Follow these guidelines when able to navigate safely back to in-person events.
In-Person events are back! Although virtual is here to stay for the foreseeable future, incorporating in-person elements for hybrid or fully in-person events is starting to become the norm once again. Although it is exciting to have this option available to us, safety measures remain that must be followed and there is some understandable apprehension among attendees about returning to in-person. There are many options and techniques that can be implemented to help ensure attendees feel comfortable making the switch, so they can focus on getting the most out the event, and most importantly, have fun! Check out Redstone’s top tips below, and check out our video above!
- Contactless events
While these are in-person events, contact between attendees and organizers is extremely limited. These events include elements such as virtual tickets, digital swag bags and at-home badge printing to keep contact as minimal as possible.
- Pre-event testing
In order to ensure that your event is COVID safe, setting up pre-event testing for all in-person attendees is vital. This can be done by either sending out at-home testing kits for attendees to take themselves and provide the negative results at registration, or by having on-site rapid antigen testing available prior to check-in.
- Staggered check-in
Checking into events for registration pre-pandemic often resulted in long lines and close quarters. To mitigate this going forward, implementing a staggered check-in schedule can be set up. Subgroups within your organization, or alphabetical groups by name can be assigned different registration times so that only a certain number of people are checking in at the same time.
- On-site signage
Posting reminders around the venue about maintaining social distancing and wearing masks can help attendees remember to be responsible while at the event. Keeping safety top-of-mind will help everyone attending the gathering feel secure and protected!
- Maintain social distancing
While reminding guests to keep a safe distance is important, it is more vital that the event is planned and set-up to make it possible and easy for guests to stay 6 feet apart. Pre-pandemic, venues could be packed with tables and chairs, whereas now this is no longer possible. While in the planning process, make sure that the venue is large enough to keep the number of attendees safely distanced. Keep tables and chairs 6 feet away from each other and limit the number of attendees sat at the same table during meals.
- Food and beverage accommodations
At an event where food served, it is now especially important that service is sanitary and safe. One method is to provide pre-packaged meals for guests. Meals are prepared and packed by service staff and passed on to attendees, limiting the possibility of cross-contamination. Another method is a served buffet. Guests are separated from the buffet by a plexiglass shield and are served food they want by wait staff.
- Assigned cohorts and seating
Assigning groups to attendees is a very effective way to minimize contact and make them feel safe. These groups will spend their time at the conference together; attend the same breakouts, social activities, and be seated together at meals. Providing guests with tent cards to place on their seats to reserve for the next day also helps comfort levels as they know they will be the only one sitting there!
- Comfort bracelets/badges/ribbons
Some attendees may be more comfortable interacting with groups than others. Providing colour-coded symbols guests can wear to quickly let others know their comfort-level during the event, is an easy and effective addition that can be made. An example system is as follows:
Green – Hugs ok
Yellow – Elbow bumps only
Red – Please keep your distance
- Always have a back-up plan!
While it is our hope that attendees feel safe attending our in-person events, the possibility of changed-minds or newly implemented restrictions are always a possibility. Allow attendees to switch their ticket free of charge to attend virtually, and be prepared to switch the event to completely virtual if government restrictions are put in place.
We want guests to have fun and get the most out of their time at events without having to worry! Implementing these tips into your planning process with help attendees feel safe and give them peace of mind with the return to in-person gatherings.
Need help navigating back to in-person? We can help – contact us today!