, CDME, vice president, COCAL;
• Liz Warwick, vice president of meeting management and event strategy, Liberty Mutual Insurance;
• Brad Weaber, principal, Brad Weaber Consulting Group; and
• Johnnie White, CEO, American Society of Appraisers.