The Covid-19 pandemic transformed our society, including the way we host events. Considering up to 40 million Americans attend business events each year, there’s clearly a demand. But how can companies accommodate the new safety demands of their attendees?
Here are 5 considerations event professionals can make when optimizing their in-person (or hybrid) events for pandemic safety.
Consideration 1: Consider a Hybrid Model
Hybrid events skyrocketed in popularity as the pandemic came down off its peak and in-person options returned. Hybrid events allow those comfortable in person to reap the benefits of attending that way while not excluding those who’d rather join virtually.
The success of hybrid events relies almost entirely on using the best event management platform for your needs.
The platform you choose should offer seamless integration of features and experiences across virtual and in-person attendees. You’ll want the ability to use contactless check-in, digital business card exchange, cross-interaction between all attendees, meeting schedulers, and more.
Looking for the perfect all-in-one event management platform for your next event? Check out EventEngage.
Consideration 2: In-Person Venue
In-person events, whether on their own or as part of hybrid events, need to undergo serious venue considerations to keep people safe. Keep the following aspects of in-person events in mind throughout 2022 and beyond.
Cleaning: As we know, Covid-19 lingers on surfaces and can transmit that way. Work with a cleaning team to establish a thorough Covid-19 cleaning protocol that includes disinfecting all surfaces, washing towels thoroughly, using wipeable covers on high-contact electronic surfaces so they can be disinfected between uses, and anything else the CDC recommends.
Ventilation. Whichever venue you choose should have good ventilation systems to maximize clean air delivery and reduce the spread of Covid-19. Check with building management beforehand.
Capacity. Consider social distancing as it relates to building capacities. You may want to lower the number of in-person attendees to give people the ability to spread out.
Hand sanitizers. Place touchless hand sanitizers throughout your venue and encourage people to use them. Locations can include entryways, food stations, bathrooms, and more.
Consideration 3: Guest Communication
Clear communication will help attendees feel comfortable coming to your event. You can build a special web page for your event that details the safety protocols you have in place and guidelines attendees must follow.
Consider building out an email campaign that reminds people of the behaviors you expect to keep Covid-19 spread to a minimum. Remind people not to attend if they are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or if they’ve been exposed in the last 7 days.
During the event, place signage around your venue reminding people to wash their hands frequently, cough and sneeze into their elbows, and not enter if they’re under the weather. State whether masks are required or optional, depending on your preference and current mandates.
Consideration 4: Food Options
Some food considerations need to be made when hosting in-person events in 2022 and beyond.
Firstly, if you’re offering buffet-style food, ensure there are plexiglass barriers in place to minimize contact between servers – whether professionals or self-serve by the attendees – and the food.
If you want to take food safety a step further, you could offer pre-packaged meals. You can ask that guests request these in advance so you prepare an appropriate quantity.
Lastly, if attendees are waiting in line to get food, consider floor markers encouraging people to space out when waiting.
Consideration 5: Analyze Data for Impact
Demonstrating ROI for in-person or hybrid events is always essential, but as you consider the model you choose to host your event, this data becomes even more critical. Data on in-person vs. virtual vs. hybrid events inform decisions you make on event hosting moving forward.
Ensure you use an event management platform with extensive analytics that helps you compare different event types and what was successful with each. You can then determine how to host future events better and create more impactful experiences.
EventEngage offers an impressive suite of analytics at a very reasonable cost. We’ll help you demonstrate ROI and make strategic decisions for future events. Learn more about the platform today!
The World Has Changed, and Events Must Keep Up
The pandemic’s impact on event hosting can’t be understated. Still, there’s demand for these types of experiences, and professionals who will be successful at hosting them are those who adapt to the changes people wish to see.
Your goal when hosting events should be to implement changes that make people feel comfortable attending. We hope this article helps you determine the changes you want to make and that you have successful in-person (and hybrid) events moving forward!