The events industry is at a crossroads. We can see the end of COVID-19, but we can still feel its sting. A return to in-person events has begun. Still, we have to remember: the pandemic isn’t over yet.
A growing body of evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 will become endemic. In less scientific terms, this means that the virus could persist in some form for years to come.
We can’t know what the future holds. But we do know that safety will remain a concern at in-person events for the foreseeable future. For organizations looking to expand their reach and revenue with Hybrid Events, this means you’ll have to give careful thought to the safety of in-person sessions.
The risk of COVID-19 fluctuates with each passing day. Let us show you how to host a Hybrid Event safely for your in-person attendees.
Above All: Follow Federal, State, and Local Guidelines
The majority of federal, state, and municipal regulations for COVID-19 have been lifted at this time. Still, some might remain in your municipality. We’d tell you what they are, but they change by the day and by location. Your considerations for Hybrid Event safety should begin there.
Even if there are no longer official regulations, there are still recommendations. Here are the CDC’s suggestions for hosting large, in-person events. You don’t have to follow them word-for-word, but we recommend at least taking them into account!
Pick a Safe Venue
Give careful thought to the rules and regulations at the venue of your choice. Most will have these published clearly on their website. If you don’t see them there, give them a call and find out what their guidelines might be. You’ll want to understand this early so you can pick safe venue that meets your needs.
Here are a few safety considerations to take into account when selecting a safe venue to host your Hybrid Event:
- Capacity limitations
- Space for social distancing
- Outdoor space (weather permitting)
- Sanitation stations
- Ceiling height
- Fans and windows for air circulation
- Air purification
Hybrid Event safety starts with the venue. The more of these venue safety features you see, the safer the in-person component of your event will be.
Once you’ve settled on a safe venue, give some thought to the organization of the event itself.
Some of our biggest organizational concerns center around check-in and registration. You don’t want crowds forming at the doors. So what’s the solution?
Staggering arrival times is always an option. But allowing attendees to check-in and register in advance could be more elegant. Anything you do to streamline this process will cut down on congestion and promote a safer Hybrid Event.
Don’t let your event be haphazard. Proper organization will ensure a safer experience for all.
PPE and Sanitation
Personal protective equipment and disinfectants are no longer the rarity that they were in the early days of the pandemic. Store shelves overflow with hand sanitizer. Reusable masks are ubiquitous, sometimes even fashionable.
Face masks and hand sanitizer might not be as important moving forward as during the height of the pandemic. But they won’t disappear. Many have suggested that masks will continue to be worn by the sick, as has been customary in much of East Asia for decades. And who wouldn’t be glad to have a bottle of hand sanitizer in their car or their purse?
Most importantly, PPE and sanitation enable safer face-to-face interactions. The in-person attendees at your Hybrid Event will want to see them. You have a duty to keep attendees safe, and these items can play a role in that.
Here’s a secondary benefit: they present a great custom branding opportunity for you and your sponsors.
Communicate Your Safety Protocol
When it comes to COVID protocols, different groups choose to handle things in different ways. California took a distinct approach from Florida. And at some point during the pandemic, you probably found yourself wondering whether you were among Californians or Floridians.
Everyone should be on the same page. Clearly communicate the safety protocol and expectations at your Hybrid Event from the start. Will you require vaccinations? How about temperature checks?
Get the message out well in advance through promotional emails, registration confirmations, and the event microsite. This will help interested individuals determine if they’d prefer to attend in-person or virtually.
Additionally, post your policies prominently at the venue, and take a moment to review them on the first day.
Conduct Safe Hybrid Events with CommPartners
CommPartners knows how to host a Hybrid Event safely. We have 13 years of experience merging in-person and virtual event experiences. Let our expert Event Producers make sure yours goes off without a hitch. Integrating your next Hybrid Event into our award-winning Elevate LMS raises the bar for exposure, longevity, and ROI.
Let’s start a conversation. If you want to learn more about Elevate LMS or our managed hybrid event services, contact Meghan Gowen at Meghan.Gowen@gocadmium.com. Keep up with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.