BBW International Inc, operating as BBW Event Staff announces a shift in scope of service during the pandemic. They are proposing to provide COVID Safety Ambassadors™ to help businesses and properties to safely reopen. Having served the meetings and events industry for nearly 30 years across Canada, “We find ourselves at a crossroad,” says President and co-founder, Henk Bok. “The events industry has been blindsided by the effects of the Corona virus and it has been a big blow to our industry.” At the same time, businesses are overwhelmed with how they will operate under new guidelines for public safety.
With large events cancelled from March 12th into 2021, the pandemic is widespread amongst the consumer and business events industry. Nearly 80 to 90 percent of those who work in these sectors are now unemployed. The Meetings industry has generated $33 billion annually in direct spending, employing over 229,000, directly attributable to business events. The industry generates $19.3 billion in direct GDP.* Most businesses in this sector saw record numbers in 2019 and 2020 was heading in the same direction.
Sheila Wong, Senior Vice President and co-founder states, “We have been left with no option but to pivot our business. If we don’t do something now, we won’t be around on the other side of the pandemic to see our customers and employees again.” She goes on to say, “I’m not letting a virus take us down after three decades.” Sheila is also the President-Elect on the board of the Professional Conference Managers Association (PCMA) Canada East Chapter. She sees the devastation first-hand to her industry colleagues.
While most are anticipating the reopening of the economy with excitement, those behind the scenes are working feverishly to put together strategies to keep their employees and the public safe when we go back to work. The new normal will not be anything like what we left behind. It is because of this that BBW saw a solution for businesses, malls and property managers where crowds will likely form. They are transforming trained customer service professionals from working events to being COVID Safety Ambassadors™ (CSAs). BBW has created a training video which will be hosted on their proprietary eLearning platform, Front-Pro™. “We can track that a learner has completed the training,” says Wong. “Front-Pro has been the tool we’ve used to train our staff for performance standardization in serving the public en masse. So why not use it to get our staff up to speed on COVID safety protocol? We are in survival mode, but more importantly, we can be part of the solution instead of waiting for events to roll out again.” BBW is also making this training available to all businesses for free.
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