Current updates on association response to the global COVID-19 crisis, along with a roundup of conference, travel, and business news and information.

CDC GATHERING GUIDELINES

Weeks after the World Health Organization shared its recommendations for mass gatherings, the U.S.-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now offering the same.

The principles set out in the document, released last week, are not intended to usurp existing state or local guidelines, but offer advice on what kinds of events carry risk. The least risky events are virtual, per the CDC guidelines; more risky are small outdoor, local gatherings; riskier still are medium-sized gatherings in which social distancing is followed; most risky are large gatherings in which social distancing isn’t followed and attendees are not local.

“Organizers should continue to assess, based on current conditions, whether to postpone, cancel, or significantly reduce the number of attendees for gatherings,” the guidelines state.

The guide also highlights healthy behaviors that events should encourage to reduce spread, suggestions to keep venues clean, strategies to limit visitors or attendees to maintain healthy operations, and what steps organizers should take if someone gets sick at an event.

“The guideline is really for any type of gathering, whether it’s the backyard barbecue or something larger, and it’s not intended to endorse any particular type of event,” said Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, in comments to The New York Times.

RECENT HEADLINES

How to Do Performance Reviews—Remotely (Harvard Business Review, 06/15/20) “You may have conducted hundreds of performance reviews over the course of your career, but in the era of COVID-19 everything is different. You and your team have been working remotely for months now in an extremely difficult situation. How do you begin to evaluate your employees’ performance at such a challenging time? How much should you consider the impact of COVID-19 on your assessment? And how do you make sure you’re fair-minded given everyone’s different circumstances?”

3 Months in, How COVID-19 Has Permanently Changed Marketing (Marketing Dive, 06/15/20) “Still, as things start to reopen, brands are returning to a world where almost all facets of business have been fundamentally reset, including how they engage consumers. ‘What COVID did is force a lot of marketers to step back and rethink relationships with consumers,’ Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), told Marketing Dive in a phone interview. ‘There was an amazing turnaround in marketing messaging that took place. Our analysis has shown that the relationship between consumers and brands has, in fact, strengthened.’”

There’s a Key Way to Curb the Spread of COVID-19. But No One Is Talking About It (Fast Company, 06/15/20) “Scientists now concur that COVID-19 spreads primarily in droplets through the air—be it from coughing or just talking—so public health officials recommend that people wear masks and face shields, and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. But many researchers believe that these guidelines don’t go far enough. To truly help protect people from transmitting COVID-19, we need to fix the air we breathe. Over the past months, Fast Company has connected with many experts on the topic of air quality and circulation. They’ve offered a variety of best practices for everyone, from restaurant owners to CEOs to families, to consider. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.”