Learn about the precautions being taken at the HRO Today Forums in the age of COVID-19.
By Jason Frenchman
As of press time, the annual HRO Today Forum events in Europe and North America remain on schedule for Nov. 2- 4, 2020 in Athens, Greece, and Dec. 1-3, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee, respectively. Of course, the ability to hold these much-anticipated annual in-person events for HR professionals remains contingent on developments related to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Particularly here in the U.S., the situation remains fluid and unpredictable. The virus continues to surge in parts of the country, business travel remains at a minimum, and many professionals are hesitant about gathering in groups. Many states, including Tennessee, have gathering limits currently in place that our venue must abide by.
Also germane to plans for the HRO Today Forum EMEA in Greece are the current travel restrictions that have been imposed by the European Union on travelers from the U.S., which impairs the events team from being on-site to run the event. These restrictions are being evaluated and updated regularly.
The HRO Today events team has been monitoring the situation daily and is diligently preparing as if these events are happening as scheduled. The policies our venues have put in place within their facilities follow local health directives and are central to keeping in-person events safe and productive environments for all who participate.
The event venues, The Grand Hyatt Athens and the Loews Hotel Nashville, have implemented increased efforts with regard to housekeeping, sanitation policies, common surface cleaning, air conditioning and room ventilation, and the handling of food and beverages. According to both hotels’ policy documents, hotel team members and vendors undergo temperature scans prior to entering the hotel, conducted via thermal no-touch temperature scanners.
Event participants will be required to wear face coverings in all conference spaces. Personal masks can be used, and masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves will be distributed to all participants upon check-in.
Markers will be placed in the hotel in order to safely practice physical distancing, whether in meeting spaces, in the lobby, or in other high-traffic areas. In the event spaces, the events team and the venues’ meeting professionals are working to create event-friendly room configurations that maintain the sense of community and shared experience that is loved about in-person events, while still adhering to physical distancing guidelines and room capacity limits that have been implemented for safety. The venues have also organized the safest possible entry and exit flow from meeting rooms.
Regarding food and beverage handling, there will be no buffets at either event. All servers will be wearing personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and aprons. Both venues are ensuring the utmost safety and hygiene regarding all food and beverage service.
All attendees planning to attend an HRO Today Forum in Athens or Nashville this year can rest assured that the events team and venue partners are doing everything possible to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates on these events as they come in.