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What Do Destination Management Companies Do?

What is a destination management company? What is it that such an entity does? More commonly called DMC, this is a specialized company that offers specific professional travel services. In simple terms, some refer to it as a travel agency, but that’s a simplification of what a DMC is. If you’ve never heard of a DMC before or aren’t quite sure what they do, here you’ll get the opportunity to learn about this business. What do destination management companies do? Let’s attempt to answer that question.

What is a Destination Management Company?

A destination management company or DMC is a third-party company that an individual or group hires for their professional services in planning and implementing out-of-town event programs and activities, services, resources, and expertise. A DMC is valued for its extensive knowledge of the local area, professional relationships with local entities, and local resources that clients can depend on to get their activity, event, or project accomplished.

 

Who Seek The Services of a DMC?

A DMC can be hired by an individual, corporation, or event planner whose event will take place outside. The reason for hiring a DMC, which can be seen as a local expert planner includes knowing the best facilities, services, and businesses that can match your needs and budget; their understanding of local cultural norms, knowing where to find the best entertainment-specific and food-specific spots, and the top routes to get to particular locations/destination in the locale where you intend on visiting. 

 

Specifics of What a DMC Does

As a specialized consultant, DMC provides services that are related to all aspects of out-of-town event/activity planning. Services that the DMC offers include:

  • Program Design: Covers venue selection and booking, organizing event activities and projects, and decor could also be included.
  • Logistics Management: Involves creating an event timeline and schedule, transportation coordination, guest arrivals, and departures coordination may be a part of the package.
  • Supplier Management: Includes selecting vendors and negotiating supplier prices for preferential rates
  • Accounting: Services cover auditing and vendor payment, and providing clients with a detailed accounting of the process

Other services may include corporate event planning, conference or meeting, hotel accommodations, and coordinating meals and local activities.  

 

Hiring a DMC in Boston

A DMC can do the heavy lifting for you when it comes to planning and coordinating an event. At Art of the Event, we can offer you a range of services that can help make your event a smooth and successful one. Contact us and let’s be the specialized consultant that will help make your event perfect! Give us a call at 781-670-9292 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Tips for Hosting a Successful Virtual Event

The current reality is that many events, from business conferences to concerts, have been canceled from in-person and moved online. Virtual events are now commonplace and also important because of the intended goal behind them. The success of a virtual event is important to the host. How does one host a successful virtual event? Here are some useful tips that could help you with hosting your next virtual event.

Establish a Game Plan to Guide You

Before your virtual event can take form, you have to come up with a solid strategy. That begins with a clearly established goal and event concept. Start your planning early, whether the event is large or small. Think about the experience that you want your guests to have, how you want to present the event, be it live or on-demand, the time to put on the event, how you’ll promote it, etc. Put careful thought into what you want to achieve with your event and how you’ll go about it. Put your plan on paper first and let that be your guide.

Make Sure Your Timing is Perfect

Timing is everything no matter the event that you are hosting. Choosing the right date and time for your virtual event is crucial no matter the platform you’ll be using. A great turnout can make an event special, so do your homework and ensure that there are no other events that your potential guests may also be interested in attending on the date you have in mind. If your event will not only be for locals, keep time zone in mind and pick a time that works best for most guests. It’s a good idea to send out a poll on Facebook, for example, with the goal of identifying the preferred event date.

Put Effort into Promoting the event

The importance of promoting your virtual event cannot be understated. You need to have a great incentive that can draw attendees and be sure to highlight that incentive. If it’s a networking opportunity or a keynote speaker, the selling point should be efficiently promoted. Make use of the different platforms to share details regarding the event, like social media(Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and email. A fun thing to do is an event countdown that you can create on your IG. Don’t forget to also hashtag the event. Facebook is a great platform to create an event page with all the detail. You want to keep reminding people that the event is happening, keeping them engaged with pre-event promotion. You not only want them to sign up but to also be present for the event as well. 

Foster and Encourage Engagement

What’s an event without some degree of engagement? Engagement will be a part of your virtual event if you foster and encourage it. There are a number of ways that you can encourage engagement, including creating mini-quizzes, live-tweeting and commentary, sending shout-outs, and spark conversation between attendees, taking questions, and incorporating surveys. It takes a lot of effort to keep an online audience engaged but it can be done. Keep the content interesting and exciting, and make use of interactive and fun features while live streaming.

Contact My Safe Meeting in Boston

For your next virtual event, let My Safe Meeting help you to make it a smashing success. We have the tools that you need to host an unforgettable online event. Don’t hesitate to contact us and let us help make your dream virtual event a reality. Give us a call at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Covid Safe Summer (and Fall) Outings

Yes, you can throw a safe Summer (and Fall) Outing for your employees and their families!  It just takes some smart planning, good supplier choices, and extra care.  

Your most important ally is buy-in so begin by making sure you get it from all your stakeholders—your internal clients, your external partners, and your attendees.  Survey those stakeholders to get a bead on how they are feeling about getting together in person.  Ask them if they feel safe now.  If not now, when do they think they might feel safe, and what specific steps could you as a planner do to help?  Be sure to ask them what type of Outing they would prefer in this late Pandemic era.  

Once you’ve established buy-in, you should carefully consider and create your Duty of Care philosophy. This philosophy should be put into writing as this is the template by which you will keep all your stakeholders safe. A Duty of Care statement will communicate your company’s obligation to protect employees, travelers, and other participants from risks. These risks are typically related to injury, sickness, safety, security, health, and travel.  And in our current Covid 19 era, a clear and workable Duty of Care statement is more important than ever.  Write it, hone it, revisit it and, of course, make sure your internal client/s sign off on your most recent version before you distribute it.   

Now it’s time to reach out to your venue and other suppliers!  Your initial consultation with your suppliers will set the tone of your expectations and their responsibilities throughout the span of your planning through your event. Be sure to properly vet all your suppliers to make sure they too will respect your Duty of Care and will enthusiastically sign onto your company’s Covid safe guidelines. Make sure that each team leader is fully prepared to be responsible for their employees’ behavior and safety, too.

Reach out to an Event designer who knows how to plan your outdoor space so that it conforms to your social distancing guidelines.   As the Planner, you are required to adhere to local city and state requirements, but you are well within your rights to go beyond those measures.  For example:  If your local Board of Health requires three feet of space between attendees at the time of your event, you are free to widen that distance to make all your attendees feel safe.  

If existing space allows, having your outing on company premises allows you the most freedom— you can “rule your own roost” as you see fit.  If your team decides to book an outdoor space off-premise, make sure you get buy-in on your Duty of Care and ask your venue to communicate their existing internal safety guidelines and resources.   It’s a good idea to bring your entire team together for a socially distanced walk-through prior to your event to re-enforce the rules with your vendors and discuss alternative plans in case guidelines change as you get closer to your event date.

Along with your standard events team, you will also need a team to administer temperature checks, distribute the proper signage, double-check seating arrangements and regulate your group’s movements for proper distancing.  A Covid or Pandemic Officer’s assistance helps to ensure everyone is safe and, as importantly, everyone FEELS safe throughout your event.   Depending on the size of your outing, you may need to dedicate an entire Covid team to this effort.  Yes, you can use staff volunteers to assist your Covid Officer to reduce costs. 

Be sure to get all staff and crew names and contact information before your event date and use that list to check people in at your event set up for Contact Tracing purposes.  This is another task that can be handled by your Covid Officer if needed.  Bring all your event team’s leads together at the start of your event set up to review your Duty of Care and all of their responsibilities one more time.   Remember: your Duty of Care cannot be communicated too often!!

Your event Designer can arrange your outdoor space to set the tone for distancing by spacing furniture pieces appropriately and demarking walkways that allow free movement without crowding.  They can also help group families in their own “bubbles” by demarking areas for each group.  Picnic-style events are a wonderful option for this effort.  Put your stage in front and set up your families to the front and the sides with plenty of space in between.

There are many touchless options for your foodservice.  A simple boxed lunch works great for daytime casual outings.  If you want a more traditional buffet, you can call each group up separately and have them pick and choose the items they want— to be delivered when ready by your catering staff.  All buffet stations should be outfitted with sneeze guards so be sure your caterer or vendor offers them or rent them on your own.   And don’t forget that technology is your friend!  Apps can help guide your group’s touchless food service.  Your guests can order directly from an app that then signals them when their food is ready for pick up.

Brainstorm and research activities, games, and roving entertainment that doesn’t require close physical contact outside your group bubbles.    If you choose to bring in games requiring touch, make sure you have plenty of sanitizer on tap and someone available to wipe down equipment between groups. 

Consult with your MC or DJ to help you entertain safely.  He or she can lead group activities families can do in their own “bubbles” and s/he can also remind people to continue to play it safe as your event progresses.  

Speaking of playing it safe, it’s time to talk about alcohol.  If you are thinking of serving alcohol, be sure to carefully consider limits.   Too much alcohol decreases inhibitions and can increase risky behavior so while you want your group to have fun, you also want to make sure they are having fun responsibly!!   Set minimums on free drinks to avoid overconsumption. 

Your event’s lifetime is not over when the last attendee leaves.   Follow up with your event team leads and make sure no one has fallen ill after your event.  Notify attendees to contact you if they or anyone they have been close to displays symptoms or has tested positive for Covid 19.  If anyone does, immediately contact your Covid officer (if he or she is not the one doing the follow-ups) who will then take the proper steps needed to ensure the rest of your team and your attendees are kept safe!

With special attention paid to local guidelines and your event team’s unwavering commitment to a robust and workable Duty of Care philosophy, you and your team can enjoy summer and fall outings together once more.  If you are interested in learning more contact us at Art of the Event! Give us a call today at 781-670-9292. Cheers!!

The Future is Hybrid

 

There has been a nonstop bridging of the virtual and online world. The reality is that every day something new is in development while something has already made its way into our lives. Humans will always look for the “shortest way from point A to point B,” which paves the way for innovation.

However, we are not talking about some “techy” gadget or a new social media platform. In fact, we are talking about something that reflects the necessity of today’s modern tech-hungry world during the global pandemic.

Hybrid Events, what are they?

An event at a physical venue with online viewers leads to what many people may call a “hybrid” event. This simply entails an event organizer utilizing many tools and facilities at their disposal to make the event more accessible. Therefore, they allow the audience to access the event regardless of their location.

Benefits of Hybrid Events

Hybrid events offer a multitude of benefits over regular events, especially during the current days of the pandemic.  Here are some of the best advantages that they offer.

  • Travel Costs Reduction

Your audience might want to experience your event through the comfort of their house. Maybe because they are ill or due to some other health conditions, they cannot travel. Or perhaps, their corporate travel spending doesn’t allow them.

  • Vast Audience Reach

You can easily guess how this is possible, right? Well, this does not imply that you have to split your audience from in-person to online in a “half” manner. In fact, you can increase the number of your attendees, bringing more attention to the event.

  • Engagement Opportunities

The plethora of features available as an online attendee is of paramount importance. Collecting polls, distributing questionnaires, and receiving feedback with comments becomes very easy for the event hosts.

  • Natural and Environmental Concerns

This is an essential point for hybrid events. As the attendees of a hybrid event may increase, the travel costs and pollution from it may not. The increasing online presence also makes hosting an event a limited number of in-person audience members easier.

Misconceptions about Hybrid Events

Do not consider every live streaming from any platform of the internet as a “hybrid event.” Furthermore, it is critical to realize that the priorities of the in-person and online audience should not vary. That is, you should consider all the attendees equally valuable.

Contact Art of the Event in Boston

Do not stop yourself from hosting a hybrid event. Even if you have not heard of it or organized one before, there are ways to go around it. During this global pandemic (COVID-19), it might be the right time to utilize the potential benefits of hybrid events. You not only get to keep your existing customers but gain more as well.

Contact Art of the Event and let us help you organize a wonderful and successful hybrid event for your organization. Give us a call now at 978-670-9292 for further service inquiries.

The Hub and Spoke Method for Larger Events

As we all know, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the event industry. The industry as we know it is no longer—at least for now. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t reinvent and change it for the better! While the last year has been tough, it has led us to explore different approaches to recreate the results that live gatherings offer. 

In order to successfully plan large events during this time, it’s important to utilize both digital and live tools to add real value to our events. Over the next few years, even if planners put together the most amazing events, there will still be some hesitation and fear from attendees. By planning digitally live gatherings we can ease people’s fears and allow them to be able to participate without the need for long-distance travel. The quality of events and how safe they are will be a driving force for success. 

What is the Hub and Spoke Method? 

David Adler has put together a paradigm called the hub and spoke method. Before COVID-19, the goal of most events was to create intimacy in large groups. The hub and spoke method allows for this but in a different way! His idea was that for an event for say 5,000, a planner can break up the event into smaller groups within local venues. These venues would all be connected through A/V so they can interact with one another. The main stage area with the Keynote speakers, etc., would be the Hub- the localized gatherings are the spokes. This method creates the emotion and level of intimacy of a large gathering while keeping attendee numbers within local safety guidelines. 

 

The Basic Elements in the Hub & Spoke Method Network

  • Venues and individuals are connected through virtual “bridges” or A/V and streaming platforms
  • A main “Hub” venue has the primary stage. This can be the venue that presenters and leaders attend
  • Satellite “spoke” locations will enable smaller groups in venues 
  • People attending from home can gather in small groups or individually to attend the event
  • Utilize technology to bring individuals, spokes, and hubs together
  • Utilize spatial computing to connect with virtual attendees
  • Have on-stage presentation synthesizers to interpret key information and relay it to audience members
  • Deploy tools such as emotional recognition technology for speakers and organizers to read the room
  • Have all hubs and spokes offer food and beverage that can be safely delivered to attendees.  
  • Turn hallways into exhibit halls using spatial computing technology that will allow passersby to interact

Adjusting to the new way our industry will work is important as this is how large events will likely continue in the future. Connecting people in smart ways will never go out of style! By utilizing technology, we can change the way we plan events for the better! For more information, contact us today!

Five Elements to Consider When Designing Stages for Online or Hybrid Events 2021

With the rise of online and hybrid events in recent months, one way to keep your audience engaged and interested is by creating a visually exciting virtual event space! We are all used to watching television sets with high production values, and your attendees deserve no less. Here  are a few tips to make your event stand out in the crowd: 

1. Safety First!

Safety precautions are still important to make your hosts and guests feel secure in this pandemic, and masks and distancing on camera signals your responsibility to virtual attendees. Keep your hosts socially distanced in the scene and be sure to enforce Covid-19  protocols before, during, and after your event. 

Some useful guidelines for planning your space: 

Event Planning and Covid-19: Questions and Answers from the CDC 

Massachussetts Saftey Standards and Checklist for Events 

2. Layering Elements

 

 

Make your space appealing by layering graphics, set pieces, and lighting effects. 

By using elements of varying sizes and shapes, you can create depth in stages of any size.  Layer elegant drapery and greenery for that Instagram-ready look or create a modern set with sleek columns, dynamic lighting, and oversized graphics. You can even rig banners, screens, or props to ‘float’ above the stage, giving your presenters plenty of room to move around in a  space that feels unique.

Whatever you choose, make sure to think about the whole space from front to back.

 

 

3. Modular Sets and Prop Rentals 

Why buy when you can rent? Stay within the budget by renting pre-built props, columns, monitors,  desks, and other components. 

Art of the Event has a large warehouse of props, furniture, and more that we use to build sets that can be customized to fit your branding or theme,

 complete with our professional stage design and set-up. Add an immersive feel to your event with faux facades and columns, or rent customizable desks and tables for your presenters to show off your logo and style. Whatever you have in mind, we can make it happen!

 

 

 

 4. Add textures & Patterns

Give the space a tactile look with dimensional elements that create textures and patterns across your stage. Whether you’re adding a soft, welcoming lounge set for your guests, bold patterned lighting effects, or using shapes to draw the viewer’s eye to your presenter, the textures and patterns of your stage set help direct the narrative of your event. 

  • Fabric! From velvety drape backdrops to linen blankets on your lounge set, to stretched canvas for graphics, the fabric is a classic and affordable way to finish the look.
  • Natural wood brings a rustic look that never goes out of style. Pair with metal elements for an industrial feel, or soften it with greenery. 
  • Add florals or succulents to your desk or lounge area. 
  • Illuminate your stage with GOBOs and breakup lighting effects. 
  • Make it modern with clean lines and patterned graphics

    5. Oversized and multiple screens and projections

Give your audience something to look at! Video and moving graphics give you the opportunity to show dynamic, changing content on multiple screens that your presenters can interact with.  This allows you to show a lot of information quickly, or use movement to draw the eye in. 

Whatever style you decide on for your next online or hybrid event, AotE can help! Contact us today!

What Are Sneeze Guards and Do They Actually Work? 

The coronavirus has changed the way we do almost everything in our daily lives. From work to school to grocery shopping and everything in between, we’ve had to rethink everything in order to slow the spread of the virus. One of the many changes you’ve likely noticed are the pieces of thick plastic in front of cash registers at grocery stores and cash stations. Those pieces of plastic are called sneeze guards, but do they actually help slow the spread? 

What Are Sneeze Guards?

A sneezeguard is a large piece of plexiglass or a thick plastic that’s used to create an extra barrier between people. The idea is that the extra layer of protection can catch any droplets that make their way through a mask or offer protection if someone is wearing their mask incorrectly 

Where Can a Sneeze Guard be Used?

Sneezeguards are beneficial in almost any setting you can think of. Some of the most common uses for sneezeguards include:

  • Cash registers – to protect the cashier and the customer
  • Schools – between and around desks to separate students
  • Gyms – between pieces of equipment to limit the spread of bacteria from one machine to another 
  • Doctors offices 
  • Public transportation – sneezeguards can be placed between seats for different patrons and they can be placed around the driver to protect them from exposure to everyone entering or exiting the public transit

Almost any public place you can think of can benefit from the use of sneezeguards. Anywhere where direct contact can occur from one person to another, a sneezeguard can be placed in between them for added protection. 

Do Sneeze Guards Work?

A giant piece of plastic might look silly, but it actually works! Sneezeguards are shown to be effective at catching bacteria and droplets in the air that would otherwise infect the person on the other side of the guard. Masks offer the same type of protection, but sneezeguards in addition to masks significantly lower the risk of transferring bacteria from one person to another. Not everyone is compliant with mask recommendations and some people don’t wear their mask properly, so a sneezeguard offers an extra layer of protection. The sneezeguards should be disinfected regularly and you should avoid touching the guard unless you’re the one cleaning it. After all, the bacteria and droplets just sit on the guard, so who would want to touch that?! 

Purchase Sneeze Guards from My Safe Meeting

Sneezeguards are not required by law in every state, but they are encouraged by the CDC. Reception desks, cashiers, schools, and nearly any area of customer service can benefit from the added layer of protection. Both acrylic and plexiglass make effective sneezeguards. For help purchasing and installing sneezeguards, contact My Safe Meeting today! You can give us a call at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form.

Benefits of No-Touch Hand Sanitizing Stations

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, most people were not so keen on sanitizing stations as a society, despite the regular seasonal flu and other contagious diseases. However, the current pandemic has forced our society to be more conscious of our hygiene and contact with other human beings. In our current world, we all depend on each other to stay safe. As such, sanitizing stations are being installed almost everywhere to protect people. 

Research conducted by experts since the beginning of the pandemic clearly shows that sanitizers dispensed by foot pedals are best for reducing the spread of the virus. A no-touch hand sanitizing station is beneficial in so many ways as we will discuss below:

Thoroughly sanitary

A no-touch hand sanitizing station is the most sanitary way to provide dispensers to a large number of people. People often have germs lingering on their hands, a cumulative of the many surfaces, spaces, and things you touch daily but having a hand sanitizer that is dispensed by a foot pedal ensures the sanitizing station remains clean and safe for use every day.

Disability-friendly

Many sanitizing stations are installed in a way by which disabled people can’t gain access to such a simple service. However, a no-touch hand sanitizing station helps disabled people get access to public hand sanitizers. It also ensures that they are safe, especially because of their vulnerability.

Highly Innovative

Before the pandemic, people did not pay much attention to the use of hand sanitizers. After the Covid-19 protocols were launched, some people have found it difficult to use hand sanitizers as frequently as prescribed. A no-touch hand sanitizing station could serve as a reminder to people that using a hand sanitizer could be as easy as walking on a pavement. 

Easy to install

No touch hand sanitizing stations are easy to install and very economical. Everyone is tired of the periodic lockdowns and almost no physical contact with the outside world. Hence, having a no-touch hand sanitizer at your event or in a public place helps everyone.

Durable

No touch hand sanitizing stations are highly durable and can last for as long as ten years. Usually, they are made of steel which is resistant to harsh conditions. That elongates the lifespan of the station. They are perfect for public use in restaurants, companies, hotels, public restrooms, supermarkets, and malls.

Order No-Touch Hand Sanitizing Stations from My Safe Meeting

In conclusion, no-touch hand sanitizers are another inventive way of keeping the world safe, and you should invest in one. As much as they are needed by business owners, they can also be installed in the home to give guests and family members easy access to the sanitizer. If you need to purchase one, kindly check out My Safe Meeting for the purchase and installment of your quality and safe no-touch hand sanitizers. Give us a call today at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form!

Keeping Your Restaurant Safe During Covid-19

Covid-19 has presented a lot of restaurant owners with many challenges. Whether your restaurant is getting ready to re-open or you’re looking for some extra safety precautions, My Safe Meeting is here to help! Our social distancing products can give restaurant owners some solutions to make sure your restaurant is safe for all your guests and employees. Here are some tips and products we can offer you to help! 

Signage to the Outside of your Restaurant

Make communication with your customers easy by adding outdoor signage to your restaurant. You can post that the restaurant is indeed open, that you offer curbside pickup, and that you offer delivery options as well. You can also use this signage to remind customers to wear their masks and to stay 6 feet apart. By displaying this information outside, potential customers who walk by your restaurant will know everything you’re offering. So whether they choose to go in right away or not, they’ll know the options they have for your restaurant and your policies.

Protective Partitions and Barriers Between Tables

Adding partitions or barriers between tables in your restaurant is a must. This will reduce the spread of germs being circulated in the air. We offer custom booth dividers as well as 4-way dividers for the tables themselves. We also offer sink dividers for your bathroom! We have many options and can help install these for you easily. 

booth divider partition

Standing Divider Walls 

To take the barriers a step further, we also offer standing dividing walls for you to place wherever you think might need some more isolation. These are extremely easy to move around yourself so you can place them wherever you see fit any day. 

standing room divider

No Touch Hand-Sanitizing Station & Banner

It’s a good idea to place hand sanitizing stations in your restaurant’s high trafficked areas. This could include your front door, outside the bathroom, or any other area you see fit. Adding a banner to your sanitizing station can also make it stand out to customers so that they are more likely to use it. It’s easy to just walk by a sanitizer station if it’s just standing alone, but adding a banner will make the area pop and get people’s attention. 

no-touch hand sanitizer

Contact My Safe Meeting in Boston

If you’re interested in any of these products or the many products presented on our website to help with social distancing and keeping your customers safe, contact us! We will give you insight on prices as well as schedule to install these products for you. We’ll help make this process easier for you. Give us a call at 978-267-1080 to inquire!

Can UV Light Kill Covid-19?

We can classify UV light as a form of radiation because its energy level is higher than that of radio waves. However, it is not greater in energy than gamma rays or X-rays.

It is common practice to kill viruses and bacteria with UV light, and recently, many have applied this theory to fight covid-19. To verify the truth in this application, let’s look at some facts first. Three types of UV light exists:

  • UVA light with the lowest energy and you face the most exposure to this in the sun. 
  • UVC light with the most energy, the earth’s ozone absorbs most of this from the sun
  • UVB light comes from the UV light spectrum’s center. It mainly contributes to skin cancers and sunburn.

The AJIC, in its newest study, stated UVC light helps eliminate covid-19 present in liquid culture forms. According to this same study, it is possible to fight off the real virus within 9 minutes of exposure to UVC light.

Another study in the same American Journal states that a particular type of UVC light can destroy 99.7& or Coronavirus in thirty seconds. 

We refer to this form of UVC light are far-UVC light, which is the middle wavelength between 207 and 222 nanometers. The greatest advantage of this type of UVC light is that it manages to kill most germs without harming your eyes and skin. 

Due to this advantage, it is much less hazardous in comparison to other kinds of UVC light. Another study suggests using far-UVC light to kill Covid 229E and OC43, present in the air. These forms of Coronavirus can cause common colds.

From the pooled results the studies provide, researchers conclude that, by applying far-UVC light to current regulatory standards, we could destroy 99.9% of the airborne Coronavirus. This entire process would take approximately twenty-five minutes. Researchers are also of the opinion that these results are pertinent to SARS-CoV-2. 

Judging how the UVC light requires no additional chemicals to activate the Coronavirus, we can use it ideally in disinfectants. For this very reason, manufacturers have come up with special lamps that employ UVC light to kill covid germs present on:

  • Personal protective equipment of medical personnel, such as the N95 masks
  • Operating rooms
  • Medical equipment pieces
  • Surfaces in healthcare settings. 

Thus far, the only drawback that has come to notice is that UVC light needs to come in direct contact with the germ carrier to be effective. Hence, if you use it in an area with a layer of dust, the UVC light will not be as effective as killing germs. 

Contact My Safe Meeting

UVC light effectively kills 99.9% of the Coronavirus, but experts suggest it is best to apply only to healthcare settings. Using it at home comes with certain risks. Reach out to My Safe Meeting with any questions and for more assistance! Give us a call at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form.

Plexiglass Barriers Are Up to Stop the Spread of Viruses – Do They Actually Work? 

In the last 6 months, we’ve seen plexiglass partitions put up everywhere! They’re in grocery stores, reception desks, restaurants, on political debate stages, etc. The thinking is that these barriers will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, do they actually work? While we’ve seen these partitions put up everywhere, we have also continued seeing COVID-19 cases rise. Here is some information we have found. 

Plexiglass Can Prevent Close-Range Transmission

When people are close together in public settings, plexiglass partitions can definitely give you some protection. The partitions will block large droplets that leave your mouth and nose when you talk, cough, or sneeze. However, experts say that even if you are in a setting that has plexiglass partitions, you still need to have a mask on. 

Why isn’t Plexiglass Totally COVID Proof? 

While the plexiglass will shield you and others from large droplets, it won’t shield you from all the particles and germs in the air. It’s simply inevitable that small droplets and particles will make their way into the air and then continue to float around. The partitions aren’t magic, the particles will float around them too. As mentioned above, this is why other precautions are necessary as well such as masks, social distancing, opening doors and windows for more airflow, etc. 

Installing Plexiglass & Barriers

Even though we have found that plexiglass won’t 100% protect one from COVID-19, it is still a valuable and necessary precaution. The more precautions you take the better, right? Here are some of the options we have that we would be more than happy to provide to you and help you install. 

3 Sided Reception Desk Barrier

This barrier can be customized to fit any space you need. We can also customize them to include cut-outs for passing along important information and forms. 

3 sided barrier

Hanging Buffet Sneeze Guards

No matter what type of food facility you run, these sneeze guards are a great way to protect your staff and customers. They can be hung from drop ceilings with light-weight chains. 

buffet hanging plexiglass

Bathroom Sink Dividers

Using the bathroom is something you can’t always avoid in a public setting. These sink dividers will help keep your bathrooms safe and help your customers feel more at ease. 

bathroom sink dividers

 

Contact My Safe Meeting in Boston

Have any questions about our shields and barriers? Don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ll happily inform you of all pricing, installation info, and all the social distancing products we have available. Give us a call today at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form!

Making Your Office Safe to Return After COVID-19

This year, COVID-19 has created an unprecedented impact on the way we work and live. While it seems like vaccines will begin being distributed in the near future, it’s still important for offices to take safety precautions even after the vaccine is distributed.

This blog post will cover the basics when it comes to creating a sanitary and healthy work environment. At My Safe Meeting, we believe that staying safe at work not only means keeping everything clean and sanitary but also having good communication and signage strategies throughout the office. Here are some tips we put together to help guide you through reopening your office space. 

 

Add barriers where possible

If your office doesn’t allow furniture to be moved to separate your employees, consider adding barriers and dividers between employees. My Safe Meeting sells office barriers as pictured below to help create a cubicle-like separation. 

office barriers

Keep your workspace clean

Making sure all the surfaces in your office that multiple people touch throughout the day are constantly cleaned and sanitized is extremely important. Consider adding antibacterial copper film to these areas. Copper film is a safe product and known to continuously eradicate bacteria.

copper disinfectant

Make hand sanitizer easily accessible

It’s important to make sure your employees always have access to hand sanitizer. An easy and safe way to make sure of this is by purchasing a no-touch hand sanitizing station from My Safe Meeting. This sanitizing station features locking mechanisms, high-capacity usage, and branding opportunities. 

no-touch hand sanitizerDisinfect your office every night


Doing this is easy! Install a UVC disinfecting light in your office. When all your employees go home at the end of the day turn on this light to have it disinfect the entire office. Our lights are equipped with a motion sensor so that it will automatically shut off when motion is detected. It’s important that the UVC light is not on when people are around.

UCV Disinfectant lights

Have communication signage


If you have a bigger office space, having communication signage is a must. You want to make sure all your employees know the proper protocols and having signage up to remind them constantly will make sure they remember and follow all the safety rules. At My Safe Meeting, we have the ability to create branded signage so they look great around the office. 

communication signage

Contact My Safe Meeting in Boston


To get any quotes or to schedule an installation for any of our products, contact us today! We’ll work with you to make sure your office has everything it needs to reopen safely and keep employees safe when they return. Give us a call at 978-267-1080 or fill out a contact form on our website!

Where Should I Place Social Distancing Signage?

As business places and public places begin to open up, it is the responsibility of the owners and authorities to enable their visitors to abide by the social distance practices. It is then important to understand how and where to use social distancing signage to help curb the spread of the virus.

Let’s go over specific places you should place social distancing signage and why.

Entrances and exits 

If your business environment has the facilities, designate a separate entrance and exit into your building. This will help to encourage social distancing and also aid traffic flow control. You can also put signs in places to remind people of the need to have physical distance, but you should also be vocal about it.

If the visitors have to go through a temperature check before getting into the building, coordinate the checking in an orderly manner. Some of the signs you can place at entrances and exits include wall signs, arrows to direct, floor tapes, barricades, and many more. 

Waiting areas

The lobby or waiting room is an area where people congregate and can often forget to observe the social distancing rule. This place is a great place to put the signs and labels to remind the people. If you have chairs that are stack together, use seat markers to indicate which seat is available for use and which isn’t. 

Warehouse or distribution centers 

Another place you can put the social distancing signage is the warehouse. Be innovative with the traffic patterns to encourage social distancing and put signs in various places within the facilities. Floor tape, adhesive floor markers, and wall signs will be of great help.

Communal places

You can also put social distancing signage in communal places like the restroom, break rooms, or cafeteria. Put spacing reminders in places where lines will be formed and help encourage hand washing in the restrooms through the use of signs.

Work areas

The employees that work in manufacturing or areas where the cooking is done as in the case of a restaurant too need to be protected. So, to keep out crowding in areas where stocks are located, guidelines need to be put in place.

Floor tapes and signage that stands out in specific parts of the room will also go a long way to help.

Conclusion

Curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus is the responsibility of everyone. Store owners and other business owners should take social distancing seriously. Invest in signage that helps you sensitize your visitors and customers about the dangers of contracting the virus. 

Handbills, wall signs, floor tape, custom signs, and many more will help your cause. My Safe Meeting will help you take care of all the signage your business needs to be vocal about social distancing. The virus has changed your business, and we are here to help all along the way. Contact us today by giving us a call at 978-267-1080 or by filling out a contact form.

Clean Your Air With UVC Air Purification Systems

UVC disinfecting units clean indoor air to protect your employees, students and clients from viruses and other airborne illnesses. These energy-efficient systems safely eliminate viruses, allergens, smoke, dust, odors, pollen and dander, which makes this ideal for shared spaces.

How it Works


Surrounding “dirty” air is drawn into the UV purifier chamber via filters with fans (protected by end caps) on both ends of the unit. The “dirty” air passes through the UV sanitation chamber, where it is treated with UVC light using the two T8 fluorescent lamps. UV lights kill bacteria and viruses by destroying the molecular bonds that hold them together.  Clean sanitized air exits the chamber through a louvered exhaust panel at the bottom and is released back into the environment. This low-maintenance air disinfection process is continuous and quiet.

Tailored Solutions


We distribute several types of UV air purifiers, including forced air systems to mount against walls and in-duct HVAC UV systems to add to your existing HVAC. Both of these solutions are ideal for K-12 schools, colleges, universities and graduate schools, as well as for businesses of all types.

Contact us today to find the best solution for your space.

Stay Safe With Social Distancing Products

Businesses are beginning to open back up and it is important to make sure your business is a safe place for customers. How do you ensure a safe place for your customers? Social distancing products are available to assist. Products such as hand sanitizing stations, room dividers, shields, safety signs, etc. will help make customers feel safe and also increase the amount of business you get. Customers are looking for safe establishments so if your business follows safety protocols, customers are more likely to visit. Here are some of the popular social distancing products that will help you accomplish your business safety goals. 

Safety Shields 

Not everything can be done from a distance so safety shields often come in handy. Safety shields can be used when checking out a customer at a store, serving a customer food, working 1-1 with someone in a classroom, examining people at doctors or nurses offices, etc. These tasks are impossible to do if 6ft apart so safety shields are here to be that barrier to ensure the transaction and encounter happen safely. 

shield between nurse and patient

Hand Sanitizing Stations

Customers often like to take a good look at things before they make a purchase. In order to do that they need to pick up the item. Customers will also need to carry around a cart if they plan on getting multiple items. This all means that customers will be touching things in your business that other customers have most likely touched before. In order to stay safe and keep germs away, hand sanitizing stations are a must. Providing hand sanitizing stations will let customers feel safe when touching things throughout your store. If your business is not a store where people will be touching items, hand sanitizing stations are still encouraged as touching anything other people come in contact with can transfer germs and viruses. 

sanitizing station

These hand sanitizing dispensers are visible and easily accessible. Purchase one to put at the front door of your business so that all incoming and outgoing customers can sanitize their hands to keep safe. 

Safety Signs

People are still getting used to social distancing and making sure they are safe in public settings. By creating safety signs for your business, you can help guide people throughout your store or business in the safest way possible. Safety signs can be stickers for the floor directing customers which way to walk, they can be posters explaining to customers your store rules and health tips, they can be signs on a door to signal which way customers should enter and exit, etc. 

safety signs

Room Dividers

Room dividers are ideal for hotels, restaurants, retail stores, office spaces, airports, public restrooms, etc. Room dividers help businesses who don’t want to sacrifice capacity in order to stay socially distanced. They can be custom made to fit your business aesthetic and fit any area you need them to be placed in. 

room dividers

 

Contact My Safe Meeting

My Safe Meeting is here to provide your business with all of the social distancing products it needs to stay safe and clean during this time. Along with the products listed above, we also have many other products to purchase such as UV lights, antibacterial copper film, UVC charging stations, desk & cubicle extenders, and more! Take a look at all of our products and contact us today for more information such as pricing and installation details. 

 

How To Clean Plexi Glass Acrylic Shields, Sneeze Guards and Dividing Walls

If you have purchased or you are thinking of purchasing plexiglass or acrylic safety products, you should learn how to properly clean them to avoid damage.  Although Plexiglass, also referred to as acrylic or polycarbonate, is physically strong, it scratches easily.  It is also a plastic product, which makes it vulnerable to heat and many chemicals.  Ammonia and alcohol-based products will damage your new shields, sneeze guards, and dividing walls.  Because of this, avoiding all-purpose and glass cleaners is your best bet.

Never rub or wipe your sneeze-guards with dry or abrasive cloths to remove dirt.  Doing so will only push the dirt, food, or other residues further into the glass, leaving them behind with minor scratches.  So how do you clean your plexiglass shields?  It’s easy!  Here is your simple step by step guide:

Examine your plexiglass sneeze-guard.  Is it dusty or is there leftover grime or grease?  When it comes to acrylics, less is more so do what you need to do and no more than that.

If electricity is handy, the best way to begin cleaning your plexiglass divider is with air.  An air compressor or even a humble blow dryer works well but only on the cold or non-heat setting.  The heat will damage your plexiglass!   Beginning at the top left of your sneeze guard, shield or dividing wall, hold your blow dryer at a 45% angle and move down the piece from left to right, and then right to left in a zig-zag pattern until you reach the bottom.  Move to the other side of the unit and repeat.

To wash your plexiglass, dip a microfiber or other non-abrasive cloth into a large pail or bowl of lukewarm water.  Gently rub the acrylic shield from top to bottom, rinsing and rewetting your cloth often to avoid spreading any debris.  When complete,  let the Plexi air dry or gently stroke it with a chamois.

If your plexiglass dividing wall or shield is very dirty and water alone doesn’t do the trick, create your own cleaning solution by adding dish soap to your water.    Turn the cloth over often as you lightly wash the piece.   Rinse with water using a separate soft clean cloth when finished.  If you are cleaning a small sneeze guard or shield, you can rinse the piece directly with water in a shower or large slop sink.  Just make sure you use light water pressure and keep the water lukewarm for the best results.

Even if you use the utmost care in handling and cleaning your acrylic shields, scratches will inevitably occur over time.  You can lessen the appearance of minor scratches by using a small amount of car wax or vaseline applied directly to the scratched area.

If water isn’t available you can invest in a plastic cleaner or you can take a tip from pilots and motorcycle aficionados the world over who have been using Lemon Pledge to clean their plexiglass shields and fill in minor scratches at the same time.  Simply spray on and gently wipe off with your microfiber or non-abrasive clean cloth.

Large food particles stubbornly sticking to booth and table dividers can be a common frustration for restaurant and foodservice owners. If none of the instructions cited above work on this problem,  take a soft bristle toothbrush, wet it with your water and dishwashing soap mixture, and rub it in small circles on the stubborn spot only, checking often to ensure you are not harming your plexiglass.  Rinse with water and a soft cloth. As an added bonus for restauranteurs,  Dawn and other liquid dishwashing detergents also combat grease.

What is UV Light Sanitation and How Does it Work?

Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic people have looked for new and better ways to disinfect their homes, venues, school and workplaces.   Special cleaning agents have been formulated and everyone is now checking the alcohol level in their products  (go for 65% and over, BTW).

With this, new interest has been taken in old technology— UVC or UV-C light irradiation.   Wands, lamps, cabinets and other UVC products seem to be everywhere.   This is a quick synopsis of what UVC light is, how it works, and what products might work for you.

Discovered in the early 1800s, UVC is one of three ranges of UV light, as determined by wavelength.  There is UVA (400-315nm) light which is commonly used in black-lights,  UVB light (315-280nm), which gives us sunburns, and at wavelength 280-100, we find UVC light.

In nature, UVC light is created by the sun but unlike the other two UV wavelengths, it is absorbed entirely by our ozone layer, never reaching the earth’s surface.   If you are old enough to recall our concerns about the deteriorating ozone layer a few decades ago, potentially dangerous UVC rays shining down on us was the reason why.  Life on earth has never had to adjust or adapt to these rays which is why they can be both dangerous to us and extremely effective bacteria and virus killers.

UVC light attacks microorganisms at the RNA level,  targeting and then killing the genetic material within.  Although not yet clinically proven against COVID 19, we do know UVC kills Streptococcus,  Influenza, Sars, and other coronaviruses, taking mites, bacteria, and some fungi out right along with them. When used correctly, UVC light is known to be 85 to 90 percent effective.

Although little known to the average consumer before the pandemic, healthcare facilities have been disinfecting with UVC for decades.  Water and air purification through UVC light is already popular in industry and home use in those areas is growing.  Today’s renewed interest in this technology is in its potential as a surface cleaner.

Fast, clean with no need for hand scrubbing or harsh chemicals,  UVC irradiation can be used as a “green” surface sterilizer with no messy residue or rags and chemicals to dispose of afterwards, UVC light is another powerful weapon in our battle against virus’s and bacteria.  But because direct exposure to UVC burns skin and eyes, (the longer the exposure, the higher the damage) it must be handled properly.   Indeed humans, animals and plants should be removed from any space as it is being UVC disinfected.  One other note of caution:  because man made UV lightwaves are identical to those of the sun, it can fade fabric colors over time. Some materials break down from UV exposure in a process called photo-degradation.

When used correctly,  UVC will work on any surface it hits as long as it is the proper wavelength: specifically 254 nanometers (nm).  The time in which it takes to disinfect a surface depends on the throw of the UVC unit and its proximity to a surface.

 

Of course, most spaces contain furniture, barriers, and other assorted “stuff” and this can limit the ability of UVC to thoroughly clean in one swoop.  The UVC light must directly shine on a surface in order to sterilize it.  Most lights can be more effectively used if moved around a space to get to all surfaces or they can be installed overhead. There is, however, another element that can assist  UVC light during sterilization, and that element is called Ozone.  Unless the glass UVC unit is specially coated, quartz and “soft” glasses allow 185nm to pass out into the air along with the UVC 254 rays and this wavelength produces Ozone.  A powerful disinfecting agent in and of itself, ozone can move around objects like furniture and clothing, etc.,  disinfecting surfaces UVC cannot reach. Unfortunately,  like UVC light, Ozone comes with a hitch: it’s ability to harm humans in close proximity.  In this case, breathing Ozone can harm the lungs and it is considered especially potentially dangerous to those with respiratory diseases.  While humans can reenter a room minutes after using a non-ozone producing UVC unit, they must wait for ozone to clear a room before entering.  This is why most ozone producing UVC  sanitation is done after hours, with extra time reserved to allow the Ozone to naturally dissipate. For this reason, many experts caution against the home use of Ozone products.

If the risks involved with the above concern you, there is good news:  a promising new form of disinfecting UV light that is slowly entering the market.  This exciting new UV product is called Far UVC Light.  Without getting too technical with the language (I am not a scientist after all) Far UCV emits UV at a further reduced wavelength  (207-222nm), and new studies have shown Far UV light to be effective virus and bacteria killer that does not harm humans or other mammals!   Given the current positive news on its safety and effectiveness, we should expect to see more Far UVC products in the marketplace soon.

With so many UVC surface and air cleaning products on the market it, can be hard to choose the ones that are best for you.   Rolling or stationary disinfecting lights are great for overall surface disinfecting and are portable enough to move from room to room.  Depending on the size of the space involved and the power of the unit, UCV surface disinfection typically takes 30 minutes to an hour to work.  UVC stationary or rolling units should be equipped with timers or with remote controls to give the user time to vacate the area prior to use. Overhead hard-wired units are a terrific fit for highly trafficked offices, health care facilities, and industrial buildings.  All overhead units should be installed with a motion sensor that automatically shuts off the unit if a visitor enters unawares.   UVC Cabinets and UVC boxes are recommended for high touch objects: everything from electronics to sporting equipment, tools, and small objects can be cleaned very quickly, in some cases, mere minutes due to the close proximity of the light to the objects in an enclosed space.  They are also safe for humans as quality units only work when closed and they are often equipped with timers for industries, schools, colleges, and other institutions with high volumes of items that need to be cleaned quickly and rotated out.

UVC products are worth the investment to help you as you disinfect your facilities, office, or venue spaces’ air, water and surfaces.  As with any other product, buyers should make sure their choices come from reliable and proven sources.  Unfortunately, many of the inexpensive consumer-level products flooding the market may be giving people a false— and in this case dangerous—sense of security.  Several commonly known LED wands have been tested only to find they were not powerful enough to do much of anything.   Ask your UVC provider for their certification information before buying.

Also keep in mind that no product is a magic bullet when it comes to protecting your employees, customers, and pupils from disease.   Social distancing, hand washing, and standard disinfection techniques should be used along with your UVC lighting solutions to keep us all safe where we meet.

 

References and Links:

Welch D.  Far-UVC light: A new tool to control the spread of airborne-mediated microbial diseases.  Scientific Reports  2018

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-21058-w

Kalter, L.    Coronavirus Puts UV in the Disinfectant Spotlight.  WebMD  2020

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200519/coronavirus-puts-uv-in-the-disinfectant-spotlight

Rammelsberg A.   How does ultraviolet light kill cells?  Scientific American  1998

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-ultraviolet-ligh/

Coffey D.  Does UV light kill the new coronavirus?  LiveScience   2020

https://www.livescience.com/uv-light-kill-coronavirus.html

Graph 1:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/sun-safety/what-is-ultraviolet-radiation.html

Fresh Guidelines for Reopening Office Spaces:

While larger companies are rearranging office spaces, installing industrial level air filtration systems, directional signage and safety shields, smaller business owners and individual employees are looking for ways to properly operate in this new Covid 19 era— on lean budgets. Most of us already know we should wear masks, stay a safe six feet away from one another and properly wash our hands. Here are a few additional, easy to implement, low-to-no cost safety tips for all:

  1. Get some Air! The higher the viral load around you, the more likely you can fall ill. Great air circulation literally cleans the air you breathe— fresh air dilutes Covid 19 virus particles (as well as other air borne illness). Fortunately, we are reopening in warmer weather so If you can open your office windows and doors, do it.
  2. If you feel sick, stay home. We all know by now that asymptomatic people can spread corona virus. This is why we are all asked to wear masks. Even so, more virus is shed by symptomatic people because the virus begins to multiply once it enters a host. Even if you don’t think you have Covid, it’s better to err on the safe side. For this reason, employers are all encouraged to loosen their sick day policies.
  3. Use doorstops to keep doors partially open and use your shoulder or arm to move through doorways without touching doorknobs and crash bars.
  4. Leave 65% to 70% alcohol wipes in bathrooms and encourage each other to wipe down sink handles and door locks and handles as they leave. Sanitize bathrooms as often as possible. The same can be said for any commonly touched items: light switches, doorknobs, etc.
  5. Unless your employer is providing you with boxed lunches (lucky you), eat out or bring in your own food. Don’t forget your snacks because the common candy stash will no longer be available. Expect kitchen appliances like microwaves and refrigerators to be unavailable for the time being and plan your food accordingly. Invest in an individual cooler or insulated thermal bag.
  6. Do not share your phone, stapler or any other office supplies with your co-workers. Viruses hover in the air but they land on surfaces. Sanitize desks regularly with alcohol or bleach based cleaners. Wipe down USPS and other delivery boxes before moving them around the office or opening them.
  7. Employers should consider staggering work hours so employees are not funneling in and out of the office at the exact same time. This will ease their ability to keep at least six feet away from one another. This becomes especially important if they must share an elevator on their way to the office.
  8. About those masks: If you use a disposable mask, it should be replaced daily. If you use a cloth mask, it should be washed daily.
  9. Strengthen your immunity by investing in your health. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins. Limit your alcohol intake and get your exercise

Bonus Tip: Properly socially distance and wear your masks and gloves when you are not at work to reduce your chances of picking up this virus or any other. If you do so, you’ll be less likely to unwittingly bring it into the office yourself. This is a difficult time for employees and employers alike in our industry. Remember to Be kind— from a distance.

Creating a Safe Office & Venue Space for Social Distancing

As the peak of coronavirus infections starts to level off in many countries, industries affected by the outbreak are starting to plan how their businesses will reopen while continuing to stay safe and practice social distancing. With the plan of reopening businesses as soon as possible, we knew we had to take action as to what measures to put in place. After carefully researching CDC, OSHA, and private organizations’ guidelines to learn best practices in the COVID-19 era, we have come up with products and services that can help you as you move to reopen your buildings, offices, and meeting and event spaces while continuing to practice safe social distancing.

Planning Safe Social Distancing

In order to have a safe social distancing plan, you’ll need to examine your space and consider your existing floorplan.  Art of the Event offers safe space consultation to clients to tailor the best safety layout for a meeting space, office building, venue or other institution.  We can consult on how to rearrange your existing floorplan and the elements within to maximize safety. We also offer floorplan generation services for those who need it.

Safety Instructions for Employees and Guests

To fully inform your employees and clients about best practices, we create custom table tents, pamphlets, and kits for public and private spaces. Within these, we have guidelines and directions on how to follow proper social distance, hand washing, and sneeze etiquette while at that facility or event. We can also create welcome and informational boards to display throughout the space.

Room Dividers, Screens, & Walls for Planned Social Distancing

As HR departments, building managers and other company stakeholders consider splitting shifts and some continuation of remote work to lessen congestion in the office and lower room capacities to lessen congestion in venues, Art of the Event provides permanent and temporary acrylic screens and dividers as well as splash shields for cubicles and heavily concentrated areas.  These elements can help people distance even while they are together.  Art of the Event also creates custom room dividers and movable walls for office spaces, meeting rooms, etc.

Other resources we are happy to provide are movable Plexi-guarded registration and medical assistant booths. These can be used for offices and meetings as well as (in the future) your meetings and special events.

Branded Social Distancing Guides

Graphic clings and stickers via floor, wall, or column wraps can guide people as they move through your space.  Directional signage creates one-way “traffic” in narrower hallways, etc.  Similar to these guides, we offer informational stair, elevator and escalator wraps to reinforce your protocols to everyone working in or visiting that facility.

Art of the Event has the unique ability to customize any and all of your guides, informational boards, room dividers, pamphlets, etc.  Our internal graphic design team can work with you to incorporate your logo, colors, and all pertinent information.

Tools and Equipment

Safety comes first so it is important to have certain items available for everyone when they arrive.  Plenty of hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves should be offered freely on-site.

No-touch hand sanitizer stands placed strategically throughout your space help to ensure everyone is sanitizing often.   We also offer temperature monitoring equipment.  Temperature checking facial recognition technology ensures an ill guest or employee can be flagged and sent home without infecting others.  Much like metal detectors, thermal imaging booths also allow for “passive” no-touch temperature checks for larger groups entering a building or venue space. We are also currently studying other technological devices to help you keep your clients, employees, guests, and spaces safe.

Contact Art of the Event

For more information or to schedule a safe space consultation, contact us at (781)670-9292  ext. 10 or by email at info@artoftheevent.com. You can also check out the complete list of everything we have to offer for safe social distancing here.

How to Organize your Home Office

How to Organize your Home Office: Most of us began working from home suddenly and without having an opportunity to plan properly. Temporary offices and shared offices were tossed together for, what many of us thought, would be a short time. Now that we’ve all been home for a while, I thought advice from an organizing expert could prove helpful. Fortunately for all of us, my great friend MJ. Rosenthal just happens to be a seasoned professional organizer. I interviewed her on April 10, 2019.

Interviewer: Gayle Gilberto for MPI New England

Interviewee: MJ Rosenthal, Certified Professional Organizer
Organization & Executive Function Coach: An Organized Life



GG: Are there universal rules for organizing an office?

MJ: The one big rule is to make it work for you. I share with clients that organizing is not “one style” or “one container” fits all. It’s a very personal application. One person’s order is another person’s disorder.

Some general “Good rules of organizing” which apply to most of us include:

Store Like Items Together

Keep Frequent Use Items Most Accessible

Instead of asking “Where You Should Put It?”, ask “How Will I Look For It?” How you answer the latter will help you determine the former.

When you decide to do any organizing task, make it small enough so you don’t feel overwhelmed. Break it up into segments and time block them to minimize stress.

 

 

 

GG: Most home offices are used for chores like family bills and mail. Are there easy ways to organize both work and personal tasks from home?

MJ: Sure. Here are some easy ways to clear the clutter and re-set for how you need to use the space today:

The first thing to do is to divide up the individual items based on the task. Group work items/tasks together; group personal items/tasks together.

When you use an item less often, or for both categories (like office supplies or technology) keep some with each grouping — or store with other like items that are less frequently used.

Once you divide up the stuff, get ready to relocate the categories to their own spaces/ surfaces.

The second step is to divide up the real estate. Decide where you will do your “work” (maybe at the desk in the office) and where you will do your “personal” (perhaps at a temporary desk in the same space or a folding table in another room of the house).

Make sure whatever area/surface you choose is devoted only to the task of “work” or “personal/home” — avoid “technical errors” (mixed categories) and co-mingling of other non-related categories.

The third step is to decide where to locate items. We answer this question based on (1) how we will use it next (2) frequency of use and (3) emotional attachment.

Items that are engaged with most often should be assigned real estate within arms reach of the task. (I.e., — computer and key board, pen/pencil, to-do list, printed paper to review, brain toy you play with all the time to help you think) — and items which are used less frequently should go to secondary storage areas (reference material, back up supplies, to be filed, charging cords, etc.)

If you love it, keep it! A picture of your family, a treasured memory, an inspiring poem— all of these items are as important as your laptop or cell phone. But keep it simple. Too much of a good thing becomes overwhelming.

Now is the time to link our space, tasks, what we have to do and our time to do it. Space Planning (how we use the space) and Time Blocking (when we do the stuff we hold onto) go hand and hand. A clutter-free space means linking “what you have to do” to a time you “have to do it.”

GG: Do you use labels to help your clients organize?

MJ: Yes. This is a hard and fast rule. Yes. Labeling does several things:

One, it reinforces your decision about location and incorporates the muscle memory of movement, cerebral decision of what to call it, and aesthetic decision of what the label looks like. All of these factors help to “set” an organizational memory.

Two, most of us respond extremely quickly to visual cues (that’s why we leave things out to jog our memories). Having clear information identifying what the item is is the easiest method for storage and retrieval. Labels can take the form of label tape, Post Its, writing on the outside of the box, etc — and labeling in our calendar via Time Blocking.

GG: For folks who did not have a home office and now need to create one: How can they take a non-separate room space and turn it into a workable office? What’s most important for making this a productive space?

MJ: Another great question. Many of us are turning spaces which have been functioning in one way into a space that can serve a different purpose, like a dedicated work from home office.

The first thing we need to do is clear out the room we are going to use. I use the SPACE Process.

Sort
Purge
Assign
Contain
Engage/Evaluate

Once we have cleared the stuff, we are ready to re-set with the sorted “work” items. Starting with a clear space leads to clearer, more purposeful decisions on where to locate things.

We talked about function and frequency of use above, but aesthetic choices — and space planning — is also motivating when creating a home-based office.

Consider how your desk/office at work was set up. Are you a creature of habit and do you need to set up in a similar way to create historical comfort? What does your chair feel like — can you comfortably sit for long periods? Is a stand-up desk a better fit? Merging function and feeling together creates a space of balance, peace, and productivity.

 

 

GG: For people who want more personalized, professional assistance: Do you offer Virtual organizing sessions?

MJ: Yes, I’ve been providing Virtual Organizing services to Clients who have moved away or live in a remote region, as well as Coaching Programs to Clients with ADD/ ADHD & Executive Function Coaching; the virtual structure is something we’ve had in place for many years. Now local Clients are taking advantage of the Virtual Organizing Programs because they offer a huge amount of support and productivity in a very short time frame.

GG: Thank you, MJ. This was very instructive. We can use some of these tips for organizing our home offices or just about any other space!

MJ: Thank you! Be safe, be healthy, be organized.

 

Photos courtesy of An Organized Life

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