How are planners securing safe venues in the new world? We can all agree that the meeting and event industry has changed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With these changes, how are we sourcing venues in this new world? How and where do you start your sourcing journey? What resources are available to you to make sure your plans meet current guidelines, including social distancing, so that people feel comfortable being at your event?
With virtual and hybrid events now a larger part of the total event program mix, you need to ensure guidelines around all event types are reflected in your program, helping you create strategic venue relationships and safer events, whether they are local, regional, or international.
Evaluating Your Event Program Footprint and Sourcing Safe Venues
The first step of your sourcing journey is looking at your events program “footprint,” meaning a full review of your upcoming event. One lesson we have learned during the pandemic is that localities, states, and countries are not running on parallel paths in terms of restrictions, re-openings, travel limitations, social distancing, etc. Therefore, the first thing you need to decide is WHERE your event will be taking place. If you have decided there will be an in-person component, we recommend building a great relationship with the venue to stay connected as new changes are implemented, as they will likely be the first to know.
Aligning with a Venue on Requirements to Fit Your Needs
As mentioned above, the events industry has changed, and now there are even more variables that need to be considered in order to hold an event, including location, travel capabilities and restrictions, meeting size and space, attendee behaviour, and higher standards for safety. In your master agreement contract, we recommend paying particular attention to these inclusions:
Negotiated Rates for high-speed internet connection
Terms and Conditions/Re-Book Clause
Health and Safety
Event planners can implement a variety of different tactics to help attendees feel safe at events, including the following:
Contactless check-in. This gets attendees checked-in quickly at a safe distance and sends an automated welcome text that provides additional event information without an app download or physical event program.
A virtual queuing system. This allows attendees to save their spot in a virtual line for product pick-ups or health screenings, and texts them when it’s their turn.
Contact tracing. This administers access control at check-in locations for a detailed log of who went where during the event.
Attendee messaging. This sends text messages to your attendees or segmented groups of attendees with important event updates or any important safety alerts.
Staff, vendor and volunteer management. This administers staff and vendor check-in and access control at the event to ensure only certified and authorized personnel are on-site.
Venues are more prepared than ever to accommodate your requests, so ensure that you state upfront what you need on-site.