Home Publisher's Point of View Yes, Finally an Event with In-Person Attendance

Yes, Finally an Event with In-Person Attendance

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Glenn Hasek

Many of you rely on meetings business for a good portion of your revenue and livelihood—me included. So, getting back to the point of being able to meet in person is huge. When the Global Wellness Summit (GWS) takes place at The Breakers Palm Beach from November 8 to 11—perhaps as you are reading this—there will be 150 meeting at the hotel. Yes, AT the hotel—truly an accomplishment. Hundreds more will be attending virtually from around the world. Yesterday Florida had more than 6,000 new cases of the Coronavirus—the highest daily number in months. It will be interesting to see how the meeting turns out but to me it looks like the planners have prepared for every important scenario.

Much of this is from the article already posted on Green Lodging News but I thought it important enough to repeat. First, the GWS will mandate rapid, reliable COVID-19 testing as part of the registration process, through a partnership with Premier Family Health, the largest integrative medicine practice in Palm Beach County. Premier’s medical team will administer tests in a private area; everything is HIPAA compliant; and Premier’s professional team will be stationed onsite to provide up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and answer any delegate questions.

As attendees approach the ballroom they will receive a temperature check and also pass through a portal that uses Far-UVC 222 light provided by Healthē to remove up to 90 percent of the possible viral (and bacterial) load on a person’s clothes and belongings.

Within the ballroom, a custom version of the Healthē Space solution will be installed, which uses overhead lamps that emit Far-UVC 222 light to disinfect the room’s air and surfaces in real time.

Within the HVAC system, a multi-stage solution using stronger UV wavelengths to continuously sanitize the air will feature HEPA-Carbon activated filtration to purify the air before reaching the HVAC’s duct openings.

Proof That Far-UVC 222 Light Works

Conventional germicidal, longer wavelength UVC light has been used for decades (in places like empty hospital rooms) to disinfect the air and surfaces of viruses and pathogens—but cannot be used in occupied indoor spaces because it can damage human eyes and skin. Now scientists are finding that shorter wavelength, Far-UVC light (which, studies show, doesn’t penetrate the dead skin layer of humans) may prove a powerful weapon in eliminating viruses (in the air or on surfaces) any place where people gather indoors. A new study from Columbia University Medical Center found that 99.9 percent of seasonal coronaviruses in airborne droplets were killed when exposed to Far-UVC 222 light.

The main meeting space is also being transformed into a series of creatively distanced “wellness spaces” so that delegates can move and sit on recumbent bikes and stability balls, rather than traditional banquet chairs (realized with the John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation). The Breakers is allowing the GWS to push many sessions and events into the outdoors.

Key to the success of the event is the partnering with an expert. Dr. Richard Carmona, 17th US Surgeon General, serves as Medical Advisor and will give the keynote speech the first morning.

Location is everything in creating a safe conference, and The Breakers, a vast, beachfront resort, will allow many sessions and events to be pushed outside. Afternoon brainstorming sessions on “resetting the world with wellness” will be held in the Mediterranean Courtyard, with delegates seated at tables with umbrellas, café-style. The first-night cocktail party, hosted by The Breakers, takes place on a lawn overlooking the ocean; while an alfresco, distanced disco-dancing party and drive-in movie night (from golf carts) are planned. The Breakers is working with the GWS to reimagine safe, healthy conference F&B: For instance, at breaks, attendees grab upscale, prepackaged boxes (with fresh, immune-boosting ingredients) to enjoy picnic-style on the lawns. There is no shared food.

Also key to the success of this event is the fact that The Breakers already has implemented intensive health and safety protocols for all guests during COVID-19, exceeding CDC and WHO guidelines. View their 14-page safety document: https://www.thebreakers.com/updates/.

While Florida has opened up businesses to 100 percent capacity, The Breakers has not. Just a few of their protocols: mandatory masks in all indoor and public areas; daily temperature and health screenings for all staff; 100 percent touchless guest transactions; daily disinfection of HVAC/air filtration systems with UV light and ionization technologies; relentless cleaning practices throughout the property, including electrostatic spray technology and antimicrobial applications; and they’re one of the only U.S. hotels with a dedicated food safety manager.

Watch for a follow-up of the Summit soon on Green Lodging News.

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