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Creating safe environments for event patrons, vendors and sponsors

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As we spend more time in Virtual Discussion Groups within our industry community, the topic has been turning recently to strategies to create safer events for patrons, sponsors and others once events are able to return. 

There are no clear guidelines in place for this yet, although I'm sure we'll receive some direction at some point. While we anxiously wait, why not start thinking about our options and putting contingency plans in place, should we need them?

I've been collecting various lists as I participate in webinars, conference calls and networking events so I'm getting us all started by listing them below. 

Preventative measures to consider:

  • Hand sanitizer at all ingress and egress
  • Space out food court tables with frequent cleaning or eliminate
  • Remove bulk condiments and replace with single serve
  • Signate / floor graphics to indicate social distancing requirements
  • One way aisles
  • Space vendors apart
  • Volunteers to monitor restroom and food lines to keep people apart
  • Additional hand washing stations throughout the event
  • Masks and gloves for all staff and vendors
  • Mask recommendation / requirements for the public
  • Reducing the max capacity for fenced in areas like beer gardens and kids' zones
  • Intercom announcements & signage regarding social distancing and hand-washing
  • Dedicated first aid area away from event attendees in case someone falls ill
  • Temperature checks, frequent sanitation during events of high traffic areas
  • Taking out every other row of seating or creating a checkerboard pattern
  • Potential of onsite health inspections to ensure guidelines area followed
  • Staff using a zero-contact ticket collection method, digital tickets or RFID wristbands for cashless events
  • Look into broadband capacity for virtual participation for both outdoor large music festivals and indoor conference / theatre productions
  • Have health / safety requirements for sponsors and vendors included in their agreements
  • Ban the handshake and replace it with a different greeting - this can be creative and tie to the event theme of your profession. Communicate to the attendees about the new greeting or make it into a contest of some kind. 
  • Switch planned buffets to server facilitated or plated meals, discuss solutions for no passed salad dressings, no passed rolls etc.
  • Have window clings made for the public restrooms with song lyrics for hand-washing time
  • Move meals, breaks or breakout discussions outside or ensure doors / windows are open for adequate ventilation
  • Consider purchasing Super-HEPA or UV Light Air Purifiers and placing in the meeting room
  • Acrylic safety shields for food service, cashiers or check in booths
  • Neon / LED signage with safety reminders that could also be used for emergency messaging

If you're not sure how to get started with this process for your event, start by "walking" through each area of your event as a patron, sponsor, vendor, or other type or attendee. Think about all of the "touch points" and if there are any ways that you can adjust those to avoid possible virus transfer.

 

Disclaimer: This post has been written by a guest contributor. All views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author, and may not represent those of Blerter.

About author
Suzanne Neve
As the CEO for FFEA, Suzanne is responsible for all operational aspects of the organization, including membership growth, multimedia marketing, and event management. FFEA's 600 members represent the industry's top leaders and the Association serves as a resource to help them perform at their peak through education, networking and the cultivation of the highest standards.
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