It’s no secret that as a result of COVID-19, like many other industries, the event service industry is suffering.
To all of our fellow industry professionals, disappointed brides & grooms and concerned individuals, we will get through this.
We’ve found the best information about Coronavirus to be from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC. WHO recently published a 9-page document that offers COVID specific guidelines for organizers hosting large events. If you detailed information from a dependable source, look no further.
When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going
Event Planning During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Together, Here’s our plan on how to get through this. Aside from following CDC and WHO guidelines, we want to take a look at the precautionary measures event pros can do at a time where large gatherings are discouraged.
First off, The best thing you can do for yourself, your business, and your clients is to encourage anyone who feels sick to stay home. Refusing sick employees time off will only exacerbate an already monumental problem and increase infection rates.
You should also be altering the way you organize guests and their interactions. If you would have sat 8 people at a table, consider reducing it to four or six, and try to group family, household member and co-workers together. This should help limit additional exposure and make people feel more comfortable and safe.
And, speaking of caring about your clients, for those of you who are still participating or hosting live events, there are steps you can take to protect both your employees and attendees. If you can, try to schedule set up and take down at times when no one else will be there, lowering unnecessary groups of people in a space. You can also provide sanitizing stations, wellness checks at the entrances, and diligent disinfecting of surfaces.
You can also try to mitigate the flow of people arriving and leaving. If you’re handling transportation, stagger arrival times at larger intervals to prevent crowds from gathering at sanitizing stations. You should also offer posted information on approved policies for disinfecting.
And, instead of buffets, opt for boxed lunches or dinners. This eliminates the long lines and crowds that often gather around buffets and makes it easier to protect the food.
Operate with flexibility during COVID-19
This is a pandemic. This is not business as usual. People are being laid off, companies are cutting back, and the economy is struggling. You should be prepared to negotiate different payment terms. Whether that be smaller deposits, flexibility on payments, or just generally lowering your prices, this move shows that you care not only about your businesses but also your clients.
The first thing you should do is remember that these setbacks are temporary. Spring and summer weddings, trade shows, and corporate events might be postponed today, but you can still make plans for fall and winter months. Encourage clients to reschedule their events for a later time instead of canceling them altogether, and focus on preparing you and your business for what we hope to be an unusually busy fall season.
A large part of dealing COVID-19, and how it affects event planning, is adapting to the new circumstances. As supply and demand dictates, prices are dropping everywhere because of postponements. Encourage potential customers to explore and purchase options now for events at a later date to take advantage of unprecedentedly low costs.
Luckily for us, we’re in the digital age. You have the option to consider moving the event to a live streaming format. We, like many other businesses in the industry rent Macs, PCs, and tablets. Consider offering these as an alternative way to engage with a large crowd. It’s not ideal, but it will allow groups to congregate virtually without risk of transmitting COVID-19.
The Light at the End of the Coronavirus
Times are tough, there’s no denying that. But remember that things won’t be like this forever. New information is being revealed daily. The best way to stay on top of this to stay informed with reliable and accurate information (see the link to the WHO’s guidelines above).
Take precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Consider switching live events to video chats, and if you are hosting a live event, make sure that you provide plenty of sanitizing stations and adjust plans and layouts to prevent clusters of people. And, be prepared to meet clients in the middle. You’re struggling and so are they. Look to reschedule events instead of canceling them and be flexible financially.
If you’re a current client or hosting an event in the near future, don’t hesitate to reach out about any questions or concerns about COVID-19. We will do our best to work with you and ensure that we provide the best service we can in these uncertain times.
We’re looking forward to a busy fall season full of fun and festivities. And in the meantime, we’re doing everything we can to protect our clients, our employees, and our businesses. We may be lying low now, but we’ll be in touch. Poised and ready to spring back into action. Stay healthy everyone.