Live Events During & After Covid-19

Covid-19 is bound to bring some new (and recycled) trends for live events. In case you’ve missed these posts on our social media pages, here are some predictions and pieces of advice for in-person events.
Communicating Safety Protocols
This one is huge, in my opinion. As you start to plan for live events, be sure to communicate your safety protocols! Whether it’s related to a global pandemic or not, people like to know what to expect. You can never give too much information about what to expect, and this is something that is more necessary than ever now. Be sure to tell people what you will expect and enforce. Do they need to wear a mask? Will social distancing be enforced? How many people will be attending? Will you be following all CDC guidelines? Do not underestimate the importance of communication, ever. In order for people to feel comfortable attending a live event, they are going to need to know what to expect.

Shorter Timeframe
Once live events start again, I predict that they will have shorter timeframes. This will especially be the case with workshops and conferences. The CDC has a list of recommendations for events, and they are currently recommending that anytime there is a group of people together inside that the time period is as short as possible. As you move forward with your event planning, consider ways that you can make your events more time efficient, or ways to break up the event so everyone isn’t in an enclosed space for as long.

Covid Liability Waiver
This is an interesting one— have you seen Covid liability wording being added to event waivers? This is obviously something you should check on with your lawyer. I recently saw an event (live event outside with social distancing, masks, etc.) advertised and before you purchased tickets you had to agree that if you got sick you would not hold the organizer, sponsors, etc. liable. Have you seen this yet? Is this something you think that we will continue to see for awhile, related to live events?

Local or Satellite
When live events start again, they will start local and/ or satellite. People may not feel comfortable traveling to other countries or even states, so the trend will be events within driving distance, whether they are live or satellite versions of a larger conference. There is likely less risk involved here, rather than groups of people from different areas of the country or world getting together and potentially sharing the virus. If you’re trying to think of a way to get your conference to a large group of people from different regions, consider adding one or multiple local satellite events in addition to the primary live event.

Pre-Event Questionnaire
You may want to consider a pre-event questionnaire for your next event. Ask your venue if they require any additional information from attendees, as they may have new policies in place. For example, “Have you traveled out of state in the past two weeks?” Always be sure to have contact information for attendees in case of event cancellations or postponements, or in case someone from your event gets sick and you need to notify people.

Individual Servings
To reduce the amount of times different people have to touch the same thing, individual servings will start to become the norm. Rather than buffet style where everyone serves themselves (by touching the same serving spoons), consider plated meals instead. If you’re serving appetizers, single servings are best. Keep this in mind when you’re budgeting for catering, as these adjustments may increase your costs. Don’t hesitate to ask your caterer for ideas, as they likely have creative serving and menu suggestions.