Prague ACTE Notes: Most Companies Not Delaying Meetings Over H1N1 Virus

Getting a bit confused by mixed signals on the seriousness of the H1N1 flu virus (aka swine flu)? On the one hand, President Obama has declared a national emergency over the current rate of outbreaks, and more than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus.

Yet, so far, it doesn't seem like businesses are letting the threat affect travel.

From Prague, where I'm attending ACTE's Global Education Conference, the organization has released findings of a survey of 109 international companies. It found that 91% were not delaying planning meetings or conferences. Further, 96% said business travelers had not asked to put off trips during the flu season.

But this isn't to say that companies, meeting managers and event attendees, themselves, aren't concerned about the spread of the virus.

One way to address those concerns would be to create or update your company policy addressing how to handle issues like H1N1 and other potential emergency situations and to communicate those policies effectively to your employees and meeting attendees. For example, at our company, our head of HR e-mailed all employees and advised that if they did have flu symptoms, but felt they had to work, to carry on from home in order to prevent infecting fellow employees. 

Key to making decisions about events and communicating with meeting attendees is having one meetings registration system that gives you visibility into all companywide events.  That way, you can quickly assess potential situations and make decisions.  Similarly, using one enterprise-wide online attendee management tool can give you the comprehensive data you need to locate people and make quick decisions.  

For prevention tips, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kevin Iwamoto is vice president of enterprise strategy at StarCite. This post is syndicated from his blog, Strategic Meetings Management