The Canadian meeting and events industry is getting ready for its comeback, and the Palais des congrès de Montréal is ready to lead the pack. Recently, the Montreal venue revealed the COVID-19 safety measure its team is putting in place in advance of its reopening. They’ve introduced PROGRESS, the Palais Reopening Operating Guide to Running Events with Safety Standards.
“Although gatherings have been put on hold because of COVID-19, our teams at the Palais have been working non-stop so you could continue to benefit from their expertise in order to foster returning to business swiftly, responsibly and with renewed purpose,” the venue states in its Palais’ website.
The Palais’ new health and safety measures align with the guidelines put forward by the province’s public health institute, as well as recommendations put forward by the Government of Quebec itself. They include a host of cleaning, social distancing, and “touchless interaction” initiatives to mitigate the risks of infections among meeting and event attendees. Highlights of the plan include:
A secure, safe greeting: The Palais is implementing a centralized system for all events that will facilitate virtually all aspects of the welcoming and registration process. This system will be offered free of charge to meeting planners and help ensure visitors are welcomed and well-informed on all event procedures from the moment they arrive. In addition to this, the Palais staff involved in the greeting process are mandated to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and be trained to use them effectively.
A “touch-free” experience: From online registration and ticketing, contact-free payment options, and protective screens throughout the facility, the Palais is going lengths to reduce the many “touchpoints” within the traditional event process.
Cleanliness above all: Beyond undergoing a thorough, top-to-bottom cleaning and disinfection before reopening its doors, the Palais is making sure its cleaning professionals are trained on the latest COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and equipped to carry them out. Additionally, the Palais’ is instigating a more rigorous process for disinfecting all event space surfaces daily, using the hospital-grade cleaners and the ByoPlanet certified electric spray system. Guests will also have access to hydroalcoholic gel dispensers at all room entrances and throughout the venue.
New procedures and solutions: Heightened health and safety concerns come with new event logistics. With this in mind, the Palais will ensure rooms are set up to meet social distancing measures prior to each event and implement new load-in and load-out procedures and touchless technologies throughout the facility. Moreover, the venue is working with its partners Encore and GES to offer hybrid event solutions. Hybrid events are both live and virtual. They are physical events that also incorporate virtual online components. They give audiences the option of participating live in-person, or online via the internet.
Revamped food and beverage: Although buffet options will be put on hold for the time being, the Palais’ kitchen will be as active as ever and following Ecolab’s strict Ecosure food safety and public health standards. Its culinary partners at Capital Catering will also be refreshing its menus to adhere to new guidelines (while staying as appetizing as ever), and all food and beverage procedures will continue to be reviewed and improved (if required) by public health experts associated with the ITHQ hospitality management institute.
Guest communication: The Palais knows that the success of its COVID-19 measures relies on its guests. To that end, the venue plans to send pre-event packages to event planners detailing all of its health and safety protocols, and new signage and communications will be incorporated to keep health and safety top of mind throughout the facility. As always, Palais staff will also be on constant watch for emerging risks.
It’s a new day for the meeting and event community. And as the Palais moves ahead with its reopening plans, it is leaving no stone unturned in its mission to provide a safe, clean, and engaging place to meet.
“Since the situation is constantly evolving, we will continue to optimize our guide and measures so they are always in line with governmental directives and public agency recommendations,” says [rep], adding, “We are counting on your cooperation and thank you for your understanding during these uncertain times.”
Learn more about the Palais des congrès de Montréal safe reopening approach.