The COVID-19 pandemic has brought irreversible changes to how we hold events moving forward. Attendees have become more conscious about their safety in venues and how strictly organizers follow sanitation guidelines. These factors inevitably affect how they interact with the people around them and how they enjoy events as a whole.
As restrictions continue to loosen due to increased vaccinations, organizers still have to adjust to the times while holding an outdoor event that people can comfortably enjoy. Here, we will detail particular factors that are crucial for making your event safe and successful. Pay attention to these as you set up your physical events in the post-pandemic era.
Emphasis on Safety and Sanitation Guidelines
The pandemic has made people more aware of the health consequences of sanitation. Expect this to affect attendee behavior even as they start showing up to your events.
Keep your venue visibly clean.
First, you need to reassure your attendees that you have covered all your bases in keeping the venue as clean and well sanitized as possible. Make sure people see, too, that cleanliness is a priority throughout the event. Have people around to sanitize tables, dividers, and keep everything good as new for any participant who stays in the area.
Since many people will be present at the venue, a lot of waste will also be produced. Disposal of waste is harder to control in an outdoor setting, so prepare garbage bins at frequented parts of your event area, such as food stalls and restrooms. Segregate your trash, too, to make recycling easier once the trash is collected.
Set up the venue with clear onsite instructions.
To avoid crowding and encourage physical distancing, guide people on how to navigate event grounds. Place barriers to section off areas from each other and put up clear signs that inform attendees of proper traffic on the grounds.
It also would not hurt to have infographics to explain the floor plan and measures the organizers are taking to avoid congestion. Printed versions that you can hand out and digital copies people can save on their devices for future reference also help avoid confusion once people are at the venue.
Make sure all protocols are communicated to staff and attendees.
Solid protocols only work when everyone involved in the event is cooperating. And everyone involved can only cooperate if they are first informed about the event’s safety guidelines. Before the event begins, cascade instructions to all relevant parties, from secretariat members to suppliers and caterers.
It helps consolidate important information into one file that can just be distributed to everyone who is a part of the event. Should you have to make any changes, make sure, all the updates are final before redistributing the new documents. This way, you avoid incorrect instructions from being shared with any member of the whole team.
Easing Interactions with Digital Tools
Physical events can be made simpler and safer by utilizing the wealth of digital tools available today.
Use apps for contactless registration.
Some of the most prone to congestion and physical contact are the registration and ticket booths. Prevent this from happening by setting up self-check-in counters for attendees who have pre-registered. QR codes, near-field communication, and similar innovations in technology have made touch-less ticketing much more feasible today for events.
Set up a different lane, too, for attendees who are walking in and only buying their event tickets on the day of. This way, existing ticket holders can quickly enter the venue, which will avoid crowding.
Get creative with food and beverage setups.
No one event will have the same protocols for food and beverage areas. As you plan, utilize mobile reservations for seating areas, digital diagrams of available seating, or even checking out food orders via mobile apps.
As much as possible, you want to keep people from touching surfaces frequently. Have food stalls prepare meals that participants can take away, too, so guests can have picnics outside rather than stay in the same place.
Open slots for remote viewing via livestreams.
Something that the pandemic made us all aware of is how capable we are of setting up remote events that people can enjoy from the safety of their homes. Open up slots for livestreaming so that people can be a part of the event remotely. This method helps you maximize the reach and overall impact of your event.
When planning your organization’s outdoor event, remember that safety still takes priority, but prioritizing safety does not mean compromising on event quality.