Photo from Alberta Blue Cross Wellness Summit 2019
Don’t throw away those masks just yet! When it comes to the re-opening of Alberta, nearly everyone is ecstatic to be rid of physical distancing, masks, and the cap on guests at weddings and events. But there are a select few of us who are a bit reserved in our celebrations.
There are a lot of unknowns that planners are trying to navigate. As we sit tentatively waiting – nervous to hear about the next outbreak and shutdown – we thought we would highlight why hybrid is here to stay and what the best practices are for these ‘in-between’ times with safety being our utmost priority.
To re-cap: Since July 1, the Alberta government made the decision to fully re-open the province with next-to-zero restrictions in place. AHS and Covenant Health facilities are still adhering to physical distancing and mask rules, as well as ridesharing, taxis and public transit. But private businesses can decide to be rid of restrictions at their discretion. For the most up-to-date COVID policies in Alberta, please refer to their website.
Since these new mandates have come out, little has been said about the best practices for moving forward with events. Most weddings are commencing again, but the risk tends to be smaller because if an outbreak happens at a wedding, typically the bride and groom will not be blamed and are not held legally responsible for getting family and friends sick. On the other hand, if an outbreak were to happen at a corporate event, the company could be liable for the people it endangers, the community, and even their financial wellbeing, as sponsors or clients cannot risk being aligned with an organization that seemingly does not care about the political climate.
This leads us to the importance of being mindful when hosting an in-person event. Here are a few of our quick tips:
- Send attendees a COVID screening waiver virtually before they attend the event.
- Stagger the arrival of guests so there are less line ups.
- Pre-package food and offer single use cutlery and glassware.
- For games, require items to be sanitized between each use.
- Make sure common spaces are being disinfected often.
- Have a rapid response and communication plan for emergencies.
- Host a hybrid event!
We get asked, “Why should our event be hybrid?” a lot. We have 5 very good reasons why:
- Marketers and sponsors love the way they can see the ROI of their investments.
- Hybrid events are convenient for attendees to attend.
- You can reach way more people allowing for more ticket sales from in-person and online.
- They optimize safety.
- They’re better for the environment.
Plus, the flexibility and creativity that hybrid events allow for is immense. For example, you could offer more content and VIP experiences for those that join virtually vs. in-person, host pre-recorded master classes for your virtual audiences and meet and greets for your in-person guests, or host your live and virtual events on separate days so each audience is specifically tailored to.
Overall, we are hoping that our province can confidently and safely open again for full-scale in-person events very soon, but for the time being, let’s make sure we are working for our attendees and keeping their comfort top of mind.
Keep an eye out for our Summer Event Guide – coming soon!
– Your Tycoon, Steph XO