With experts estimating that things won’t return completely to normal from the pandemic until late 2021, we need to accept that we’re in it for the long haul. But that doesn’t mean life needs to grind to a screeching halt for another year.
Even hosting social events can still go off without a hitch, as long as you are safe and considerate towards the health of others. But how do you pull this off?
Well, you’re in luck. We’re here to break down everything you need to know about hosting an event during COVID-19! So without further ado, let’s jump right into things!
Set Some Ground Rules
One of the best ways to keep your event safe from COVID-19 is to make sure you implement basic safety procedures across your event. For example, make sure everyone at your event is wearing a mask (and gloves if need be). Try to keep as much social distancing in your event as possible too.
Placing hand-wash stations and hand sanitizer all around the event will help keep guests from spreading germs, and upgrading your on-site restroom with sinks and soap that don’t require touch to activate helps even more.
Send out reminders to your attendees to monitor themselves for symptoms and to not show up if they think they are ill. If the event required a ticket to be bought before entry, let them know you will refund the ticket price. This way, the guest won’t feel like they’re wasting money if they stay home and be tempted to attend anyways.
Finally, make sure that you sanitize all surfaces at your event before and after your guests arrive (doing so during the event if you can doesn’t hurt either).
Communicate Your Ideas When Hosting an Event
All the great planning in the world won’t help you if people aren’t aware of the rules they should follow, so make sure to have signs up across the event reminding people of your safety policies. Placing markers on the ground to indicate 6-foot spaces will help if your event will need people to line up at any point.
Try to be proactive too. Let your guests know ahead of time via email or phone what’s expected of them so there are no surprises once they arrive at the door. Staggering the times that guests can enter an event will also help keep social distancing between guests at a solid level.
Take Things Outside
If you can, try to host your event outside, as this can help control the spread of COVID-19. After all, the virus spreads through droplets that come out of your nose and mouth when you do things like talk or cough. These droplets then cling to the air and get breathed in by other people.
However, when you are outside, the air is constantly getting cycled out, meaning the droplets have a shorter life span. Inside spaces can’t vent the air as well and thus give the droplets a longer “lifespan”.
A bonus to outside events is that the increased space makes it far easier to stay 6 feet apart than it would inside. So aim to host your event in areas like parks or gardens with lots of wide-open space.
Take Things Digital
If you want to maximize safety, try moving your event to the digital realm! Hosting shows or parties online is easier than ever with the availability of free video chat apps like Zoom and Discord.
To keep the event fun, try sending guests gift packages to use at home during the party or bring on live entertainment to the call (like getting a comedian to do their routine for the event). Digital events are also a great alternative if you have an event with a lot of people, since that way you don’t have to worry about the CDC restrictions on the number of people that can be in a certain place at one time.
If you’re willing to make even more accommodations, you could even run your event as an in-person/digital hybrid to let as many people attend as possible! Sure, your extravagant dining party with Ellumiglow lights and a fountain won’t be as grand over a screen, but at least people will be able to see it.
Feeding Your Guests
It’s hard to have a top-tier event without food of any kind, but even a pandemic doesn’t make this impossible as long as you plan ahead. Ditch any self-serve options and opt instead for food made to order. If you can get away with boxed meals or individually pre-packaged food, you’re in an even better position.
Try to block off any areas where food gets prepared from the guests to limit the potential for accidental contamination. Swapping out your silverware for disposable, single-use utensils also helps limit any risk of infection, as does disposable plates.
Think Outside the Box
Finally, one of the best things you can do to keep your event safe is to find ways to make your event fun without compromising safety. Encourage activities like tennis or drive-in movies where your guests can keep 6 feet away from each other. Bringing staged events like a comedian or magician also allows your guests to enjoy the fun without being close to one another.
Think of fun ways to greet people that don’t involve handshakes. Elbow bumps, secret phrases…the sky’s the limit as long as you’re willing to give it a try.
While we’re on the subject of trying, try to experiment with your seating arrangement as well. You may find that your socially-distanced setup is far more appealing than any conventional setup would be!
You Don’t Have to Fight for Your Right to Party
And there you have it! Now that you know all about hosting an event during COVID-19 without compromising safety, you’re ready to get out there and party the night away! And if you’re interested in learning more about navigating life in the era of a global pandemic, come check out the other articles on our blog!