Keynote Speakers, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Conferences

This page was last updated on March 16, 2020. We will update information as it changes. For more frequent updates, go to the CDC page on Coronavirus.

Due to the current status of COVID-19 (coronavirus) and bans on travel, the event industry has been impacted. Many states have cancelled events of people 50 or larger, while others allow events up to 100-250 people with social distancing. Many conferences have opted to go virtual or use webinars.

If your event has been postponed or cancelled, our team is here to help you work through it. We are happy to assist in planning alternative forms of speaking engagements, such as webinar sessions. BigSpeak understands that this is an adverse time for many of our partners. We want you to know that we are here to support you however we can even if the booking isn’t with us, we’re here to help. 

Below we have outlined information on COVID-19, the latest updates from the CDC and World Health Organization, as well as some tips on best ways to ensure safety for yourself and those around you if you are still traveling. 

What is coronavirus and COVID-19?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness (similar to the flu) that can spread from person to person and from animals to humans

What is your risk?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed the United States in its medium risk category known as “sustained community transmission.”  The CDC recommends that older adults or those who have chronic medical conditions consider postponing travel to highly impacted destinations

What are the virus symptoms?

Similar to the flu, the symptoms range from mild to severe. The following may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

Common symptoms

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue

Additional symptoms

  • Congestion
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea

What are not symptoms 

  • Sneezing
  • Chills
  • Vomiting 
  • Swollen and puffy eyelids
  • Itchy eyes, nose & throat

How can you prevent the spread of coronavirus?

The CDC recommends the following: 

  • Avoid contact with people who have the Coronavirus.
  • Stay home when you’re sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Throw away soiled tissues.
  • Wear a facemask if you have symptoms to prevent the spread of the illness. If you are not sick, there is no need to wear one, and you will use up resources for caregivers and the actually ill (will want to reword to be softer but important to include I think) 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t share personal items such as eating utensils.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces in your home and workspace, such as countertops, keyboards and doorknobs.

If your live event cannot take place, consider going virtual.

You can still reach large audiences with the virtual technology available today. There are many services that allow you to host keynote speeches, training programs, or webinar series. Going virtual can even come with added benefits such as:

  • Reducing costs on travel and event space rentals.
  • Collecting precise analytics on your audience. Know exactly who attended, how long they stayed and what content they engaged with the most. 
  • Using inbound data to create more targeted marketing material. 
  • Being able to reach people from the comfort of your own space. 

For guidance on selecting which service to use, Check out our article on comparing webinar systems

Do you still have questions?

If you have concerns about an upcoming event or anything you might book or attend in the future, please reach out and we will help you navigate any challenges.

General Resources

Rolling Updates on COVID-19

CDC Information for Travel

The National Law Review on Force Majeure Provisions

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