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Guidelines to Safe Venue Reopening

When will venues be able to reopen? When will it be safe to schedule your next face-to-face event? What measures do venues need to implement to be authorized to reopen?

While several countries have started to reopen their economies, the events industry is left facing many questions, which nobody really has answers to. As the situation evolves, governments adapt and implement new regulations to help protect the community and limit the risks of a second wave.

We have put together the below guidelines to safe venue reopening, highlighting the measures that are most expected to be implemented by venues globally to be classified as COVIDSafe certified and be able to welcome back events and ensure the safety of their patrons.

1. Managing social distancing

Social distancing is a key element to a safe return of face-to-face events. Most countries have implemented a minimum distance of 1.5 meter/6 feet to be respected between people. It has to be observed throughout the venue and for every single event. Event venues with large amounts of spaces clearly have an advantage when it comes to enabling the recommended physical distance between attendees. Some initiatives to assist with managing social distancing include:

  • Room and seating configuration: depending on the size of your room, you will have to reconsider your settings and work on new room configuration to be able to welcome attendees and get a good idea of how many people will be allowed in the room and what the seating arrangement will look like. A room diagram tool can help you easily work on your room layout and seating arrangements when applicable. It gives you the possibility to put together the best setup in order to maximize space utilization for a given event and allows you to quickly identify how many guests will be allowed in the room.
  • Managing queues and waiting lines: many venues have started to invest in floor tape marking to indicate how far from each other people should be while waiting in line. The use of additional barriers can also be used to assist for crowd control. Other measures to consider to reduce lines at the entrance of your venue and at your food and beverage stands includes offering the possibility to customers to pre-order their food online and have it delivered to their seat directly or get food pre-packed and ready to be collected from designated areas.

Moving all your event ticketing and registration process online would also avoid long waiting lines at the entrance. Providing customers in advance with electronic tickets that they can scan at the entrance reduces the risk of contact with your personnel and facilitates the access to the venue.

2. Contact tracing

As venues start to reopen, safety for staff, organizers, and visitors is top of mind. New precautionary measures have been put into place by most local governments, including having a digital visitor list for contact tracing.

Our newest multilingual feature, Visitor Tracking, was developed to help you keep a record of your event attendee list and more. Prior to an event it will allow a self-serve, sign-in for your visitors with the option of asking about recent travels or current state of health. It will create an alert for any high-risk attendees so your staff can plan accordingly. Along with sending the attendee an email which includes a unique check-in code to be scanned at the entrance of the venue.

3. Hygiene & cleaning

Hygiene measures apply to different layers and may vary depending on local government regulations. Venues should provide a sufficient amount of hygiene products to staff and attendees, for example face masks and hand sanitizers. Sanitation stations that can be easily found and safely used across the venue are highly recommended. Ventilation and fresh air supply are also recommended.

Initial deep-cleaning of facilities and on-going disinfecting procedures during and after the exhibitions and events might be necessary in order to prevent germs from being spread.

4. Reduced touch points

Take a look at all the high touch points areas in your facilities and think of ways to reduce them. As an example, consider adopting cashless payments at all your point of sales (merchandise, food & beverage) encouraging people to pay with their card or phone using contactless payment. Also, consider to keep all doors open as much as possible or invest in automatic opening mechanisms to reduce the risk of transmission.

5. Temperature checks

Temperature screening is being implemented in a number of venues across the globe. Those allow easy identification of people presenting symptoms of fever. At entrance points, staff can check-in visitors and add a note with people’s temperature based on screening and prevent them from entering the facility if they represent a potential threat to the health and safety of other attendees.

6. Staff training & protective equipment

Staff should be well prepared and trained for potential outbreaks. They should be educated on early symptoms of COVID-19, how to recognize them, and how to react when an attendee feels sick. They are also expected to be trained on the correct use of mouth-nose covers and general hygiene best practices.

Venues are also expected to invest in appropriate protective equipment to prevent their staff from being exposed to a risk of contagion. This includes single-use gloves, protective masks, plexiglass at counters, and individual hand sanitizers for them to maintain a high level of hygiene all day long even when not able to access bathrooms to wash their hands.

7. New Hybrid Event Experiences

Due to the changes in the past couple of months, the event industry has been evolving rapidly. New events in a new world require a different approach. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid event concepts are on the rise. They combine the benefits of onsite and in person events with online components. As these concepts will be further developed, it is likely that onsite attendance will not be the same as it used to be at live events and conferences. Event participants now want to be able to connect onsite, online and ongoing, so the event stays alive 365 days a year.

To this extent, virtual components will not replace, but rather complete onsite experiences offering the opportunity to participants to engage with each other outside of the face-to-face event. Online sessions come with a strong benefit as they allow for a wider reach, thus creating deeper attendee insights and analytics. You may cater to a much larger reach of people with online content, while onsite events may become more exclusive and meant for a smaller group of participants, for example Executive and VIP events.

As events are starting to resume in some venues across the globe, the above guidelines keep evolving and may vary from one country to another. Take a look at our Industry Summit takeaways for additional insights shared by venue leaders:

Insights from venue leaders in APAC

Insights from venue leaders in the US

Insights from venue leaders in EMEA