Once we have all emerged from lockdown and we have defeated the Coronavirus events will slowly start to happen once more. Don’t expect Wembley Stadium or the O2 arena to be packing out concerts every night but soon enough we should expect small and medium-sized events to be allowed to take place. Here at Absolute Venues we’re looking to the future and thinking about how event planners up and down the UK can safely and successfully host fantastic events once this Coronavirus pandemic has abated.
How Is The Coronavirus Outbreak Affecting Events?
The Coronavirus’ impact on everything has been astounding and of course, events have been affected hugely by this. But at the time of writing, we can almost see the end of this. We think it’s important to look forward and to see how event planners can adapt their ways of working to ensure people can still congregate in the safest way possible. But first, we thought we’d just briefly talk about the Coronavirus, what it is and why it has stopped events.
What Is The COVID-19 Virus?
The story of the Coronavirus outbreak can be traced back to Wuhan around November 2019, when the first case was recorded. Since then, preventative measures have come into place that have rocked the world, brought economies to a standstill and kept virtually everyone — other than non-essential workers — at home. This Coronavirus lockdown has wreaked havoc on the events industry. But what exactly is Coronavirus and why are there so many cases?
COVID-19 is a flu-like illness that can affect your lungs and airways and is caused by a virus called the Coronavirus. The main symptoms are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough. The vast majority of people who contract the illness will suffer mild symptoms and recover in 10 days or so. One of the key traits of Coronavirus is its highly contagious nature which is why over the coming months, disease control specialists have been keen to cancel events and mass gatherings — all with the goal of returning to normal life as soon as possible.
Tips On How To Plan An Event Post-Coronavirus Pandemic
Break The Event Down Into 4 Parts
Pre-Event – To ensure you can execute a safe and successful event during this Coronavirus pandemic ensure that the venue itself is of a sensible size to accommodate your event and big enough so that people can still enact social distancing if that’s something we will still need to be doing in the coming months. Communication is vital during this time so in the lead up to the event, make guests and fellow co-ordinators aware of whatever rules & regulations need following. Advice and guidance are also vital so maybe think about sending literature to your guests about what they can expect from the event. Where possible, speak to people at the venue about how you can utilise technology to ensure that if needs be, some people can attend the event via the internet. And finally, the most important pre-event thing an event planner can do is ensure and promise the event space will undergo a thorough deep clean.
Arrival – On event day itself, it’s important to stay level-headed, remain positive and if the pre-event preparation work has been followed the event should still go well, all things considered. Think about how you can use social distance markers on floors, walls, screens or wherever possible to allow for easier movement of people. As an event planner, you should be looking at how to make the event space as easy as possible for people to move around in. So, keep doors (where it is safe to do so) open to avoid surface to hand contact, create one-way elements of your event so you know that there will always be an element of distancing somewhere.
During The Event – While the event is going on, ensure that the layout is optimised for social distancing while still allowing for safe forms of social interaction. Remember, people know what is going out and they’re willing to adapt to situations so don’t worry about it being awkward – who knows your special socially distanced event could become famous! Provide nearby sanitation stations with gloves, antiseptic wipes, antibacterial gel, or failing that a tap, some hot water and soap is as effective as anything in killing COVID-19.
Food & Drink Areas – If there is a break for food & drink during your event or a cafe in the event space that people may visit at some point during the day you can easily make this as normal and enjoyable experience as possible with just a few simple things. Ensure social distancing is kept while queuing, split up the break across different times in order to avoid a high peak of people entering the food & drink area. Create a grab & go service where meals are already prepped, boxed and ready to pick up and if possible, paid for with contactless payment to avoid further hand to surface transmission.
Separate Fact From Fiction
Now that we are in total lockdown, it’s more important than ever that as an event organiser you’re getting your information from reputable sources like Government websites, Public Health England and NHS sites. Hard-hitting, emotionally-led headlines about Coronavirus cases are powerful and necessary to get the message across about the dangers of this disease. But as an event organiser, it’s important to stick to the facts so that you can look toward the next couple of months. This will allow you to see what type of events will be allowed, whether travel restrictions will be lifted and what other simple precautions you’ll have to make once we go back to business as usual.
Never has communication with people been so important. Make sure that as an event organiser you’re constantly in touch with the right people, ensuring they understand the impact that this lockdown will have on their event and what you’re planning to do as an alternative. Communication doesn’t just stop at your stakeholders; your website and other things like scheduled emails and an effective event management system are all useful tools in getting the message out there about your new online event spaces.
Understand What You Can Control, And What You Can’t
It’s important to remember that there is only so much you can control both in the present and future. Public events won’t be happening for quite a while so expect business events and in-person events to be on hold for the foreseeable future. The entire country understands this and so will your stakeholders, so don’t worry about letting people down. This is an unprecedented time we’re living through and all you can do is recognise the elements of event planning that you can control and look to be effective in those areas.
How Absolute Venues Can Help You Organise Your Event
We will come through this soon enough, and once we’re out of it, event planning and event spaces will be in high demand. If you’re an event planner or a business looking to the future and wanting to host a memorable event with key stakeholders then get in touch with the fantastic team at Absolute Venues.
We’ll be delighted to help you put on a memorable event that is sure to put you in front of the right people to help grow your business or organisation. If you have any questions, why not check out our FAQ page? Or, to see what we have done for past clients, have a read of some of the fantastic testimonials that they have very kindly left for us!