The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) having a huge impact on the event industry globally. Over the past few weeks, we have been witnessing many global events are getting canceled or postponed as a precautionary measure to avoid spreading the virus to others. Besides, WHO (World Health Organization) has released a 9-page document on Key Planning Recommendations for Mass Gatherings.
Now, it’s time for the event organizers to prepare themselves to handle this difficult situation and think of implementing rigorous health rules to plan safe events in the future. In the midst of uncertainty around COVID 19 and your events, it’s important to identify reliable sources of information to make better decisions. So, we have put together a helpful guide on considering your concerns on planning the event and the safety of the attendees.
Communication is the Key
Do what you’re best at. As an event organizer, you should think of your participants instead of trying to become a virology expert. There are several public health authorities globally to do that job. So, you just focus on what are the best practices to organize an event safely and communicating with your attendees to make them feel worry-free.
Firstly, create a preparedness plan and communicate it to your attendees through different channels. Especially, display it on your event website to let them know the precautions that you are taking onsite to stop the spread of infection. Eventually, this will let them understand that you are carefully planning your event and concerned about their safety. If you follow these, you can avoid canceling or postponing your event.
An event management software will help you to communicate to your attendees with ease. It allows you to schedule emails, send push notifications via event app, etc.
Be Cautious about “Where” & “Who”
By this time, you would have come to know the most affected zones of COVID-19 across the world. If you have any upcoming events in any of those zones, it’s better you try to postpone it or relocate it to some no-risk zones whichever is convenient for you. If you don’t have an option to postpone then don’t hesitate to cancel it, as it’s a wise decision to take. Also, there is nothing important than human lives.
However, it doesn’t mean the risk is less if you plan an event in a safe area, as your participants might come from corona infected countries. So, it’s important for you to implement rigorous rules at the time of check-in by checking their passports. Also, you can set a team to check the temperature of your attendees using thermal scanning to avoid letting in people who are sick. Apart from attendees, you should apply the same rules to every individual associated with your event which includes speakers, sponsors, VIPs, your staffs and yourself.
With many global health organizations advising people to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19 pandemic, you can prefer event formats such as virtual meetings and web-casting to avoid mass gatherings. If your event type supports any of this event format, just create a web link to join the event and share it with your attendees to let them participate from wherever they are. At this time of uncertainty, this is the best thing that you can do.
Last but not least. Take Care of Yourself
Amidst planning safer events for your attendees, don’t forget to give importance to the well-being of you and your team. Just follow the best practices advised by the WHO to avoid getting infected by this virus.
Although coronavirus has caused a major impact on the event industry, it has taught several lessons especially on how to plan your events safely with strict health rules in the future.