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How To Host a COVID Safe Event In 2021

As we look to the future and ahead to the lifting of Covid restrictions in the UK, we explore how event organisers can host Covid safe events in 2021 and beyond when the time comes...

Planning A Covid Safe Event

A year has passed since the UK first went into lockdown in March 2020, and how the world has changed. It’s probably safe to say that in-person interactions will never be the same again. But, as we look forward to a brighter, more sociable future, inevitably we start to consider in-person events and how they will look when lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The safety of attendees is always paramount, regardless of the event type. From making sure everyone is aware of fire exits and emergency procedures to a visible security presence in the form of officers or CCTV, there’s always something to be done to make sure delegates are well looked after and the venue is secure.

No doubt, in the future, the same will be said for safety measures in relation to hygiene. In a world where we are all acutely aware of how often we wash our hands to how close we stand to people in our immediate surroundings, creating a safe and hygienic environment is paramount to a successful event.

In this article, we’ll look at ways you can ensure your next event is COVID safe for all in attendance.

Wellcome Genome Rosalind Franklin Pavilion'

Social Distancing

Not long ago, social distancing didn’t feature in our vocabularies. In fact, looking back at photographs and videos of events pre-Covid, it’s difficult to conceive of a time when we all stood so close together! While there is hope that the new vaccines will be the solution we’ve dreamed of, social distancing will most likely feature in our life for a good few months or years to come, so planning an event with social distancing in mind is a good place to start.

The first thing to consider is your venue. A smaller venue with a bigger audience will make social distancing much harder, so think long and hard about capacity, your guest list and the space required to sufficiently social distance (2 metres). All venues post-lockdown will most likely revise their capacities with this in mind. But as an event organiser, your job is to make sure people feel comfortable mingling and being around others at your event.

Floor markers and other visual aids (such as signs showing one way systems) can also facilitate better social distancing. If you’re hoping to host talks or conferences, bear in mind the capacity of a function room when chairs are adequately spaced out.

Social Distancing'

Hygiene & Cleanliness

No matter the size of your event, cleanliness and hygiene should be a number one priority in keeping delegates safe. It goes without saying that you should provide sufficient opportunities for attendees to clean their hands regularly. One way to do this is to provide hand sanitiser stations in convenient locations, such as upon entry to a room, next to doorways, and near food and drink stations.

Another way of promoting cleanliness throughout your events is to provide your delegates with a ‘goodie bag’ of sorts which contains a mask, hand sanitiser and tissues. You could also capitalise on this opportunity by arranging for branded items with your company logo or information on!

As well as ensuring your guests take responsibility for their own hygiene, event organisers should ensure the venue is cleaned regularly. No doubt the majority of venues will have adopted a number of Covid safe practices to stop the spread of germs, such as more regular cleaning of toilets and popular touchpoints. But be sure to ask about this and consider adding more of your own if you feel it is necessary.

Hand Sanitiser'

Seek Advice

We all know just how quickly things can change regarding the pandemic and coronavirus. Whilst many of us want to jump at the opportunity to host our first in-person event for a year and start to move back to something that looks like normality, we have to be sensitive to the fact that we’re not completely out of the woods yet.

With that in mind, if you’re planning an event post-Covid and you’re not sure of what you can and can’t do at a specific point in time, ask for help. Reach out to the local authorities, public health officials and other experts. It goes without saying that events should only be organised in-line with current Covid-19 restrictions and recommendations, but if you are unclear then it’s better to ask than get it wrong.

Seek Advice'

Communicate With Your Audience

Along with all of the above, one of the best ways to build the confidence of your attendees is to communicate well. With this in mind, ensure that in the run-up to your event communications regarding Covid-19 and the measures that are being put into place are clear. This includes making it clear that should any planned attendees have any Covid-19 symptoms they shouldn’t attend.

You should also ensure that information is collected to ensure that, should there be a suspected case at your event, you can contact delegates and inform them. While this is unpleasant to think about the consequences of not doing so are much, much worse.

Communicate'

Reduce Contact

For in-person events, think of ways you can reduce human contact with surfaces or others. In the digital age we live in now, there are many opportunities to do this. For example, instead of paper tickets, consider digital ones which can be scanned from a distance. If attendees are likely to purchase anything at your event, ensure you offer terminals for contactless payment either via card or through a mobile phone.

Contactless'

Go Virtual

Finally, if your in-person event isn’t destined to be in 2021…why not consider hosting a virtual event instead? In this brave new world, huge swathes of us have become accustomed to video calls and virtual events and many are willing to continue embracing this as we move forwards.

Lots of people tend to put off hosting a virtual event because they have never done so before. But they really are missing out! Virtual events, be it virtual conferences, team building activities, or meetings, are a fantastic way of connecting with others and can be just as effective as their in-person counterparts when planned correctly.

Virtual Event Platforms'

Organising A Covid Safe Event

Here at KDM Events, we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best – planning exciting events at venues across the UK. At the time of writing, we’re very much looking forward to the lifting of lockdown measures in the next couple of months and sincerely hope there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

If you’re considering hosting an event this year, be it virtual or in-person (restrictions permitting), contact us for help and support from our team of Event Managers. As an award-winning Event Management Company, we are experienced in building show-stopping events from the ground up, whether you’re organising it from the ground up.

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