While it is safer to host a virtual event, sometimes it just does not cut it. Hosting an in-person event can be more COVID friendly by encouraging social distancing, mask-wearing, and other safety measures. Here are a few ways you can make your next in-person event a little safer.
The first thing should be to check to see if the event space has capacity limitations. Some event spaces may limit how many people are allowed to be inside at one time. Even though it may hold 500 people, there could be a limit of only 50% capacity. If that is the case, you may need to get a bigger venue or cut down your attendance list. Other policies and guidelines your venue may have regarding COVID-19 should be outlined in their contract when you sign with them. Don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t see them. They may even offer an event guideline that lists what you – the event planner – needs to do to keep everyone safe. Your venue may even offer hand washing and sanitizing stations throughout the room or building. That is why it is essential to check with the venue before purchasing safety items like cleaning products, sanitizing stations, and so forth. You may be able to get through the Venue and save a ton of money. Before the event, sanitizing all decorations, high-touch surfaces, and objects is a must! You want everything to be clean before, during and after the event. Keeping these areas cleaned throughout the night will help to prevent the spread of germs. If you are frequently cleaning, that probably means you are using chemicals. Train your staff in chemical safety and the proper use of cleaning materials. While it is still cold outside, your event will likely be indoors. When selecting your venue, you want to make sure that the space has a sufficient amount of ventilation. Even without the pandemic, having a good airflow is essential.
When it comes to taking a precaution against COVID, it is recommended that smaller crowds are best. This means that even if your venue allows full capacity, are you willing to cut down your attendance anyways. You may be able to get the same impact from a smaller event, and it will potentially save you some money too. When it comes to a limit on attendance, you may have to find ways to enforce it. Communicate a limit notice to allow those interested let them know about the capacity limit. If you are hosting an event that is quite popular, keep in mind that you can run it for multiple days. To avoid large concentration areas like entranceways and line ups, set up multiple entries and exit points to limit the number of people crowded to one area. Make sure to put up signage of where you can enter, and floor stickers and arrows to keep a flow and have people socially distancing when in line.
There are a variety of resources that you can find on which covid precautions and guidelines are in place. Make sure to stay up to date on changes in rules, limitations, and gathering guidelines. Happy planning!