With the global spread of the coronavirus, it’s important to follow a specific set of guidelines so that your team, vendors, attendees, partners, and on-site staff know exactly what to do in every type of situation. After having planned every intricate detail for your upcoming event for months, you want to make sure that it goes off without a hitch. The more prepared you are with a detailed and specific plan for preventative measures, the more secure and safe attendees (and everyone else) will feel about going to the event.
Additionally, you can use event technologies such as event apps to help you turn your in-person event into a virtual or semi-virtual conference. Those technologies should help you engage the attendees and also help the attendees with online networking.
Whether your event is a few weeks away or a few months away, here’s an in-depth checklist you should go through to help you plan before and during your event:
Have Plenty of Important Preventative Supplies
Be sure to order plenty of hand sanitizers, disposable face masks, and tissues. You may even want to order sandwich boards that remind attendees to constantly sanitize or wash their hands.
Make sure your preventative supplies are never running low. You should always be checking if the soap and hand sanitizers are fully stocked and that they’re easily accessible, whether that’s in the lobby, at prominent sanitizing stations, at every vendor table, and more. If something runs out, make sure you have an event staff member that can get more of these supplies during the event.
Communicate with Your Attendees
Always stay in contact with attendees in multiple ways to make sure everyone is on the same page regarding the latest event information, including regulations in effect, safety measures, where they can read the action plan, and how they can prepare more effectively before traveling.
If you have an event app such as Whova, you can do so through push notifications, announcements, online discussions etc. Otherwise, you may use some emails tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact.
Communicate with Your Stakeholders and Prepare Centralized Action Plans
Everyone who’s putting time, money, and energy into the event needs to be informed about what you’re going to do to make sure everything goes smoothly. Organize virtual meetings with different groups of stakeholders and outline the steps you’ll take. You can easily get this done using video conferencing software like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, Uberconference, and many other options.
Also, consider preparing a central place and an effective communication channel to handle any emergency situations. It’s good to have cohesive action plans and right responses ready to handle whichever situation might occur. You can have something like an emergency operations center.
Make Sure the People at the Venue are Prepared
It’s not often that a global pandemic occurs, so you want to make sure that everyone you’ll be communicating with at the venue has agreed to your action plan or has come up with their own. You’ll want to make sure you’re on the same page with every employee at the venue and they’re prepared with plenty of soap, sanitizer stations, temperature screening areas (if possible), thoroughly-sanitized washrooms that are constantly checked, and emergency exits that can be used in case people start to have symptoms.
Prepare Virtual Tools
Maybe a few people will feel weak or have symptoms like flu after they’ve already arrived at the event. Or some people may decide not to physically attend your event at the last moment. Don’t panic. You can still engage them and make them feel included. It’s possible to give almost the same event experience through the live streaming of your event. Networking can also go virtual.
If the attendees download the Whova event app, they’re likely to feel even more included because they can participate in group discussions, do session Q&A, exchange information with other attendees, and more. You want to make sure they maximize as much event experience as possible even if they can’t make it to the venue.
Good News: In one week, the Whova platform will be integrated with live streaming services such as Zoom, Google Hangouts as well as video services to better support virtual conferences and online events. Ask our event consultant for more details.
To be conservative, also make sure that your speakers have a way to give their presentation remotely, just in case their flight gets canceled. Find out suitable solutions for live streaming a presentation such as Zoom, and make sure your speaker will know how to use it correctly.
Remind Everyone of Health & Safety Guidelines Frequently
People at the event will need constant updates and reminders. Whether it be attendees, speakers, event staff, vendors, and more, you’ll need to communicate with them often about things like:
- Washing or sanitizing their hands
- Possible room updates or closures
- Possible speaker changes in terms of going virtual or not
- Waving at people when greeting them rather than shaking their hands
- Covering their mouths if they sneeze or cough
- Reading through the guidelines and action plans your team has made
- Alerting a staff member for any emergency
Stay Safe and Use This Checklist to Prepare
While coronavirus is a serious epidemic, it’s important to stay positive. Your event will be a huge success if you follow these steps and create a plan that’ll make you prepared for anything.
Please contact us if you are planning to use any technology to help with creating a smooth event experience for you and your attendees.