Are you getting ready to set up an event or gathering for your small business now that the risk of COVID-19 is becoming more and more manageable? It’s been a long time since these types of events have been common to hold, and many owners or managers may be rusty with their organizational skills.
As you set up for a small business event in this new normal era, here are some essential tips that you should not forget to consider during event planning and execution.
Regulations related to the management of COVID-19 risk are constantly changing, and they can change very rapidly in some areas. As you prepare to plan your event, make sure that you regularly check the latest rules.
In addition to checking your local municipality rules, don’t forget to check state and federal guidelines where they may be applicable as well. Mask mandates, for example, are mostly being handled on a state level. Some buildings that receive federal funding, however, may be following federal guidelines instead.
The key is to ensure that you are aware of the rules to ensure your event is set up in agreement with those regulations.
Depending on what type of small business event you are planning to hold and the nature of the event, you may want to consider getting some type of special events insurance coverage. No one wants anything to go wrong during an event, but insurance coverage is incredibly valuable in the rare case that something does.
Special events insurance coverage can cover everything from guest injury to breach of contract issues. If you have guests coming in to speak at the event or plan to have drinks at the event, these types of coverage are very important for managing risks and liabilities.
Getting the right crowd control materials to ensure your event is safe for everyone is key. While small businesses running their first events might think they do not need signage, barriers, or other key crowd control items, even small events need proper crowd management.
Signs to show where things are, recycling and trash cans, barriers, and other items are necessary to ensure that your space is safe and easy for guests to use. These things are extra important when managing COVID-19 risks. From limiting how close people can gather to limiting the number of guests, crowd management tools will be key for a successful event.
Without some type of crowd control, it is easy for even a small event to become unwieldy. Plan what you need in advance for crowd management to ensure success on the event day.
If possible, consider setting your small business event up in an outdoor setting. Though vaccinations and a lower number of overall COVID-19 cases have allowed for reducing masking indoors, the CDC continues to recommend outdoor gatherings when possible.
Small business events that happen outdoors will have an even lower risk of COVID-19 spread. Additionally, it can be fun to set something up that gets people outdoors into nice weather! However, if not possible for your event type, make sure to rent a large enough space to allow for comfortable and safe distancing between guests.
Make sure to set up signage that clearly reflects what masking and distancing expectations are during the small business event. If your area no longer requires masking for vaccinated individuals, create signage that alerts guests of this rule but reminds them that they may remain masked if they choose to.
Additionally, set up areas where guests can easily sanitize their hands or find wipes to wipe down anything they worry about. Be sure to label this area, and let guests know where to find it when they first arrive.
Many people are still feeling uneasy about their safety in the world due to the pandemic, and that is something that you should take into account. Clarity will always help them make more confident and comfortable decisions about whether or not to attend their event, so communicate what precautions are being taken upfront.
Not all guests will agree with the choices that you make about your event, and that is okay. The key is that you are not trying to be tricky or secretive. Instead, follow all local rules and let guests know what you are doing. This allows everyone to make their personal choice regarding how to protect themselves at the event.