How to plan a socially distanced event

Earlier this year, very few of us had even heard of social distancing, let alone of a COVID-compliant event. But here we are, deep into a global pandemic, talking of zoned areas, one-way systems, and sanitiser stations.

Industries across the country have been forced to adapt to abide by COVID-19 restrictions and precautions, one of those being the events industry. To gain an insight on what event organisers are doing to make sure they keep themselves, their staff and members of the public safe, we have spoken to the organiser of Lost Time Festival and Protectivity customer, Neil Winterbottom. Neil shares some of his tips and advice on how to plan a socially distance event.

Finding a venue

We know that different cities and councils have different safety requirements, and venues that want to attract meetings, conferences, festivals and parties are working diligently to ensure they can meet these requirements. Your sourcing process means working closely with venues to meet your requirements as well as other guidelines.

When it comes to social distancing, the layout of the venue is paramount. Some of your attendees may be anxious about attending events, while others may be raring to go. They will want to know how you plan to keep everyone a safe distance from each other before they commit to registering and then attending your event.

Customizing floor plans to provide a safe environment for attendees

• Satisfying all safety guidelines and set up spaces in accordance with social distancing measures based on local guidelines
• Providing contactless check-in for stress-free attendee arrivals
• Ensuring the meeting space is big enough for expected attendance and avoid overcrowding
• Utilizing arrows to direct attendee flow to indicate smooth travel within the space
• Setting up easy-to-find/access hand sanitizer stations in the ideal locations

How can you ensure attendees follow the rules and stay within their groups during the event?

• Ensure an ample ratio of venue space to room occupancy
• Provide protective equipment like masks and face shields.
• Make attendees aware of the rules when they arrive at the venue
• Implement some form of health screening upon entry.
• Use an app for attendees to order drinks from their table, limiting the amount of times they need to leave their table
• Walkways clearly marked out on the floor
• Have plenty of stewards to remind people should they forgot about the social distancing rules.

We asked Neil: how much work is involved to meet government regulations?

An event manual was compiled, the paper work covering COVID-19 accounted for 50% of the paperwork submitted, this included risk assessments, policy and procedures an extensive plans on how to ensure as best possible the safety of the staff and visitors. We also developed our own QR code app for track and trace purposes.

Advice from Neil if you are planning a socially distanced event

Allow for plenty of space on the event site. Consult with the local council and police well in advance so you can agree on what everyone’s interpretations of the legislation is, as it is very ambiguous at times. 

Be open and invite Environmental Health/police down to the site as you are building it, or near its completion. Firstly, to reassure them and secondly, they might spot something you have missed, it gives you plenty of time to remedy it before you open to the public.

About Protectivity

Protectivity is a specialist in niche commercial, leisure, and lifestyle insurance. We cover thousands of individuals and small to medium size businesses across the UK, offering a range of tailored insurance products such as event insurance to protect our customers against unforeseen events.

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