How to plan an event during COVID-19?
- Know the latest guidelines
- Make hygienic supplies available on-site
- Communicate with participants
- Encourage pre-registration
- Consider hybrid events
Event planning during COVID-19 can be tricky to approach. Venue organizers and event planners must put into place a set of health and safety protocols implemented by the LGU through the venues while still ensuring that the event to be staged would be engaging and successful. There is also the risk of possible transmission, especially in indoor spaces.
Event planners face the challenge of organizing an event that does exactly what it’s supposed to do, while reassuring the safety of its participants. Fortunately, this can be made possible by adopting a uniformed approach on cooperation and collaboration with all key event players. There should be a fine balance between implementing all safety guidelines required for the chosen location, while also ensuring that the attendees benefit from the nature of the event. Continue reading to learn more.
Know the Latest Guidelines
Under MGCQ, DOT issued a memorandum that live events will be permitted in stand-alone venues at 50% capacity. To plan for an event under this, it is important to understand the latest guidelines about COVID-19. This includes staying on top of legitimate announcements set forth by the IATF in coordination with other local government agencies and trusted medical organizations and authorities. Aside from this, implementing your event with the latest COVID-19 safety measures also help your event get approval from the local government unit issuing the necessary permit to stage an event and will assure them that there will not be any risks to your attendees.
For example, when you choose the World Trade Center Metro Manila as your event venue, you have to secure a copy of their B.E. (Business Events) Program to know the safety measures that they are implementing.
It would be best to ask questions like: will some of your foreign attendees need to quarantine themselves for a certain period before going to your event? Will they need to bring or submit any travel documents to the venue? It may also be useful to include this information when you secure your event permit so the local government would know that you are expecting foreign visitors or exhibitors.
Make Hygienic Supplies Available On-Site
During this time of the pandemic, it is important to think about the safety of your event community. While each has the responsibility of taking care of their own health, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to help them stay safe during your event.
Aside from the set proper distancing that must be observed, as the organizer, you must ensure that augmented supplies are made available aside from what the venue provides in general areas. As an organizer, you must ensure that adequate alcohol and other disinfectant solutions must always be ready at all times. This will also be useful if there may be attendees who fail to bring their own supplies.
Communicate with Participants
As mentioned before, you don’t want to discourage potential attendees from choosing your event. Keeping this in mind, you also have the burden of creatively communicating to your participants all the efforts you’re making to make the event safe, fruitful and worthwhile.
Around 3 to 6 months before the day of the event, make the effort to boost your social media marketing by coming up with creative event promotions and ensure them a safe journey to your event. Get inventive on how you’ll go about this and understand the requirements of your event.
You can play around with infographics about social distancing, the importance of mask-wearing, or why sanitizing oneself is crucial — it’s all up to you, really. You can even take inspiration from what the World Trade Center Metro Manila did, which is to release a primer on their B.E. (Business Events) S.A.F.E. Program. Keep your target audience in mind and be prudent with your choice of words on how you want to assure them.
Event registrations on the day itself can take up too much time and gather long queues outside the event. This really isn’t the ideal situation when you’re organizing a show in the midst of COVID-19, since large crowds gathering in a single location all at once can pose risks for cross-contamination. As much as possible, discourage to entertain onsite registrations.
There are so many ways to encourage pre-registration. Communicate on how they can benefit from early registration. Offer incentives or giveaways to early bird registrants.
Make promotional materials using infographics. Tie-in a bit of gamification and sales tactics to your pre-registration marketing techniques. These will all help them register online.
All these efforts would not only attract more attendees to pre-register, but it will also assure them a much safer way to sign up and participate in your event.
Consider Hybrid Events
Inasmuch as you are organizing a live event where you want to have the same number of attendees as pre-COVID-19, it would be difficult to expect that nowadays when some of your previous visitors are still skeptical about attending live events. In this regard, you may still be able to make them participate and not miss your event by using all available digital technology resources.
With virtual elements present in hybrid events, you can come up with creative audio-visual presentations that allow your participants to interact. But you should also keep in mind that nothing beats the live experience of physically interacting with world-renowned guest speakers, pundits, and other professionals in various fields.
Another benefit of hybrid events is that there’s a high chance that your chosen venue already has the resources and capabilities to host an event of this nature. Make this an opportunity to talk to them and discover their technological resources and how they can make your hybrid event more fruitful and exciting.
When it comes to event planning during COVID-19, there are definitely many things to keep track of. As an event planner, this time, you’re not only thinking about implementing a successful event, but you also have the added responsibility of making it safe for everyone.
While there are several things that you need to keep track of when event planning is in the midst of COVID-19, there are a few things that you may want to give greater attention to.
These can range from staying up-to-date with the latest guidelines about the virus, helping out your attendees by making hygienic supplies available during the event, closely communicating with all key stakeholders, or even considering a hybrid element.
You don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your event just because of the many stringent protocols in place. Take a different approach and use them as an opportunity instead, to come up with a unique event that still generates a good level of participation from your attendees.