If you’re hosting an event these days, you have the additional requirement of making sure that it is COVID secure. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major concern for everybody over the past year, including employers, stores, and now event planners. Making sure that everybody is able to stay safe while having a good time at whatever event you are hosting is key to success.
Today, safety looks very different due to the fact that there is the added risk of transmitting COVID-19 among attendees. Here are some of the main strategies needed to ensure that your event is COVID secure.
These six dirty side effects of not having a handwashing station at an event will definitely help you understand why it’s important to provide plenty of spaces for attendees to keep their hands clean, including handwashing stations and hand sanitizer to use on the way in and out of the event. This will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by killing any virus that ends up on people’s hands. According to the CDC, handwashing has been and still is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The good news is that you can so easily set up a hand hygiene station. The problem is determining how large it should be and how many you actually need. In order to do this, you have to consider the size of the event and how many will participate. If you have seated guests, it is generally better to have more, preferably hand sanitizers being present close to all people.
One of the main concerns to keep in mind when running an event is the ease of social distancing. The more people are gathered in one space, the higher the risk of COVID, so it’s on event planners to limit numbers and ensure that attendees will easily be able to stay at least six feet away from one another. While social distancing requirements are relaxing due to the vaccine roll-out, it’s still a good idea to keep as much space as possible at the venue to allow attendees to keep their distance.
The big problem with social distancing is getting participants to respect it. In order to do this, you can use floor markings since they are very effective. Even if they are flashy and they do not match the overall design of the room, it is better to be safe than to organize something that is visually pleasant. Also, in some circumstances, rails might be necessary and you should consider them, like for a concert.
Contact tracing is worth using at your event to keep track of who attends and ensure that they can be informed in the future should they have come into contact with anybody who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the future. To reduce the risk of this, at some events you may want to require that attendees are tested prior or are able to provide proof of having two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking about testing, this can lead to some problems because some people will resist this requirement. They will find different excuses so it is the planner’s responsibility to make it clear as ahead of time as possible that proof of testing is mandatory to participate at the event. Such a simple practice can drastically reduce the possibility of having to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak in the future.
Deep cleaning before, during and after the event will help to keep everybody in attendance safe and comfortable. Prior to the event, deep cleaning the entire event space will make sure that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low. After the event, you just do your due diligence to protect those that will use the venue in the future.
When it comes to cleaning during the event, you will obviously not be able to do too much. You can certainly not perform really deep cleaning. While this is completely true, it does not mean that you cannot do something proactive. For instance, if there are tables that will be used by different participants, like at an awards ceremony, you can disinfect it right after it was utilized. This would only take a few moments and would not negatively impact the flow of the event.
When hiring employees to staff your event, it’s a good idea to test them for COVID-19 prior to starting their shift. If COVID tests are not available, ask staff to report any symptoms such as a high temperature or a new cough, although testing is definitely preferred. Checking temperatures at the start of a shift can be a useful way to get an idea of whether or not there may be a risk that an employee has COVID. Obviously, you can also test the temperatures of event participants as the reach the venue.
With events starting back up again and the world returning to normal after the pandemic, it’s important for event organizers to have strategies in place for COVID-19 security. However, this is not something that is very easy to do. Implementing these strategies can be quite difficult since we are talking about the new normal, which is not something everyone is used to.
When you plan an event right now, make sure that you create strategies to deal with COVID-19 regulations and that you actually implement them. Also, you need strategies to deal with unexpected situations that might appear during the event. Your entire staff has to be aware of everything that is in place in order to respond in an appropriate way.
The good news is that organizing events during the COVID-19 era is not too difficult. You just need to take some extra precautions and you have to do all that you can to prevent the spread of the virus. People are already used to many actions, like using hand sanitizers, so as time passes, it will definitely be easier and easier to organize even very complex events.