As the events and meeting industry gradually moves back into in-person meetings (and the when really depends on the province and state and how fast people get vaccinated), event safety measures will become part of normal conversation and habit—as it should be. Even though vaccination rates are climbing, there are still variants to deal with, so event safety measures and protocols need to be kept in place and finessed as we move along into the new normal.
Below are a few measures that will need to be implemented and considered for getting back to in-person meetings and events.
One thing we’ve realized thanks to the pandemic, more than ever, is the importance of the quality of the air we breathe indoors. Ensuring it’s properly filtered and circulated will help lessen the spread of COVID-19 at indoor event centres and facilities, though no one can promise this won’t happen as we’re still learning about the virus.
Having an up-to-date air filtration system will provide meeting and event attendees with the confidence they need to feel comfortable attending a many hours and days indoor event. Post updates and event safety measures on your website to keep attendees in the loop as to the efforts you’re making regarding their health and safety and the facility.
Have hand sanitizing stations set up all over the facility and in event rooms
Hand sanitizer has become a staple of stores and other places that see high traffic from people coming and going. Providing hand sanitizer stations throughout event meeting and conference rooms, and throughout the facility, will ensure hands are sanitized and germs less likely to spread. This is an affordable but important measure.
Moving smaller groups into larger event spaces is becoming the norm and is necessary as we move into in-person events. To have attendees feel safe and comfortable, event spaces can no longer be maximized to meet full capacity, but rather need to be used to safeguard social distancing and safety protocols. Room diagramming tools also allow venues and planners to sort out spacing virtually, minimizing in-person contact and adhering to social distancing needs in the planning phase.
Food and beverage
Most events offer food and beverage options, at different levels depending on budgets and needs. But seated dining options and even buffets likely won’t be ideal for some time, so getting creative with how to deliver food and drink falls on planners and venue staff. Individual boxed meals are one option. It can perhaps be a challenge both logistically and budget-wise for planners but making sure attendee are safe and healthy is paramount. Make it fun and get creative!
The CDC offers guidance on how to manage large gathering and events in a COVID-19 world. Though things do require more thinking outside of the box and logistical forethought to ensure safety and good health, while perhaps adding to the event budget, providing a safe and healthy environment will sit well with attendees and they will appreciate efforts made.