Sep 22 2021
Ken Russell

Delta. Mu. It seems every time we turn on the news, there’s a new COVID-19 variant. So how safe is it to meet in-person?

The answer is clearer than you might think.

Would you believe that you are more likely to catch COVID-19 at your grocery store than at a 5,000-person event?

We’ve been working with customers to produce amazing events over the last few months in a very changed environment, and I can say first-hand that there are still a lot of questions about how to do it right. But there is some good news on the horizon.

According to new research released by Epistemix, attending large in-person business events are safer than many daily activities and hosting the events does not increase local COVID-19 case rates.  That’s because at any size event, more than 80 percent of the attendees will be fully vaccinated. And cleaning protocols at events, hotels and airports tend to be more stringent than at home, school or your average restaurant.

Vaccination not only slows the spread of the disease, but it also reduces the severity of breakthrough infections when they happen. Hospital beds are filling again, with the vast majority being unvaccinated. If we maintain the same safety protocols we had before – masking indoors, maintaining six feet of space between participants, conducting temperature tests, and implementing good hygiene, we can convene safely.

But if we don’t talk about this, then fear will win out and our industry will continue to suffer.

Prior to the pandemic, the meeting and events industry contributed nearly $400 billion in direct economic impact – that’s equal to 1.8 percent of the U.S. GDP. Our industry has been devastated by the pandemic. If we want to recover, then we need to take control of the conversation and help our key event stakeholders and attendees understand that it is safe to meet in person with the right protocols.


If you want to advocate for this industry and help your organization make the most informed decision, here are four things you can do now:

  1. Download this white paper from Let’s Meet There and get the facts
  2. Share this blog and talking points with your event stakeholders and participants
  3. Download the Encore MeetSAFE guidelines to implement at your next event
  4. Actively post your in-person customer meetings using #WeMetThere to create momentum for this campaign in partnership as we work to restore in-person meetings and events

We live in an uncertain world, but we are encouraged by the more than 10,000 customers Encore supported in the last month alone in their return to in-person meetings. The benefits of being together are real.

The more we unite around this message and communicate the steps we’re taking to protect our attendees, the faster we’ll be able to rebound and the more resilient our industry will be as we whether additional variants and outbreaks.

I hope you will join us in this effort.

Ken Russell
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