Planning for the Safe Return of In-Person Events
It’s no secret that the past few months have dramatically changed the events industry. And although many organizers have since moved to virtual or hybrid experiences, there’s clear demand for a safe return of in-person events.
Keep Guest Safety Top-of-Mind
Resuming in-person events will most likely include a variety of challenges, but it’s crucial that guest safety remains a top priority. Before any attendees arrive, it will be important to thoroughly and properly disinfect the venue. From sports arenas to hotel conference halls, cleaning and sanitizing a property should be the first step.
Prior to entering, guests should also be required to pass a temperature check using thermal scanning equipment. This offers an added layer of protection for both attendees and possible vendors. Installing hand sanitizer stands and other antimicrobial products will also help minimize the spread of germs and bacteria once guests arrive.
Especially for longer events that might offer guests food or coffee between sessions, it will be important to limit the potential risk of exposure. Unfortunately, this includes self-serving buffets. Pre-packaged meals or snacks are a great alternative, and disposable cups, plates, and serveware should be utilized when possible.
Get Creative with Capacity Restraints
Especially for larger events that may have previously accommodated hundreds—even thousands—of guests, significant capacity restraints should be expected. Especially as more and more events move indoors for the fall and winter months, the number of attendees will be extremely limited.
Venue layout and crowd management will be more important than ever. From social distancing floor decals to temporary structures, booths, and more, we offer a variety of solutions that help keep guests safe and add to the overall experience of the event.
In cases where guests may congregate—like at a registration desk, check in table, or even main lobby—it’s important to make the space as accommodating as possible. This includes limiting the number of individuals who enter as well as managing those who are currently in line and waiting for assistance.
Offer Complementary Virtual Experiences
Odds are, virtual events and experiences are not going anywhere. Especially since not all guests will be able (or willing) to attend in person, it’s a good idea to offer a virtual extension of the event.
In some situations, a simple livestream could be a great alternative. For conferences, speaker series, panels, and other presentation-based events, live-streaming offers a nearly identical experience for both virtual guests and those attending in person. Incorporating social media feeds and hashtags is always a way for remote viewers to engage and join the conversation.
For more interactive events like tradeshows, live-streaming is likely not the most appropriate option. Instead, consider offering vendor information online and a way to connect with guests outside of the conference hall.
Have other suggestions for how to return safely to in-person events? Tell us in the comments.
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