The events industry has changed dramatically in the last year. But with lockdown easing and events being able to go ahead, albeit in a smaller, restricted way, here are some tips on how to manage and host an event, with social distancing in mind.
- Track and trace
This could be crucial in keeping your attendees safe. Ensure you have a phone and email address for everyone attending – or ask for these on their arrival if you don’t have their information beforehand. There are lots of events tracing systems that will also align with GDPR if that is a concern, and be sure to communicate to your guests that they should also be signed up to a government track and trace app where possible.
- Big space, small crowd
Ensure your venue is large and airy and your guests are as few as possible. Keeping capacity low at your venue will ensure there is enough room for your attendees to comfortably social distance and not worry about being too near each other. Always check what government guidelines are before hosting an event or meeting, to ensure you are in line with the allotted number of attendees allowed.
- Check the facilities
Check any shared spaces allow adequate space. In bathrooms, you want to ensure that there is enough room by the sinks and between cubicles/urinals that your guests can be at two metres away. Don’t forget any corridors to the bathrooms, and the entrances and exits – queuing could be an issue if all cubicles aren’t in use, so might be worth looking into hiring extra facilities to use outdoors – like these from Fortis Hire, that offer ample space, and room for movement and queuing.
- Signage, signage, signage
We’ve all seen the ‘one-way’ arrows in supermarkets in the last few months, and it’s important to signpost any corridors, waiting areas or meeting spaces so that everyone knows where they should be stepping. Use plastic jersey barriers and belt barriers in areas that are poorly lit, or you think people might ignore.
Also worth putting up some signs about track and trace, where to find the bathrooms and anything else the event might need, so that your attendees aren’t wandering unnecessarily.
- Avoid people traffic
Another thing to consider would be staggering arrival and end times for your guests so that doorways, lobbies or waiting areas aren’t too crowded. You want your delegates to be able to maintain a suitable distance from each other while waiting to get in and avoiding the inevitable rush of people would be a good way to avoid potential contact.
Depending on the type of event, you could also use a ticketing system – digitally of course. This would also support any parking limitations you have if you have a small amount of spaces available, and would be a smoother arrival process for your guests.
- Personal portions
If this event needs to be catered, then ensure that every portion of food is already boxed up with minimal contact – ideally, it should only go past two people, the person who prepared it, and the person who eats it, with any kitchen staff wearing PPE kit. Gone are the days of queuing for the buffets, or complimentary pastry breakfasts left on the side, but ensuring any food needs are covered by personal portions will be easier to manage.
Always check government advice if venues and event spaces are your workplace, as there are separate guidelines for different places of work. Hopefully, these tips will make social distancing easier to manage at your next event.