A Conversation with Convene: Venue Considerations for Pandemic Events


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 White has been a storyteller his entire life. That love of capturing attention and engaging people is what brought him to a decades-long career in experiential design. In 2011 he founded XPL, a boundary-pushing 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.

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 currently teaches event students through the Event Leadership Institute and has been a professor at New York University. He was selected by his peers to serve as international president of the International Live Events Association (ILEA). He has a penchant for travel, is incredibly loud and loves to witness great stories.

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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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