While the threat of the pandemic isn’t completely behind us, many advising firms and their wholesalers are eager to find ways to safely resume in-person meetings. As you start to plan out future CE events, safety needs to be a top priority. Here are some things that organizations should consider when planning for a return to classroom CE events.
Consider Health Guidelines
Each state and county may have their own policies on masks, social distancing, max capacities, etc., make sure you are prepared to meet all requirements prior to scheduling your in-person CE events. The best source for information on in-person event safety is the CDC. They are continuously releasing new information and guidelines to help everyone stay safe.
Pick the Right Venue
In the past, picking a small conference room or restaurant event space may have been appropriate for CE events, but today’s meetings will require additional space for social distancing. Be aware of how many advisors are on your guest list and choose a space large enough to accommodate all of them safely.
Communicate Safety Measures
Whether you choose to require masks or not, make sure you clearly state the policy in your invite. By letting advisors know what your mask policy will be, they can decide ahead of time whether they feel comfortable enough to attend. Once at the event, it’s important to effectively communicate your safety measures. Be sure to include signage that indicates what the mask policy is, where attendees can find hand sanitizer or wash their hands, and which seats are available to allow for social distancing.
First, let’s acknowledge the reality of what in-person events will look like, at least immediately. There may be fewer attendees than you remember. If you had an average attendance rate of 20 people/event pre-pandemic, it’s very possible that this number might be cut in half as in-person events return. Be realistic with your time, resources, and ROI.
Don’t Isolate your Audience
Not everyone will feel comfortable going back to in-person events right away, and that’s okay. Maybe your company will want to take a hybrid approach with a virtual component, just at first. This is where Super CE is a really great option. The majority of the training can/will be taken in a self-study format, whereas the review session, preparing them to pass the exam, can be in-person. That way, you get the best of both worlds. To learn more about how Quest CE’s Super CE offering can help your firm integrate back into in-person CE events, click here.
Give Advisors a Reason to Join You
Another reality you must face: Even a highly interactive live event needs a compelling reason to get people in the door — especially today. Relevance is the watchword here. Since advisors may be limiting the number of events they go to, they’re going to prioritize events most relevant to their interests. It’s up to you to give people a reason to come. Provide an experience that’s unattainable virtually. Focus on connection, interaction, and participation. And maybe most importantly, assure attendees they’ll get all these things safely.
The long-awaited and return of in-person CE events is just around the corner. By considering each of these best practices, your organization can assure a safe, and successful CE event. To learn how Quest CE can help your firm begin planning for a return to in-person CE events, click here.