Managing A Safe Event In A Covid World
I’m sure most of you are over online webinars, happy hours and the team quiz – I certainly am. It is time to leave Zoom but how can we organise events safely?
The events industry has worked hard to get recognition for the difference between professionally managed events and social gatherings. Initial restrictions were that events could only have 10 people. The industry called for urgent revision and this was later lifted to 100 people.
On Monday, the Ministry of Health provided guidance for managing safe events under alert level 2. The guidelines recognise that ‘professionally’ managed events are different to social events.
So, what is required to manage a safe event in the Covid-19 world and how can Verve, as professionals, keep you – our clients and attendees safe?
Under alert level 2 events can have up to 100 people, and some level of capacity restriction could be with us for a while. Verve’s events are ticketed or require pre-event registration. As a result, we know how many people are due to attend the event and, with clear communication, we can also limit the impact of no-shows making sure we use the capacity available.
There are two factors for effective contract tracing.
First, the collection of data. The registration and ticketing platforms we use allows us to collect all the data required for effective contact tracing. This data is held on secure servers which comply with privacy laws.
Second, we know who is in the venue. With onsite registration and the use of QR or beacon technology we not only know who is onsite but we can activate room specific scanning so we know who was in which room and when.
Professional event managers have extensive experience of crowd management and can manage physical distancing to meet the requirements.
Venue based events can be managed with individuals or workplace/bubble groups of 10 while being seated at least 1 metre apart.
Communal areas and outdoor events will require effective people management, barriers, and clear signage to keep people safe.
Hygiene and health
We develop robust health and safety plans for all our events. Hygiene has a place in these plans but in this era, cleanliness will take a higher priority. We will provide appropriate handwashing facilities, and keep communal areas such as bathrooms or high-touch surfaces such as door handles, tables, chairs clean.
Through the registration process and onsite check-in we can remind attendees to stay away if they are unwell. A declaration could be added but may not provide additional value.
Food and drink
Catering may need to be redesigned and could look very different in the future. The current restrictions we are experiencing in cafes and restaurants will need to be translated to events. Everyone will need to be distanced, seated in their bubble/close colleague groups of no more than 10 and served by a single server.
Keep safe and keep connected