A Conversation with Convene: Venue Considerations for Pandemic Events

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In this on-demand course, Kevin White from the Event Leadership Institute chats with Convene’s Kevin Huang, Director, Customer Operations, and Derek Damon, Head of Field Operations about attendee psychology, the role of technology, and key process learnings from in-person events since the pandemic began.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the role of both physical safety and attendee psychology to help guests feel safe to attend
  • The important role of a social contract for all involved
  • Standards and expectations for safe event design
  • Integrating technology both on-site for in-person attendees and online for remote attendees to streamline the event experience
  • Key learnings to-date around surface sanitization to PPE and social distancing to HVAC and air filtration 

Course Information

Estimated Time: 20 mins

CMP Credit Hours:

This on-demand course is just the beginning to re-evaluate, re-think, prepare modified on-site event strategy, design, execution, and evaluation. We’ve developed Pandemic Meeting & Event Design, an entire online certificate course — eligible for 20 CMP hours too! — designed to help planners develop and design well-informed, future-forward events. Develop a clear thought process to find the answers for your organization, clients, and attendees in our next course starting soon!

Kevin White, CSEP

Kevin has been a storyteller his entire life. That love of capturing attention and engaging people is what brought him to work with global organizations on their marketing and development efforts for nearly a quarter-century.

In 2011 he founded XPL, an award-winning experiential agency that delivers bold, powerful live events that transform audiences around the world. Clients include institutions such as Harvard Business School, non-profits such as The Special Olympics, governmental units such as the US Department of State, and corporations such as Bugatti. Each brings a diverse set of needs that they entrust Kevin and his team to fulfill.

In addition to serving as an instructor for several Event Leadership Institute professional development courses —including Pandemic Meeting & Event Design and Pandemic On-Site Protocol Training — Kevin has undergone training from the World Health Organization (WHO) on mass gatherings and has also received the Event Safety Access certification from the Event Safety Alliance.

Kevin’s commitment to his industry is demonstrated by his willingness to give back. He has been a professor at New York University and was selected by his peers to serve as the international president of the International Live Events Association (ILEA) in 2014-1015. He is currently working on his first book on innovation in experiential design and recently launched a series of entrepreneurial-based retreats worldwide under the brand, The Table.

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Kevin Huang

Kevin oversees the event planning and customer support teams, and is focused on delivering and innovating customer experiences across all Convene products. Kevin joined Convene as a Production Manager in 2013, and most recently led Convene’s lower Manhattan property operations. Prior to that, he was the Catering Sales Manager at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from The University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Derek Damon

Derek oversees all of the physical facilities across Convene’s portfolio, focused on the customer experience within our Meetings, Workplace and amenity offerings. Derek joined Convene as Director of Hospitality in 2016, focusing on building out the companies F&B services and customer journey. Prior to that, he was the Hotel Manager at Loews Hotels and Resorts, which he was responsible for the re-opening of the Loews Regency in NYC.

Derek holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Colorado College.

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