There can be no doubt that if you’re still planning an event, the effects of COVID-19 have to be at the forefront of your mind. As a unique venue finding service here at Absolute Venues, we work closely alongside both venues and event planners, and we’re keeping a close eye on the developing situation which, as we know, is incredibly fast moving.
But there can be little doubt that hosting meetings and events in the foreseeable future will need major adjustments to be made. Everyone, both venues and event planners, will have to work hard to hold events in a safe and responsible manner. We all want the industry to get kick-started back into action again, but with so much information being shared and quickly changing situation it can be difficult to know exactly how to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
That’s why we’re here with some tips about safety measures that venues and event planners will have to put into place for the foreseeable future. If you want to hold an event while keeping your attendees safe and helping to prevent the spread of the virus, measures will need to be taken.
Sanitisation and Signage
It might seem like this one goes without saying, but the fact is that there probably isn’t anything more important when planning an event in a post-COVID-19 world than health and safety. This has become a central part of our day to day living, and it’s our responsibility to help prevent the spread of the virus.
For event planning, this means making sure that there’s plenty of sanitisation options available to attendees. Offering hand sanitiser and having plenty available will go a long way, but also enabling attendees to easily wash their hands will be important too.
Signage will likely play an important role here too. Making sure that your event has a lot of signs reminding and encouraging attendees to wash their hands, as well as directing them to hand sanitiser stations and to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze – these will go a long way to ensuring that your attendees follow the right protocol.
We also advise there to be something in place whereby event staff will regularly clean and sanitise surfaces.
Then, of course, there’s social distancing. It will be the duty of both the event organisers and the venues themselves to encourage and facilitate proper social distancing. While it is predicted that the threat of the virus will begin to subside, a cautionary approach is certainly the best. As such, we expect that in a post-COVID-19 world, events will require social distancing of 1-2 metres at all times. The Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) recently posted some guidelines for maintaining social distancing at future events, including:
- Keeping tables two to six metres apart
- Using tape on the floor to indicate safe distances
- Creating wide aisles for safer movement
- Using columns of two chairs with a six-foot aisle between them
This may also mean adopting a no handshake policy, special seating arrangements, and generally keeping the attendance numbers of your events down. Of course, for event planners, attendance is a hugely important aspect of your event as a whole. But there will be alternatives to having everybody attend your event physically.
Events, in general, have moved towards more virtual meetings, and this trend will only increase. But not all events can or should be held entirely virtually, and we expect that hybrid meetings will come to the fore. A hybrid event is simply one that has both a number of virtual and physical attendees, using online conferencing in a venue. Technological problems can be an issue, but it will be worth using hybrid events following COVID-19.
Food & Drink
Self service buffets probably won’t be an option for events after COVID-19. Seated dining will be a much more appealing option, and there will be a demand for staff trained in sanitation and food-handling. These extra precautions can add to the costs of food and drink at an event, but will be well worth it to make your event as safe as possible.
Considering a menu-only service option and having staff pre package the meals in bags or boxes is a safer option. Also, restricting the number of people using the kitchen space is a must – this limits the number of people handling the food while enabling better social distancing.
Fortunately, people are beginning to put a lot fo thought into how to make food and beverages safer at events. UKHospitality (UKH) submitted a proposal to the government detailing how safe events can take place, including guidelines such as:
- No cutlery laid out on tables
- Removing salt and pepper shakers from tables
- Having condiments available only on request
- Limiting the use of menus
What Are We Doing To Cope With COVID-19 Here At Absolute Venues?
Here at Absolute Venues, we are committed to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 through our venue finding service. That’s why we are now only working with venues that we know are COVID secure and protected from the virus. During the pandemic, we have always made sure that the venues we work with do all of the following:
- Upgrading hygiene procedures
- Ensuring regular and thorough sanitisation throughout the venue
- Setting up sanitisation stations for delegates and staff
- Maintaining social distancing measures by reducing contact between staff and guests
- Making sure that sufficient PPE is available where necessary
- Ensuring that there are adequate handwashing facilities available throughout the venue
- Providing all the latest updates, information and guidance on COVID-19 from the government to both guests and staff
A lot of the hotels and venues that we are currently working with have adapted their steps-to-safety with measures such as social distancing and increased cleaning/disinfecting, setting up sanitisation stations and protective barriers, improving air circulation and more.
Some of the best extra measures the venues we work with have taken include informative welcome packs for guests, switching to card-only payment, social distancing in restaurant and bar areas, express check-outs, and even performing regular temperature checks for staff.
Get In Touch
Want to find out more about how you can begin planning safe events in a world after COVID-19? Here at Absolute Venues, we live and breathe event planning and venue finding, and we’re always looking for ways to make these events safer and healthier. Get in touch with us today for a chat about events following COVID-19 – we’re always available for a chat!