With the onset of the Covid pandemic, we have been finding all the possible methods of connecting virtually. When most of the world entered into isolation, we were left with no option rather than swarming with virtual events. Everything was strictly through virtual media platforms from sales meetings to education, personnel connections to marriages, business interactions to product launches. Several event planners and organizers were seriously keen on getting people registered for the events and ensuring that the participants were never bored to just drop out of sessions at random. Accessible shows and events have been their top priority.
We all think Covid is eventually going to disappear. Now that we are getting back to our normal, the events industry and companies are focussing on planning safer in-person meetings or events. That’s how the virtual events industry anticipated and planned transformations accordingly. These virtual events slowly transformed with the ever-changing pandemic landscape into hybrid events. Hybrid events are a blend of live in-person events and virtual components. Both complement each other.
What is so special about an in-person event, and why is it important?
With the virus going into hiding, many people across the world are longing to attend an in-person event. No amount of sophisticated technology can replace a real, face-to-face connection. Face-to-face events are more personal as you get to interact with a lot of people. This could actually refresh your brain when reading people’s gestures and body language. Strong bonds are built with in-person interactions. With minimum distractions, you are entitled to complete communication with other participants ensuring equal participation. These events are ideal for longer sessions and don’t require much technology, unlike virtual events.
These are the secrets behind people yearning for in-person events. But it’s necessary and mandatory to conduct safe and Covid-compliant in-person events.
Ideas to conduct Covid compliant events
Covid compliant events are well-planned events that are conducted to ensure the spread of the disease when in direct, face-to-face interaction. It could be a sales meeting, a client briefing, a meeting between partners, or any other type of business interaction. Face-to-face meetings are more personal and allow participants to interact with each other in a more natural setting. A lot of planning and research goes into organizing a successful event, and you want to guarantee that it’s not only enjoyable for your guests but also safe and risk-free for everyone involved. To make sure your events are compliant, here are some tips
Plan smaller events and gatherings
Invite less number of people to your events. Understand that people have briefly been in the era of the virtual events, and they would be absolutely choosy and reluctant to attend in-person events even though they wish to attend one. Smaller gatherings enable you to focus on each and every participant and attend to all their queries spontaneously. Many organizers strive their best to organize quality events with just a handful of attendees. A small group of attendees is considered a safe gathering. It is much easier to manage Covid-19 risks for smaller groups.
Protocols for travelers
Analyze the benefits and risks associated with the travel plans. Explain it to your attendees. Avoid the travel of people who may have other medical conditions like diabetes, heart, and lung diseases. Isolate people who have crossed national and international boundaries and check for Covid symptoms. Ensure to limit their contact with other people after travel. If your attendees exhibit Covid symptoms, provide them with self-test kits that give rapid results. If they are Covid positive, immediately contact a certified medical professional. Look for other symptoms and, if necessary, ask them to avoid socializing.
The must-follow standard rules during the pandemic
Despite knowing the importance of Covid vaccines at this crucial time, there are many who haven’t received their first shots. Different strains of viruses have been in the news lately. Also, people who have taken both doses have encountered breakthrough infections. Thus it’s most important to wear masks and maintain social distance. Consider distributing small bottles of alcohol-based hand rubs that can facilitate regular hand sanitization. Also, encourage attendees to close their faces by bending their elbow or a tissue when they cough or sneeze. Place separate closed bins to dispose them as well.
Interactive floor planning
We are on the verge of understanding the essential changes in the way we interact in in-person events. During the pandemic, interactive floor planning ensures advanced event space configuration to accommodate safety and social distancing. The seating arrangements can be made at least one meter apart from each other. As already mentioned, stick to the safety guidelines with the required tools to assign attendees per table or the distance between them. Open all the doors and windows whenever possible to ensure sufficient ventilation. Safety objects such as sanitization and temperature check stations can be installed.
Precautions to be ensured in the Venue
Ensure the workplace is clean, hygienic, and well ventilated. Prepare a cleaning protocol to hold much safer, intimate events. Communicate all this to your event professionals and make sure they strictly adhere to conducting risk-free events. Isolate people with Covid symptoms as and when required and accommodate them in the venue. The contamination on surfaces that participants frequently touch is one of the main ways that Covid 19 spreads. Surfaces like desks and tables or objects like doorknobs and keyboards need to be wiped with disinfectants at regular intervals of time to ensure it is free from the virus.
Training to make meetings and events safer
Your event might unwittingly bring the Covid- 19 virus meeting to your venue. You need to educate your participants to manage the associated risks. Get the help of qualified medical professionals to brief your audience on the measures to be followed to prevent Covid 19 spread. It can also be a guidance session from occupational health or safety officers as well. You can also display posters on respiratory hygiene. Remind them to wash their hands frequently with soap and water and use tissue paper when coughing or sneezing. Building a reputation of safety can efficiently drive your meetings and events forward. Don’t just train them. Make sure they follow all the above.
Food and Beverage distribution
As in-person event restrictions ease up, lately, food and beverages have been included. Hotels and caterers are coming up with several ideas to prevent contactless delivery to in-person sessions. Buffets are one of those things that are difficult to continue post Covid as people keep repeatedly touching plates, serving bowls, spoons, and other cutlery. It is difficult to disinfect them every time a person uses them. Instead, prepare separate food packets and distribute them using volunteers or caterers. Use disposable plates, tissues, cutlery, and water bottles. Have separate closed bins to dispose of all these.
Plan for Covid-19 suspects and ‘after the event’ suggestions
Develop a plan for suspected Covid- 19 attendees. Nothing stops with just isolating them. Provide them with simple medications like paracetamol/acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. As already mentioned, provide them with the rapid testing kits and ask them for their underlying comorbidity. Work closely with your local public health authority to avoid the worst unexpected situations. Have a plan to transfer them to a health facility safely. You can send people back safely if they have mild Covid symptoms.
Collect the details of your organizers, participants, caterers, and other guests who were a part of your event. Ask about their health post-event to track the virus transmission. Share all these details with your local public health authorities so that they contact you as required when an outbreak occurs.
At CaptioningStar, we provide the best Accessibility services for your in-person events. We create good in-person experiences to support you in conducting safer Covid-compliant events.
Safety does not only have to do with external factors, but it’s also heavily impacted by our mental health. Educate and commit to both external and mental safety.