The coronavirus is a deadly pandemic that has restricted us to our houses. However, it has certainly taught all of us many profound lessons. If there’s anything that has been starkly clear now, then it’s this – we can’t go back to our normal lives again.
Businesses, companies, and people have to begin their lives with a new conscience. Now that the lockdown is slowly relaxing across a few countries, including the UK and US, businesses are finding their foothold again – but this time with strict precautions and a renewed perspective.
With civil authorities and local governments imposing strict rules on live gatherings, people are wondering whether the situation will ever normalize. Many companies have withheld from hosting business events and functions because of social distancing.
However, lockdown rules are slowly becoming lenient across the UK and US. Many people are looking to plan small-scale events or enjoy the outdoors in small groups. Even businesses are looking to host important events and campaigns amid the pandemic.
Slowly and gradually, event production companies are actively planning events in the UK and US. However, the fact remains that organizing and planning an event after the pandemic should be done with extreme cautiousness and responsibility.
If you’re planning to host an event or plan a function during these times, here are some extremely important precautions that your team must take along with following the guidelines of your local government. These considerations are meant to supplement, not replace, any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which gatherings must comply.
1. Limit the Number of Guests at the Event
The main restriction that virtually everyone was impacted by was social distancing. The pandemic is still in the air, which is why even when you’re organizing an event, social distancing will always apply. The best way to keep strict control at the event is to limit the number of attendees.
Whether you’re hosting a business event or a family gathering, make sure the list of the guests is short and precise. Only the most important people should be participating in the special occasion. The fewer the people, the better.
Based on the facts, the virus can spread from one person to the other across 6 feet. If you’re looking for event planning companies, make sure to state that you’re looking for a fairly large venue. This way there can be plenty of distance between each attendee.
2. Introduce Hand-Shake Free Events
Another important aspect of social distancing is the lack of physical touch. The virus is extremely contagious and lurks in the air for a long time. However, it can also be transferred through close proximity. Therefore, establish a firm rule of ‘no hand-shakes or hugs’ at the event.
As the host, you’re responsible for upholding the precautions and decorum. Therefore, make it clear to all the attendees prior to the event that this is going to be a hand-shake free occasion. Instead, this is a great chance to introduce other greeting alternatives like “air hugs”, “fist bumps in the air”, or a simple wave.
3. Make Masks and Gloves Compulsory
This one’s a no-brainer but is worth a reminder. Just because an event is finally being hosted after a long time doesn’t mean people can come out without protection. Wearing masks and gloves should be mandatory at the event.
In fact, as a host, you should plan a separate stall giving out masks and gloves to anyone who wants it or forgets to wear it. Additionally, there should also be plenty of hand sanitizers on every table. Everyone should be encouraged to sanitize their hands frequently.
4. Circulate a Risk Management Playbook
In case a guest is affected or is at risk, they should be advised to stay at home under all costs. You can communicate this message in the form of a friendly ‘risk management policy’ that you can send to the guests prior to the event.
The statement should discuss all the precautions that will be adhered to during the event. The health and safety of each attendee is extremely important. Therefore, discuss measures on how everyone can engage in a safe manner at the event.
If someone has symptoms of flu or fever, it’s best that they remain at home. The risk management policy should also include conditions on vaccination, attendees who might show a compromised immune system, and who may be feeling sick once they arrive at the event. Keeping your attendees in the loop is a great way to show responsibility and accountability at the event.
It’s important to share this statement with the event production companies you’re looking to hire. With mutual objectives, the event company will be able to plan the event according to the risk management policy.
5. Hire a Medical Response Team for the Event
While alerting the attendees and stakeholders of the event about the precautions beforehand is important, you need to plan an onsite crisis response as well. Whether it’s a party or a business event, it’s important to have a response team at the venue.
Make a list of all your medical contacts. Hire a dedicated team who can educate and immediately tend to a sick attendee. In case of an outbreak during the event, your response should be there to calm down all the attendees and instruct them on what they can do next.
6. Get the Washrooms Sanitized
If you’re booking an enclosed venue, you need to make sure that the washrooms are fully sanitized and sterilized. Toilets are one of the most common places where the virus can be easily contracted. It’s not reasonable to not have them available during the event
Instead, you can ensure that they’re fully sanitized every two to three hours. This way, you can ensure the health and safety of all the attendees.
A Final Word
Organizing after the pandemic is certainly risky. However, it’s very much possible to socialize safely as long as you adhere to the above-mentioned precautions. If you’re currently seeking an event company for assistance, always prioritize the health and safety of all your employees. There are many event production companies that are offering hygienic and fully sanitized venues for people to host their events in a safe and secure way.
By Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill is a content writer at Seven Events Ltd – leading conference organiser in Birmingham offering event management and venue finding services. She started her career in the events industry almost a decade ago as time progressed she became an avid event blogger sharing her insight on corporate event planning.