Do attendees want to wear masks and keep their distance when meetings resume, or will such practices detract too much from the experience of live events? That's a question Bradley Metrock, CEO of Nashville-based Score Publishing, has been grappling with for months.
His team painstakingly created Project Voice Series Protocols that would include COVID-19 testing, daily temperature checks and health monitoring. "It was really hardcore," says Metrock. "We said there's going to be masks, distancing, no food, no swag." The 420-person capacity of the conference center at Harvard Medical School would be cut down to 200 with appropriately distanced room setups.
But two factors upended that plan: Harvard will likely remain closed until Labor Day, and attendees didn't want to come an event so mired in health safety measures. Within days, a completely different plan was hatched. The Voice of Healthcare Summit, Special Edition, will be a one-day event at the Boston Winery on Aug. 5, 2020, with a projected 125 to 150 participants. The only health protocol will be a COVID-19 test at registration. Those who test positive will be sent home with a refund; those negative will enjoy a "halfway normal" event, says Metrock.
We spoke with Metrock on May 15 about the factors that drove his decision, and how he expects to pull it off. (Read more about the event here.)
Listen to the in-depth conversation in our latest episode of Eventful: The Podcast for Meeting Professionals, and remember to subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.