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NIAID Reservations, Event Coordination, and Logistics Support Services

Client

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/National Institutes of Health (NIAID/NIH)

Challenge

In support of the NIAID mission, the Office of Workplace Solutions’ (OWS) Conference Services and Events Management Branch (CSEMB) is the focal point of the Institute’s space and facility services, including meeting facilities management and oversight of the Conference Center, Learning Center, Telepresence Room, Resource Libraries, and meeting rooms at 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, Maryland. NIAID Meet is the group within CSEMB dedicated to service excellence in the operation of reservations, meeting design and coordination, audiovisual, logistics, and furniture moving support. There are 39 centrally managed meeting and conference rooms at the Rockville location: 1 Telepresence room, 10 Conference Center rooms including a VIP room, 4 Learning Center rooms, 7 Meeting rooms, 15 Resource Libraries, and 2 Quiet Resource Libraries. NIAID Meet is also responsible for setting up and maintaining communal areas in standard configurations—Lobby-level Foyer, Coffee Zone area, and Garden-level Conference Center area. These meeting facilities support scientific conferences and reviews primarily for NIAID as well as the National Institutes of Health and Department of Health and Human Services communities. Official scientific meetings, reviews, and related conference venues are central to carrying out the mission of the Institute as a recognized world leader in infectious diseases research.

CSEMB contracts for professional room setup and breakdown services to address a high meeting load that involves over 13,000 conferences and meetings annually with an attendance of over 202,000 people. The scope of this effort includes services necessary to provide a full range of scheduling and reservations support, event coordination, and logistics support to NIAID and NIH scientific and non-scientific personnel organizing and attending NIH/NIAID-sponsored working groups; planning meetings; scientific meetings; grant, program, and scientific reviews; expos; and workshops that include both domestic and foreign attendees.

NOVA Approach

NOVA onsite dedicated professional and technical staff provided meeting, conference, and event reservations support as part of the NIAID Meet team, interacting on a daily basis with NIAID federal staff, other onsite contractor staff, and visitors. They assisted hosts and organizers with Conference Center, Telepresence, Learning Center, or Upper Floor event intake forms and electronic viewing and scheduling systems and information; recommended appropriate size and location for meeting space and program resources necessary to address specific meeting requirements; and arranged and coordinated meeting requirements throughout the meeting lifecycle process. NOVA onsite staff input all meeting requests, reservations, and resources required into the NIAID Events Management System (EMS).

NOVA’s onsite support team for reservations and event coordination services collaborated closely and assisted the NIAID Meet group within CSEMB. The NOVA team also worked jointly with other service providers in the areas of meeting planning, building security and access, food and beverage services, and other general building and maintenance services. NOVA staff greeted and, when required, escorted visitors at the secure building entrance and information desk; provided general information to attendees; assisted in resolving issues that arose in coordinating events; and acted as point of contact for program staff on the day of the event. NOVA staff also assisted in coordinating security clearance for foreign nationals.

NOVA staff created and prepared a variety of contract and Conference Center-related reports providing metric and analytical data, including meeting organizer and visitor feedback reports, ad hoc EMS reports, NIAID Deputy Director’s quarterly reports, weekly status reports, monthly metrics reports on Conference Center utilization and trends, room statistics, event summary reports, conference evaluation reports, meeting complexity-level reports, weekly security and cafeteria reports, and a comprehensive annual report on Conference Center use, trends, and future planning.

NIAID Meet defined meetings according to five levels of complexity. Two-thirds of meetings coordinated by NOVA for NIAID Meet were middle to high levels of complexity. NOVA staff received consistently positive evaluations from meeting organizers and conference attendees using its services, and satisfactory, very good, and excellent ratings relative to overall contract support.

Results

Examples of NIAID Conference Center Meetings supported by NOVA include:

  • Bioinformatics & Computational Biosciences Festival
  • Trans-NIH Symposium, The Third Circulation: Lymphatics as Regulators in Health and Disease, with celebrity guest, actress Kathy Bates
  • Point of Care Technologies Conference
  • Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program Meeting
  • Pathway to a Universal Influenza Vaccine Workshop
  • Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens—NIAID 2017 Joint Workshop.