Are Your Attendees Getting the COVID-19 Communication They Really Need?

A recent survey shows that while there’s no shortage of COVID-19 information, travelers are still having to search for what they need to know. Here’s how to close that gap.

By now, you’re probably an expert at communicating COVID-19 protocols to your attendees. But a recent survey from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) shows that for people who are traveling to events, that information might not be quite enough.

The GBTA surveyed more than 500 business travelers about their communication needs in today’s ever-changing travel environment. The results: Nearly half of all business travelers say they need more COVID-specific travel information of some sort. The issue isn’t necessarily that the information isn’t available to them; it’s that the information is spread out, forcing meeting attendees to learn what they need piecemeal from a variety of sources.

Give your attendees what they need to know in one consolidated place, and you’ll prime them to enjoy your meeting without worry—which sets up your event for success. Here’s what to include:

●  Regional information.What is the current COVID-19 situation in the region where the meeting will be? What local regulations do attendees need to know about masks, limited capacity, and changes in local service? What are the entry requirements for the host country?

●  Travel partners’ COVID-19 policies.Airlines, airports, hotels, restaurants, shuttles, car rental outlets, ride-sharing and taxi services—42% of business travelers say they want more information on what travel suppliers are doing to reduce the spread. You don’t have to include the policies of, say, every single airline that serves your destination, but if your event has designated or preferred travel suppliers, include information from them. Let your attendees know two things: 1) what actions they need to take to use these suppliers (such as wearing face coverings or showing proof of vaccination), and 2) what travel suppliers are doing to protect their staff and their customers (such as sanitation efforts and vaccination policies).

●  Emergency resources.What should attendees do if they test positive for COVID-19 after the event? What should they do if they start experiencing symptoms during the event? Who should they contact, and what steps do they need to take to protect all attendees?

●  Your event’s COVID-19 policies.Chances are, you’re already including these details in your communications. But including your policies in a larger set of information about travel suppliers and regional guidelines will give your attendees everything they need to know in one place.

As for the medium, business travelers prefer email, with 81% saying that email is one of the top five communication modes they want their own companies to use when sharing COVID-19 information. But text messaging was up there too, at 51%. And tech-savvy planners who have an event-specific app should take note: Business travelers prefer text messages over push notifications.

With the passing of each day, we’re inching toward normalcy. But until we’re truly out of this pandemic, comprehensive communication will help set your attendees’ minds at ease — helping you bring people together with care.