Earlier this month, the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta announced an easing of additional restrictions in regards to Covid-19. Albertans with a confirmed case of COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate, and masks are no longer required on public transit or in most public spaces (left to the discretion of the business).
Recently, our team facilitated an event in Ontario, where there are no mandatory procedures in regards to mask wearing, social distancing, or any other safety practice. Regardless, our team decided to have a few precautionary plans in place, which is inclusive of all barriers to entry, including health and safety.
Making absolutely everyone feel welcome is essential, so here are a few tips from our team:
- Develop a detailed communication plan about how and when information is being sent out to attendees. Consider including details in pre-event emails, on the website, in volunteer, exhibitor and speaker packages, and in all pre-event meetings.
- Establish protocols for how you will address if someone is sick. Consider it from an attendee perspective and what steps they should take, then again for what steps your team will take.
- Evaluate the need for forms, pre-screening posters, questionnaires, or check points and how this will be communicated to attendees.
- Schedule weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly reminders to view the statistics, health recommendations and possible restrictions for your province and city.
- Research other events similar to yours to gauge what safety protocols will be commonly expected or required of your audience.
- Talk to your venue, vendors, speakers and client to ensure you are up to date on any internal best practices they have in place regarding safety and sanitation.
- Update the FAQ on the website so all necessary information is in a place that is easy to find, and easy to understand.
During the Event:
- Have a designated Safety Authority onsite who will make final calls on all matters of safety and sanitation throughout the event.
- Create signage with all of the information attendees need to know about how their safety is being prioritized at the event.
- Consider offering testing and additional masks onsite to offer additional comfort to attendees that are a bit more apprehensive about the lifting of restrictions.
- Check-in with attendees in a post-event survey to see how your safety measures were perceived onsite.
- Request feedback from the venue, vendors, speakers, and staff to gauge how effective your communication was and how safe these parties felt.
- Have clear and concise communication prepared in the possibility that spreading occurs at the event. Think about how you will notify attendees, what resources you can provide them, and a plan to improve your events in the future.
From an event planning perspective we were lucky enough to have the spring and summer months opened up, meaning no more mandates or restrictions that were stopping events from taking place. However, we don’t know what lies ahead; fall and winter could see large upticks in COVID-19, resulting in another round of closures. While we would like to hope for the best, it is better to plan ahead!
– Your Tycoon, Steph