More and more of our clients are expressing interest in in-person meetings with agencies during agency searches and reviews. And certainly, agencies are eager to meet in person as well.
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that 36% of workers are back in New York City offices. Some workers are happy to work from home while others want to be in the office with colleagues. Many questions surround these decisions.
We’ve been providing guidance to our clients and to the agencies and have summarized our tips here.
Nine Questions to Ask About COVID Practices for In-Person Review Meetings
The media attention devoted to quarterback Aaron Rogers saying he was immunized but tested positive for COVID19 serves as an important lesson. Are we, or aren’t we? No one wants to be associated with spreading COVID to teammates, co-workers, clients or agency partners.
Both the client and the agency should address these questions:
1. Are all in-person meeting attendees — including AV staff members, receptionists, catering team members — vaccinated (rather than immunized)?
2. Do visitors need to show proof of vaccination or self-attestation? If self-attestation, distribute the form several days prior.
3. Are negative COVID tests required? If yes, will the meeting host provide them and what’s the procedure?
4. What is the mask policy?
5. What are the social distancing practices?
6. Is hand sanitizer available at entry doors?
7. What kind of air filtration does the office have?
8. Is the practice elbow bumps or toe taps rather than handshakes?
9. What percentage of the office is occupied?
We are all used to similar questions at restaurants, retailers, health clubs, theaters and certainly at airports. If you’ve travelled internationally, you are well-versed in what to expect and how to prepare.
Virtually every agency leader along with most of our clients find hybrid meetings more challenging.
Here are five tips for hybrid reviews:
1. Who’s in person and who’s on screen — choose carefully because the people in the room, rather than on screen, will be the focus.
2. Set up — ensure you have a set up that allows easy viewing for participants on the screen and live participants to see the content.
3. Technology — what “worked” when all were in-person or all were on screen doesn’t work well for hybrid. Invest in conducive technology — there are many good systems that can make your office work.
4. Treat all equally — if you let one group come in person, you have to let others come in person.
5. Testing — if your organization tests for COVID and an employee reports a positive test for a family member, and that employee was in proximity to other team members who are going to travel, you have to quarantine and pass on the in-person session.
A highly connected Industry leader, Joanne Davis is a global keynote speaker and an expert in client-agency relationships. Her strengths include implementing agency models and processes for agency search and selection, compensation, client-agency training, and optimization, to enhance organizational communication and collaboration. Joanne helps clients find, evaluate, start new and maintain existing relationships with agencies. As a super connector, Joanne utilizes her vast network of clients to connect people in order to start and share meaningful conversations that build the foundation for strong relationships.
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