Excitement is brewing in the OE offices as the team set to prepare to return to in-person events this September. Event kits are being prepped, registration software and printers are being checked and final details are being discussed with venues. As the attention shifts from the virtual world of the past 18 months, what should you be considering as you prepare to return to in person events?
First and foremost if you don’t already have one in place, now is the time to ensure you have a COVID policy relating to site visits and in person events and your team’s briefed on it. Here at OE ours includes things like; ensuring only the necessary staff attend and there being a solid business reason for doing so, considering the method of transport to the event for minimal contact and maximum social distancing, ensuring that lateral flow tests are taken before and after the event and of course not attending the event if you feel unwell.
Local and Travel Preparation
Take the time to research and ensure you are familiar with the local legislation in regards to COVID restrictions. Speak to your venue and organisers to understand what their policies are – whether that is around mask wearing, social distancing or additional cleaning. Feel confident in adding to the measures in place, putting your teams and attendees health and safety first and ensure they feel comfortable attending the event. And of course, take guidance from your corporate travel policy.
Plan A, Plan B, Plan C
As always take the time to plan in the event of worst case scenario. Do you have a back up team in reserve in case one of the team tests positive in the lead up to the event? Ensure you have a process and everyone is clear on it in the event that somebody does test positive onsite. Where will they go should they need medical treatment? To who and how is this reported, who will communicate this with the client and the guests onsite?
Some options in regards to making a venue COVID safe include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing, reducing capacity numbers, creating one way systems and carefully considering layouts potential bottle necks. For example more registration points or staggering arrival time and additional catering stations and allowing for longer breaks in your agenda.
Readying the Kit
Your event kits, banners and giveaways have been sat in storage gathering dust for the past 18 months. Now is the time to review the contents, check expiry dates on your first aid kits and any food and beverage and thoroughly test all equipment. For electrical items check your PAT testing certification is in date and arrange for retesting if required.
Remember your teams will be slightly rusty in regards to in person events, ensure personnel are thoroughly briefed on onsite roles and responsibility, processes around venue find, accommodation lists, registration and conduct refresher training as applicable.
Ensure staff welfare is at the forefront of your mind, suddenly working 12 hours plus days on your feet will be a challenge! I would suggest a separate staff area, with regular breaks built in for the team to be fed and watered.
Finally, if like me and you have been on the Corona diet for the past 18 months and everything is fitting a little snugger than usual. I would suggest trying on your usual onsite clothes, I am in definite need of a shopping trip!