While many people might focus on personal events that were delayed or canceled by COVID-19, the business world also had to suffer from a lack of events. Company parties to big conferences had to be shut down as everyone feared infection. Fortunately, online substitutes were able to pick up the slack. But that would not be enough in the long term. Here are some tips on how to properly organize an event in the time of COVID-19 and beyond.
Having the Right Venue
Physical venues for COVID-19 events are a bit difficult to decide on. The space needs to be large enough to accommodate everyone safely while also being comfortable. For example, hiring a corporate boat and having the event out on the open water is a good idea if you have fewer than 50 guests. It gives good ventilation and provides a relaxing environment for everyone. For larger events, you might need to coordinate with hotels and other places so that you can ensure a large enough space for your guests.
Being Careful About Hygiene
The dominant concern regarding events in the COVID-19 era is that people are more concerned about their hygiene. This includes procedures about washing hands and keeping surfaces clean. But it should also not be you. You have to communicate it to your guests. All the care on your side is worthless if your guests are not implementing the same care. In addition, a decision also has to be made about attendance requirements. In California, vaccinations or are required for attending any event with more than a thousand people. If not vaccinated, then a recent COVID-19 test is necessary to prove that the attendee is not infected.
Feeding the Masses
One of the big concerns about events is feeding the attendees. The usual method is to use a buffet. It was simple and easy, with minimal manpower required since everyone served themselves. However, buffets are a big infection vector. People lining up and food being exposed to multiple potential sources of infection are not good for public health. Pre-packaged meals seem to be the best choice. However, this can be a logistics nightmare. Coordinate with your caterer about what they can offer and how they prepare the meals. Additionally, you’ll need to contact attendees to ask them about their preferences in meals. For example, you don’t want a vegetarian attendee to be unable to eat.
Integrating Digital Into Events
Digital technology can be a big boon to events in various ways. The most obvious one is that it can allow speakers and attendees from outside the country to have a presence at your event. International travel restrictions have hampered a lot of conferences when it comes to attendance. Besides that, digital technology can also be a big help in organizing face-to-face events. For example, contactless sign-ins and tracking are much easier if you integrate NFC chips into your IDs. All attendees need to do is wave their cards against the sensor. GPS technology can also help with that, ensuring that all attendees are in safe locations at all times.
Offer Something Special
If you are organizing a face-to-face event in the COVID-19 era, then you need to be impressive. Many people might wonder what they are doing at your event when they could have done it all online. Brainstorm about potential important topics and guests that impress. Besides learning new things, events are networking occasions, so you have to give your attendees a chance to socialize with some important people. For example, if you invite a big-name CEO, and they confirm attendance, you can be sure that people will attend your event.
Smart Social Distancing
Social distancing is probably the biggest obstacle. You need to ensure that everyone is in their bubble but also give them a chance to socialize. An excellent way to do this is by using advanced room diagramming tools to simulate the event before it happens. This ensures that you can plan how many people can safely fit in your venue. Combine this with a mobile app specifically for the event, and then you can control the flow of people much more easily.
Big events are still very much possible, but not to the extent of pre-COVID times. All it takes is some proper planning and care. Knowing exactly what to do to ensure everyone is safe is a good idea for those who want to get back to seeing others in person. Adapting to this new normal should be a high priority for businesses.