Risk Management: COVID-19 and Beyond

2020 has gone just as quickly as it came and now in the beginning months of 2021 event professionals are left wondering: What is next? As reopening regulations differs from state to state it is important to plan for the inevitable reopening. However, how exactly are we supposed to prepare? What will be needed in a post-COVID-19 world? How can I protect my client, company, and event in case of another novel virus spread?
Innovate Marketing Group breaks down the necessities every event agency needs to implement in order to successfully and safely return to live events in 2021.
• Sanitation Stations
o Sanitation stations are going to be a must-have requirement when live events are back in motion. Ensuring your guests have an area to sanitize are touching common areas offers your guest a sense of safety and care.

Temperature Checks
o All your guest’s safety should be the main priority. Require all attendees to go through a temperature check station to ensure they are not showing symptoms of COVID-19.

Hybrid event planning – Planning for two events, not just one.
o Plan your hybrid event as if you were planning two! Everything that is being planned for the in-person audience will need to be translated and adapted for your virtual audience. As the COVID-19 is still extremely prevalent in 2021, vaccine rollouts and future cases are still be
assessed. Some guests may not be comfortable or prepared to jump into live events as soon as it is safe to do so. Take these guests into consideration and make their virtual experience one to remember!

Here are some other aspects to consider for your hybrid event:
• Lead Time
• Focus: Wellness, Cleanliness, and Open/Air Concepts
• One Event = Two Experiences
• Strong Visuals
• Content Creation and Strategy

Need clear guidelines from the local-state government. Outdoor events first.
o As COVID-19 regulations differ depending on state and county health and safety precautions it is important to heavily research and understand the local-state government laws in place. With vaccine rollouts picking up speed we expect to see more efficient and clear guidelines on events in the future. Guidelines stating how many people are allowed, table/seat placement, sanitation requirements, etc. As well we can expect to see clients be more focused on wellness, cleanliness, and open-air (outdoor) events. However, when indoor events do come back, we predict clients will opt for venues with high ceilings and wider spaces.

Contracts with venue, flexibility. Negotiating the terms, adjustments, Liability in case of covid extensions, deposits.
o While businesses and venues are awaiting regulation rollouts from the state, venue contracts are still being drafted and signed for events mid-2021 to early 2022. Event planners are now juggling health and safety precautions for their client’s attendees as well as possible legal recourse due to the unpredictable outcome of COVID-19. Event regulations regarding guest distancing, venue capacity, table configurations, food service, and cleaning measures still being assessed. When drafting upcoming event contracts with venues and hotels, be sure to carefully construct clauses that offer flexibility due to COVID-19. Areas of your contract that will need to be updated include Force Majeure (Acts of God/War), Capacity, Cancellations and Refunds, and Food and Beverage.

Onsite testing
o If your client’s budget allows, consider offering Onsite rapid testing for your attendees. This offers another layer of safety for your attendees. This will also weed out individuals that are possibly infected with COVID-19 but do not show any physical symptoms.