Successful Event Test Run with 500 Guests at the Estrel Berlin
Virtual meetings are helpful partial solutions during the Covid-19 pandemic. But Zoom-fatigue is a real issue – as reported by the New York Times, Forbes, and Psychology Today, among many other publications. And many people are waiting for the curtain to rise on our industry so they can take advantage of the value of in-person meetings.
We all know that there will be changes in order to maintain the health and safety of attendees and staff. Recently the Estrel Berlin conducted a successful test of safe-meetings protocols for 500 guests. May Day is Germany’s version of Labor Day but with demonstrations and sometimes protests. In order to maintain public safety and ensure that these gathering unfold in a peaceful manner, Berlin customarily arranges to have additional police and security personnel present in the city throughout the day. In a typical year, the Estrel Hotel serves as residence for the additional personnel, who eat their meals at the Estrel Congress Center. With the Covid-related restrictions, this year’s annual May Day was far from typical because in the interest of public safety, large gatherings had been banned. Yet, in the interest of maintaining public safety and enforcing social distancing in Berlin amidst potential demonstrations, there was a definite need to bring in the additional security personnel.
Implementing an array of new event safety measures based on “Distance at its Best”
Fortunately, the Estrel Berlin had proactively implemented an array of new event safety measures under the strictest Covid-19 safety guidelines based on the concept of “Distance at its Best”, which includes the adherence to the density restriction of one person per 40-sqft area.
For example, the Estrel developed a new safe check-in solution to eliminate the need for each guest to check-in individually at the front desk. For guest who do need to interact at the front desk, the Estrel installed special transparent protective windows. The facility has also positioned hand sanitizers in the reception area and throughout the property.
New cleaning and service procedures to ensure guests’ safety
According to Head of Housekeeping at the Estrel, Brigitte Ebner, “Hygiene at the Estrel has always been highly important. In the Covid-19 world, the role of Housekeeping has taken on an even more significant role.”
To ensure an infection free environment, the housekeeping team incorporated numerous new room-cleaning procedures. For example, housekeepers use a new set of cleaning cloths for each room. They disinfect all items in the room that a guest could potentially touch. The staff followed the new procedures to prepare 500 rooms for May Day.
The culinary team also developed new procedures to ensure guests’ safety. Given the extensive function space capacities at the Estrel, the layout of the dining hall was arranged in keeping with “Distance at its Best.” To ensure a safe service of the food and beverage for a dinner for 320 guests and a breakfast with 500, a tray system was used for both meals, thus greatly reducing unnecessary contact. Meal delivery was orchestrated in 10 minutes!
The guests were most pleased with the professionally delivered safe service, and the event went off without a hitch or any issues of concerns. Estrel Berlin is committed to developing tailor-made solutions offering greatly increased safe measures for all event participants.