Pandemic Meeting & Event Design Certificate

In Partnership With:  

Course Overview

While risk has always been a part of our events, the novel coronavirus pandemic has tested all assumptions we have made on risk planning as an industry. As events start to come back into live formats, rethinking the on-site event strategy and design is critical not only to surviving in the short-term but creating a sustainable model for the future.

In partnership with MPI, this brand new and timely course will assess the current environment and map new ways to prepare your event strategy, design, execution, and evaluation – no matter what comes next. From risk management to venue protocols; contract clauses to user experience; food and beverage to marketing, we cover the areas most impacted by the pandemic to help you develop and design well-informed, future-forward events.


  • Participants will be able to construct an elevated event strategy that meets the needs of events in a post/pandemic environment.
  • Participants will be able to implement resources for safer event design.
  • Participants will be able to execute research-informed event strategies.
  • Participants will discover event tactics to deploy at their events to assist in risk reduction.
  • Participants will be able to distinguish event sites that meet their risk mitigation needs.

    Scroll down to see more details including the weekly outline.


    The Event Leadership Institute understands the urgency and tremendous amount of pressure planners are facing to understand and adapt to the constantly changing pandemic industry situation.

    To address this need, this course includes bonus resources:

    • Weekly live scheduled online class meetings. Join instructor Kevin White to discuss real-time updates, ask pressing questions, and hear from industry experts. (If you can’t make a live class, don’t stress! All are recorded and available for viewing at your schedule.)
    • A peer-based community forum to exchange ideas, network, and communicate with other learners to support each other during this challenging time.
    • Access to continual course updates. As the events industry experiences a seismic shift, stay current with new course material releases featuring the latest event-related pandemic information and insights.


    Event Leadership Institute has been approved by the Events Industry Council (EIC) as a Preferred Provider of continuing education courses, including the COVID-19 Event Strategy & Design Certificate course, which qualifies for CMP continuing education credit. Determination of continuing education credit eligibility or Preferred Provider status does not imply EIC’s endorsement or assessment of education quality.

    Course Start Date:
    January 19, 2021

    Included: Live Q&A class meetings, access to continual course updates, and a class community forum to support each other during this difficult time. See important note below for details.

    Live Calls: Calls start January 21 and run every Thursday at 1pm PT / 4pm ET until the last week of the course. (If you’re unable to attend, recordings will be provided.)

    Length: 6 Weeks Online

    Instructor: Kevin White

    CMP Hrs: 20 

    Course Cost: $695 USD (Payment plans available. Click “Register Now” for details)

    ELI & MPI Members Save 20%! Price: $556 USD*

    Proctored final exam is included. There are no additional fees for application or final exam.

    Not yet an ELI member? Sign up today for only $25/month to gain access to over 180 on-demand video courses, interviews & more, plus save 20% on this and other multi-week professional development courses! CLICK HERE to learn more and sign up!

    * Click “Register Now” to check availability and deadlines. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

    Learn From An Industry Expert

    Instructor | Kevin White is the head of the Boston-based, award-winning experiential event agency XPL. He has been working with global organizations on their marketing and development efforts for nearly a quarter century. As veterans of the experiential industry, Kevin and his team of producers have helped these organizations to develop strategies for their target audiences, assess communication plans to deliver their messaging and then implement development events that engage, strengthen and energize groups.

    Clients have brought XPL’s production skill to bear on five continents. Those 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 is a certified COVID-19 Compliance Officer, 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.

    When not working on client projects, Kevin has been a professor at NYU and head of content development for the Event Leadership Institute. He is currently working on his first book on innovation in experiential design and recently launched a series of entrepreneurial-based retreats around the world under the brand The Table.

    Week 1 : Developing A New Event Strategy

    • Assess current pandemic guidance & best practices
    • Approach strategy with intentional purpose
    • Understand methods to change and adapt event strategies to meet evolving needs
    • Know key differences of online and on site outcomes
    • Cultivate a new understanding of multi-faceted event audiences
    • Examine fixed & growth mindset mentalities for event professionals

    Week 2 : Project Oversight & Risk Management

    • Develop & monitor an event SOAR (Strengths, Opportunities, Actions, Results) analysis
    • Navigate new financials & timelines for a COVID supply chain
    • Develop a duty of care philosophy
    • Identify your new risk landscape
    • Implement a risk assessment tool to inform project planning
    • Understand insurance coverage parameters and contractual clauses

    Week 3 : Design Formats

    • Explore the human element of experiential design
    • Reset success metrics for event outcomes
    • Cultivate audience engagement and current safety guideline synergy
    • Identify movement patterns to keep crowd flow safe
    • Develop a low risk event schedule
    • Review spatial design options for risk reduction

    Week 4 : Site Selection & Evaluation

    • Establish guidelines for location and venue selection
    • Evaluate venues for suitability & protocol guidelines
    • Conduct safe & thorough site inspections
    • Develop an updated site selection checklist
    • Review indoor vs. outdoor venue options for feasibility & risk reduction

    Week 5 : Attendee Experience & Safety

    • Develop, execute & monitor an attendee duty of care plan
    • Explore risk-reduced engagement formats including contactless and distanced experiences
    • Prepare event teams & vendors to manage guest expectations
    • Develop a robust event communications plan

    Week 6 : Onsite Event Standards & Response Plans

    • Establish guidelines and enforcement protocols for various event elements
    • Training on-site event teams & vendors to mitigate event risk
    • Create operating procedures for non-compliant attendees


    Assessments & Grading

    • Forum posts (completed, and quality)
    • Weekly quizzes (80% pass required for each. You can take each quiz up to three times)
    • Virtually Proctored Final Exam (with minimum pass at 75%)

    Minimum course passing grade: 75%

    Earn Your Digital Credential

    After you’ve successfully completed the course and final exam, you’ll be awarded your very own ELI Digital Credential showcasing your certification in COVID-19 Event Strategy & Design. A Digital Credential from ELI shows employers and potential clients that you’ve received the education and training necessary for success in the exciting field of event planning.

    You can display your digital credential on your LinkedIn, social media profiles, website, email signature, and any other places online you want to highlight your expertise.

    What students say about ELI certificate courses

    “This class is a must-do for anyone involved in planning, supporting, or executing online/digital events. Even if you are an expert in your field, you will discover areas where you can grow and bring value to your future events.”

    Lisa Armstrong


    “This extensive course explained every question I had, gave loads of great ideas to implement, and given me real life tools to use to exceed the expectations of any of my clients who are shifting from a live to a virtual event. This course was WELL worth the time and money for my own knowledge, as well as my company’s growth and need to evolve during this time.”

    Nicole Tusa

    Event Management & Logistics, NOCCI

    “Never have I attended classes in the morning and actually put to work what I learned that same day.

    Jan Aument

    Good Plan Jan

    “Event Leadership Institute fosters great community among meetings & events planners and producers. The access to top professionals in the field and the opportunity to bond and collaborate with hundreds of colleagues was invaluable.”

    Ernie Kapanke

    Studio 5x5

    “In an industry that has evolved practically overnight, ELI’s courses are helpful to event professionals at any level of experience and provides opportunities for learning and networking. The price of this course is a small investment in the future of events.”

    Emily Olson

    Arrow Event Management

    The Event Leadership Institute stands behind all of its content. If you feel you didn’t learn what you expected to in this course, just let us know within 30 days of your last lesson and we’ll give you a full refund. Click here to view our refund policy and full terms & conditions.

    How does the course work?

    Participants will log into our private Learning Management System, where each week approximately 2 hours of new lesson content will be released. Lesson content will usually be in video format, broken into digestible chapters of approximately 5-10 minutes each, and may be supplemented with PDFs or links to external articles. The lessons may be viewed at any time once they are released, and you can complete the lesson videos at your own pace. Short quizzes and assignments may be given to help reinforce learning outcomes.

    What if I’m busy one week and can’t get to the material?

    At the end of this 6 week online course, we provide participants an additional four weeks to catch up if they were unavailable for any portion of the course (hey, we know planners are busy).

    When/how can I contact the instructor during the course?

    The instructor will be available to answer questions and provide feedback at set times each week. Outside of those hours, the instructor will make every effort to respond to emails within two business days. (Keep in mind our instructors are subject matter experts who are actively working on events.)

    Tell me about your learning guarantee?

    The Event Leadership Institute stands behind all of its content. If you feel you didn’t learn what you expected to in this course, just let us know within 30 days of the final lesson and we’ll give you a full refund.



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