As some cities and states loosen restrictions on events and gatherings, conference and convention venues are preparing for the return of in-person events with attendee safety being the top priority. But it doesn’t end there. Event organizers and event planners also need to establish event-specific protocols to help keep attendees healthy and safe.
Here are some tips on how to keep event attendees and staff safe during COVID-19
#1 Create a health and safety plan (and follow it!)
Long before the event, create a plan that outlines all health, safety, and sanitation measures for the conference space and protocols for anyone who enters the conference space. The plan should include steps that the venue itself is taking as well as event-specific procedures and guidelines for attendees, vendors, and conference staff.
#2 Design Every Aspect of the Conference with Physical Distancing in Mind
You will need to examine the event space to ensure that it is large enough to accommodate attendees and conference activities with physical distancing in mind. Assess every inch of the space to determine the flow of attendees – from entryways and registration areas to break-out sessions and break areas. In doing so, you can identify areas that may become congested so that you can reconfigure elements and processes to align with your safety plan.
#3 Symptom Screening
Unfortunately, this is our reality for the time being, but it could be paramount in stopping the spread of the virus at an event. Pre-entry screening for conference attendees can begin 24 hours before the event with a digital questionnaire that covers COVID-19 related questions.
Upon arrival, attendees should be screened for fever. As an organizer, there are several temperature screening options to consider, including non-contact infrared handheld thermometers and thermal imaging systems. No matter which type of screening system you choose, you will need trained safety ambassadors to perform screenings, provide direction, and monitor temperature readings.
#4 Opt for Digital Materials Instead of Paper
With COVID has come the rebirth of the QR code. Swap paper handouts such as itineraries and marketing materials for digital documents that are accessible with a QR code.
Communicate all procedures and protocols with attendees, vendors, and staff before the conference. For starters, being transparent about the precautions that you are taking will help people feel more comfortable about attending in-person. Secondly, giving clear directives on event requirements, such as masks, check-in procedures, symptom screenings, and so forth, will eliminate any surprises upon arrival.
During the event, signage that promotes social distancing, good hygiene, and PPE use is crucial. You can also lean on your conference staff and safety ambassadors to remind attendees of expectations and they can field questions and/or concerns about safety protocols.
At National Event Staffing, we have been sourcing, training, and managing premier event staff for 15 years. We know what it takes to start, progress and guide your event staff to success. Contact us to learn how our event management services can help achieve your goals.