Current Affairs

Meetings In A Reassuringly Safe Environment

Business meetings have been content for a while now using advanced digital technology to perform high level events, as the corona virus was spreading all over. However, it seems that our industry is getting fed up with exclusively online solutions and is more than ready to meet again in person, providing safety requirements are met. Geneva has managed to stand high in everyone’s preference as a destination exactly because it can offer what our sector needs at the moment, safe personal contact.

Words Vicky Koffa

Business meetings have been content for a while now using advanced digital technology to perform high level events, as the corona virus was spreading all over. However, it seems that our industry is getting fed up with exclusively online solutions and is more than ready to meet again in person, providing safety requirements are met. Geneva has managed to stand high in everyone’s preference as a destination exactly because it can offer what our sector needs at the moment, safe personal contact.

Geneva, the “Capital of Peace”, boasts one of the safest environments in Europe for all kinds of business events. In fact, more than 100 venues and companies have been registered as “Clean & Safe”, the city’s useful campaign supported by Switzerland Tourism. According to it, Geneva’s service providers are taking all necessary measures to protect delegates during their stay and are responsible for ensuring that the safety protocols are implemented and complied with.

Ranging from business events and accommodation to catering, (free) public transport and navigation, all participating companies follow all necessary regulations for hygiene and social distancing, as well as public health and employee protection guidelines issued by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). 

Home to 41 international organisations, including the United Nations and 750 NGOs, Geneva’s event organising professionals are no strangers to big meetings, especially since the congress infrastructure has the largest capacity in Switzerland. Both HotellerieSuisse and the Expo Event Swiss LiveCom Associationhave drawn up specific safety protocols and guidelines to be adopted when holding business events in hotels, convention centres and other locations. 

Combine top-level infrastructure with the close collaboration between the Geneva Convention Bureau and the city’s local industry leaders, and the result is a powerful network where associations can actually acquire knowledge, expand their network and even change policies on the spot since the city is crawling with government offices. 

Events Have Already Expressed Their Preference

With a plethora of local and international associations based in the city, it comes as no surprise that the first Geneva International Association Forum 2020 (GIAF) is planned to take place there on 5-6 November at the InterContinental Hotel Geneva. GIAF’s primary mission is to bring together European and international associations and non-profit organisations to share knowledge, best practices and design initiatives to resolve common challenges. The event will be a hybrid one, showcasing Geneva’s ability to host safe in-person and virtual meetings using advanced technology.

In reality, live events have already started taking place in the city. The Joint Meeting 2020 of the Swiss Society for Infectious Diseases (SSI) and the Swiss Society for Hospital Hygiene (SSHH), was successfully – and most importantly safely – carried out from 2nd to 4th of September at the congress centre Palexpo with 300 participants. Such events can only demonstrate that Geneva is more than ready and properly equipped to receive future association meetings, always in compliance with all necessary safety regulations.

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