Page 15 - Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Directory 2020-2021
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 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, the risk of COVID-19 spreading is the highest in large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 1.8 metres apart and where attendees travel from outside the local area. Also, the more people a person interacts with others at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. And if a gathering is held in an area where there is a higher level of community transmission, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering.
For the business events industry, the immediate solution was to go virtual, where the risk of infection is the lowest. Around the world, online events and conferences increased tremendously during lockdowns. And in doing so, those who were new to online conferences and meetings have come to experience its many benefits, which include saving event organisers time and money, eliminating travel costs for attendees, reducing the price of admission, enabling more people to attend, allowing organisers to include more speakers, and encouraging better interaction and communication between participants.
However, nothing beats the value of face-to-face meetings. So while virtual conferences are a convenient and less costly substitute, it is highly unlikely they will ever fully replace in-person meetings. With SOPs in place to prevent COVID-19 infection, what will business events look like going forward? Certainly a little different than the way they used to look. Here are some of the things we may start seeing at meetings and conferences.
Hybrid Events
Experts believe hybrid events will be more commonplace, not just in the short term but also in the long term. This is a “best of both worlds” situation where some participants

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