When MGM Resorts invited me to visit their Las Vegas properties, I jumped at the chance. The thought of traveling again—especially to one of my favorite cities—was something I’d been dreaming about doing for months. I love that everything about Las Vegas is over the top, and I wasn’t sure how this could maintain the midst of COVID-19.
Due to the potential risk of COVID-19, additional cleaning standards beyond general cleaning practices. Since the pandemic, MGM Resorts has partnered with Cue, CLEAR and Impact Health and has been working closely with this team of experts to create a detailed and comprehensive seven-point safety plan: Convene With Confidence. From increasing cleaning schedules of common areas—both public and behind-the-scenes—to paying special attention to high-contact areas (e.g., doorknobs, food contact surfaces, etc.), the Convene With Confidence protocols helped ensure the health and safety of all guests and employees.
I was thrilled with an amazing experience, and reassured by the fact that safety was at the forefront of MGM Resorts’ planning. Below are some key takeaways from my trip.
Keep Communication Active & Frequent
Communication about expectations is so helpful—and as you can guess, very important. And the more you’re able to provide, the more appreciative your attendee will be.
Before my flight, I received detailed information from my airline about what to expect at the airport and while in the air.
Signage Can’t Be Overdone
With so many new rules and guidelines being thrown our way every week, having a reminder or two about the ways to stay safe that don’t involve being guilted by the staff is great. That’s where ample signage can have huge success.
Upon arrival, I was greeted with a sign that read, “Cover your poker face” at the airport.
Reminders throughout the airport and hotels were everywhere as well as plentiful hand sanitation stations. Masks are required in hotels and also outside on the Las Vegas Strip. If you don’t have a mask on, you aren’t getting in. (In case you somehow forget, this is Vegas—there’s security and/or cameras at every entrance.
Allow Health & Safety Protocols to Evolve With New Information
MGM Resort’s Convene With Confidence plan is a crucial element for safely getting back to business. The plan originally rolled with the resort’s safety and sanitation protocols and has been continually enhanced since its rollout. Now with the help of MGM properties, group guests can do a health screening at the start of each day by answering a series of questions, get their temperature checked or get rapid COVID-19 testing before entering the meeting space—essentially creating a “bubble” for anyone attending the meeting.
Group business is crucial to the success of Las Vegas as a meetings destination. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak had just increased the group capacity to 250 guests the week I arrived. He is expected to re-evaluate every 14 days and increase capacities if the state doesn’t see an uptick in positivity rate. Occupancy levels during the week are trending around 30% while on the weekends they rise close to 70%. Getting groups back to the Strip during the weekdays has never been so important.
Get Creative & Adapt When You Can
As with any trip to Las Vegas, we ate a lot and I was blown away at how well thought-out each dining experience was. It is clear that hotels have had to react quickly to a new way of doing things. And lessons learned throughout this experience will last well beyond the pandemic. For example, the breakout rooms were set to manage traffic flow with one way directional to prevent any unnecessary artery clogs. Place cards were also set up at each table with seats properly distanced from each other.
One of the things I was most interested to see were the food presentation. The days of buffets feel almost gone, so what might replace it? Of course, MGM Resorts did not disappoint. From individual acai bowls in the center of the table at breakfast and sushi displayed suspended in an aquarium to individual hors d’oeuvres served in an old fashioned lock box, the creativity the food and beverage teams came up with to limit interaction amongst guests was impressive.
Learn How to Mitigate Health Risks
As we learn more about COVID-19, knowing how to evaluate and manage risk is essential for event planners to navigate uncertainty and keep attendees safe. For events to resume in a safe way, planners will be required to have rigorous plans to prevent, detect and respond to potential outbreaks. Download our white paper to learn more.