After months of virtual meetings, classes, conferences, and happy hours, it has been announced that large business events of up to 4,000 can go ahead from 2nd December 2020. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that business events in Tiers 1 and 2 will be able to resume indoors and outside, as long as capacity limits and social distancing are maintained to meet COVID safety requirements.
Following this announcement some businesses are beginning to cautiously resume face-to-face events while still doing as much as they possibly can to reduce risk. As much as we’d all like to return to a pre-COVID world, this transition is going to take time and returning to face-to-face gatherings, even in small groups, inevitably increases risk.
If you’re considering going back to face-to-face events, or if you’re wondering what to expect when that time comes, here are some tips on how to make the transition safely.
Make Masks Mandatory
Work closely with your chosen events company to clearly communicate your event’s mask policy. Studies have shown that masks are effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Don’t forget to check your destinations policy on wearing masks prior to travelling to avoid any unnecessary issues on arrival.
Stock up on extra masks, hand sanitizer and other PPE for the day of your event. This way you are prepared for anyone who may have forgotten theirs.
Take Additional Safety Measures
From the set up, to during and after your gathering, it’s important that staff working at your event adhere to social distancing and monitor their symptoms; paying close attention to their temperature. It is also recommended that you conduct health checks on attendees sporadically over the duration of your events.
These added procedures will likely require additional training for staff at your event and some extra equipment such as contactless thermometers to take temperatures as attendees arrive. Many events venues have introduced these extra precautionary measures themselves.
Social Distanced Spacing
Spacing seats six feet apart is a great start but is only just scratching the surface of setting up a socially distanced event.
When setting up a safe face-to-face event you’ll need to make sure you’re taking every step possible to create a safe space, which includes:
- Choosing a venue with stringent safety measures in place
- Using touchless payments
- Designating where attendees can stand in line with tape or chalk
- Using sneeze guards and partitions
- Avoiding shared materials (like pens), and sanitizing between uses
- Getting your suppliers on board.
If your event requires coordination with suppliers, talk to each of them about your safety processes ahead of time so that your attendees come prepared. Vet potential suppliers by asking about their own precautions and processes. Be sure your suppliers are maintaining the same social distancing, symptom monitoring, and mask standards that you expect of your event staff and attendees.
Consider a Hybrid Event
Hybrid events are on the rise. By hosting a Hybrid Event you can get the best of both worlds by combining a “live” face-to-face event with a “virtual” online component. If travel restrictions are keeping your whole group from getting together then these events are a great option.
With a hybrid event you remove the time and place factor of a live event, making it more accessible for more people. This extra reach allows for more participants and opens up a wealth of opportunity for you, following your event.
Even if you feel ready to return to face-to-face events, your attendees might not be on board. You never know who has a compromised immune system or is caring for sick or elderly family members. By creating opportunities for attendees to participate face-to-face or online, your event will be more inclusive.
If you are thinking of putting on a face-to-face or hybrid event and are looking for some expert guidance, then please get in touch? We’d love to hear from you and help you get back engaging with your audience, safely.
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