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Face to face again: 300 meeting professionals meet in Spain

Delegates to Madrid’s first face-to-face business event since the pandemic started were handed FFP2 masks on arrival and requested to take a negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before the event.

The Meeting Incentive Summit (MIS) took the form of a hybrid event with the first day consisting of face-to-face meetings between buyers and suppliers at the RIU Plaza Espana in Madrid.

The second day of the event was hosted online to engage an audience that was unable to attend in-person.

In numbers, the face-to-face event saw 310 participants, marking MIS as the largest business meetings event in Spain this year so far.

To ensure maximum safety, tight regulations were in place, including all attendees providing a compulsory negative Covid-19 result 24-hours before the event, wearing Covid-certified FFP2 masks and social distancing throughout the event.

Event organisers, Grupo eventoplus also ensured there was adequate ventilation throughout the venue by leaving windows open to maximise air circulation.

“A professionally organised meeting is one of the safest places to be: multi-layered security measures, highly responsible attendees, full traceability and antigen tests conducted less than 24 hours before the event; all provide a level of reassurance,” Grupo eventoplus CEO and cofounder Eric Mottard said.

“The MICE (meetings, incentive, conference & exhibition) industry is an important sector as it helps companies to communicate, sell, train, drive loyalty and motivate. But it has to return to business with safety measures in place, and we have shown that it is possible.”

Despite the social distancing element of the face-to-face event, buyers and suppliers were able to have one-to-one meetings to explore new market offers as well as strengthen new working relationships that have been stunted during the pandemic.

Gamification was added to both the face-to-face and online events to engage participants. Formats included speed networking, online quizzes and a ‘breakout’ photocall where attendees shared their professionally taken photos on their social channels which helped to make #meetMIS a trending topic on social media platforms.

Specific to the online event, participants were encouraged to vote for songs from a playlist. The top five most voted for songs were then played by a live band.

“An online event has the challenge of retaining attention. It is very important to ensure that the content is dynamic, the programme has a good rhythm and different formats are introduced to engage the participants. And that was just what we did,” added Group eventoplus cofounder and comms director, Lynn Wong.

MIS follows the successful 5,000-pax music concert in Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi arena in March. Music fans were required to take a Covid-19 test prior to the event and wear face masks throughout, but social distancing wasn’t compulsory. In the two weeks following the event, only six cases of Covid-19 were detected among the audience

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