In the last two years, we’ve all heard that we’ll need to adjust to the ‘new normal.’ But, with Covid-19 still a concern, how do we plan live events securely and safely? While virtual events have served us well — in May 2020, Zoom saw 2 million daily participants — returning to live events is possible with adequate safety precautions and new technologies.
The first step to planning a live event is considering your risk factors. Small gatherings outdoors are relatively safe. The virus is less transmissible in the fresh air. However, a crowded, indoor event might carry more risk.
Local Covid-19 Cases
The number of local cases is changeable and hard to predict. You can reliably trust the regional figures if you’re planning an event for the upcoming week. For example, a downwards trend in the present week would suggest cases should be relatively low when you host your meeting. However, it’s harder to know how the world will look when organizing an event next month or next year.
We’re seeing fewer cases reported each day in 2022 than at the tail-end of last year. But, more importantly, Covid deaths are down 8% worldwide. This is a positive sign and suggests that you can plan future live events.
Yet, to mitigate the risk of future rising cases, we recommend implementing a few general safety precautions. And make sure you keep an eye on local cases in the weeks leading up to your live event.
Keep people informed with a social wall at the venue
Event Venue Location
Location is another risk factor. If your event is indoors, the risk will be higher. Can you improve the ventilation in your venue or even move it outdoors?
Furthermore, consider whether attendees need to travel, especially on public transport. Buses and airplanes have poor ventilation, meaning your guests are highly exposed en route to the event.
Duration of Event
The longer your event goes on, the higher the risk. Close contact with someone for more than 15 minutes increases the chances of virus transmission. While it’s inevitable your event will likely last longer than 15 minutes, you’ll need to implement precautions and security measures to protect as many attendees as possible.
The number of attendees and their behavior is a significant risk factor. Consider whether you need a larger venue size to allow for social distancing. Moreover, is there a structured one-way system? Plus, think of how your guests will behave — singing, shouting, and speaking all increase the risk of viruses transmitting.
Canceling or postponing events might be necessary when cases are exceptionally high. Yet, the trick is to ensure you implement stringent safety measures that ensure your event can go ahead in the new normal.
Covid-19 and other illnesses pass easily through contact with others. If everyone handles the same objects, the risk of transmission grows. For example, door handles are one of the biggest culprits of germs. Installing contactless access control technology that uses biometrics and multi-factor authentication is an excellent way to protect your guests.
Moreover, integrating video security, access control, and visitor management systems will ensure a smoother-running event. Attendees can verify their Covid tests online, use their phones to access the venues, and enjoy a contactless experience.
One of the best ways to reduce Covid-19 transmission at your live event is by encouraging pre-event testing. Some organizers even make it a mandatory requirement of attendees. Enforcing guests to verify their health is excellent to maintain occupancy management. Fortunately, technology enables us to use our mobile phones as our credentials.
Moreover, you can take the whole process online. Guests can use their phones to check into events, preventing lines and overcrowding to show their negative tests in person.
Masks, Distancing, Sanitizing
Wearing masks, social distancing, and regularly sanitizing our hands is one of the most effective ways to prevent catching the disease. Encouraging and enforcing thoughtful and careful behavior will help protect participants. Ensure your venue can handle social distancing. Each attendee should have six feet between them.
Install sanitizing stations with signs to remind guests to keep their hands clean. Finally, have spare disposable masks ready to offer to attendees who come without.
Communicate Your Message
Unless you communicate your dedication to maintaining a secure venue, all your safety precautions are useless. It would be best to inform attendees about your security measures before they turn up without a mask or access to your online systems for contactless access.
How you broadcast your message depends on the event you’re hosting. For example, internal emails will be OK for a workplace meeting. However, a larger venue with external guests might require social media posts. Moreover, while many are eager to resume live events, make sure you offer a virtual option for anyone who cannot physically attend.
Communicate all safety measure on a social wall at the venue
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