We've all been craving experiences, we've been running, creating and producing virtual events for the past 4 months and whilst they offer a creative way to communicate and they are right for now, I can't help but miss seeing and feeling people interact - I'm sure most would agree.
For the past few weeks we have been designing a COVID safe business dinner that took place last week.
Understanding and keeping up with the forever changing government guidelines is tiresome but, important in order to produce legal and safe events.
Our risk assessments are always thorough, but that now has a new meaning. As well as our normal event risk assessment we have now added an additional 13 pages to mitigate risk by identifying the exposure and potential contact points for guests as well as where, when and how transmission at a gathering are most likely and assigning controls best able to reduce the risk of transmission. We concentrated on three key areas; airborne, surface contact and personal physical contact.
Multiple site visits were undertaken, walk throughs with suppliers and practice walk throughs as if we were guests to thoroughly understand movement and most importantly how the three key areas of transmission could take place.
One of the largest measures we put in place was to host the business dinner as an outdoor event (with cover).
Where 'bubbles' were present, this is how guests were sat, where not social distancing was in place, all food was pre ordered, we had a two way flow around site particularly around pinch points such as toilets, entrance and egress. The list goes on, was it worth it...yes.
Being present for thought provoking speeches, feeling the room, seeing the pure joy on guests faces when they tasted the food felt incredible. I can honestly say I've never been so excited to go onsite - it was joyful.
These moments have to continue and we proved that COVID safe events can be done, enjoyed and are worthwhile to actively engage the people who need to hear your messages.