Type of event: Business Team Away Day
Group size: 8
Date: September 2020
Venue: The Pitt Building
Running a face-to-face event during COVID-19 presents challenges for the organiser, delegates and the venue – but with safety measures in place and clear communication, it can be achieved and enjoyed.
Katherine Ross, Administrative Assistant in the Strategic Partnerships Office at Cambridge University, wanted to hold an Away Day for the business team and contacted Meet Cambridge for help in finding a venue that was both suitable and open for business. The Pitt Building met all the criteria and the event was booked in.
Katherine says: “We normally hold one of these events each year which is a good opportunity for everyone to meet up and discuss how we move forwards. In advance of our first face-to-face meeting since lockdown we received comprehensive details from The Pitt Building on what we were to expect. This included a virtual tour of the venue, as well as guidance on what would be expected of delegates in terms of face masks.
“Ahead of the event, some of the delegates were understandably a little anxious but the team at The Pitt Building handled everything well on the day and the feedback I received showed that those attending felt safe. They appreciated the hand sanitising stations, the seats set apart to maintain social distancing and the lunch served individually in separate packaging, rather than the usual buffet.
“From an organiser’s point of view, I amended the programme slightly in the current circumstances, making it a shorter event – five hours rather than seven. I also based it around presentations and cut out the usual breakout sessions where we carry out collaborative exercises so that everyone could stay in their seats rather than moving around.
“Overall it went very well and I would definitely consider arranging a similar event for a small group at some point in the future. Those attending appreciated and enjoyed meeting up face-to-face and found it easier to communicate than on virtual video calls.”
The Pitt Building has achieved the AIM Secure accreditation from the Meetings Industry Association, demonstrating to event organisers and delegates that it has met a range of criteria including implementing enhanced safety protocols in terms of hygiene and cleaning, social distancing, and track and trace procedures.