The chance of planning a stress-free event that has all the features you wished to include may seem unrealistic while the pandemic is still at play, but surprisingly, it’s not impossible. While there will be some elements of your event you will need to alter to keep in line with health and safety, hosting an in-person event can still be just as, if not more memorable than the plans you previously had. As specialists in event entertainment, we have had to adapt greatly during the pandemic, and have come across a range of clever and creative ways to ensure your audience is presented with an unforgettable, and more importantly, safe event.
Creative Ways To Safely Address COVID-19 Restrictions At Your In-Person Event
Although technology now provides us with the ability to widen our horizons and target audiences we never thought possible through video conferencing, there is nothing that quite compares to a face-to-face event. The ability to create engaging presentations, light displays and incorporate creative entertainment, is what gives event planners and presenters the ability to have a powerful and meaningful impact on their guests.
If you have planned an event during the pandemic, then it is highly likely that you have created a virtual platform for your audience and guests to attend. However, while these platforms are great for creating a larger attendance, it can make it extremely hard for presenters to engage with their audience. Small elements of in-person events such as the ability to ask questions, pick up a bag of memorabilia (even if it is just a branded pencil) or fully immerse in the displays, lighting and audio enjoyed when attending an event, is lost through virtual alternatives. So, keeping this in mind, whether you are planning an event in a few weeks time during Covid, or are piecing together your event for the end of the year but still want measures in place in case the pandemic is not over, then here are some things to consider when planning:
- Obstacle One: Venues Suitable For Social Distancing
- Obstacle Two: Following COVID Guidelines
- Obstacle Three: Using Engaging Technology
- Obstacle Four: Creative & Memorable Entertainment
- Obstacle Five: Safe Travels
In many cases, the venue of an event is everything. From the breathtaking views of the Natural History Museum to the stunning scenery of botanical gardens, there are many sites that can help to create the wow factor you’re looking for. However, when it comes to thinking about your venue, you must consider whether it will be easy for you to include everything required, whether you need stalls or a stage, while ensuring guests can maintain a safe distance. This means that smaller venues are out of the equation, as it will be near impossible for you to keep guests safe while enjoying your event.
Luckily, there are many venues that you can consider, such as large halls, lecture theatres for presentations, and even hiring out venues with multiple halls and lecture rooms. By using a venue with lots of space, it means that you are able to invite more guests while maintaining a safe distance at all times, it also gives additional room for stalls if required. Another idea is to plan your event outside, which allows you to invite even more people and ensure that the event is well ventilated throughout. This is the perfect solution for those planning an event during the warmer months, and there are plenty of ways that you can decorate your outside venue depending on your theme or event purpose. Some examples include:
- Wedding – outside weddings have been favourable for many years, especially for those wanting the luxury of the beautiful outside scenery. Many couples decide to hire a stunning field with lots of land surrounding the location, using a tepee or marquee to cover their food and LED dance floor. Keep an eye out on the government website for restrictions on wedding guest numbers, as these will change depending on your location and whether your venue is inside or outside.
- Presentations & Conferences – hosting a presentation can be a little bit harder when outdoors, but with the use of our Twitter wall you can ensure that your in-person guests and virtual guests can engage with your presentation with real-time data. Other features such as our digital graffiti wall in London can offer you the perfect creative solution for guest engagement for presentations and range of other events.
- Birthday Party – whether it is a sweet 16 or a 50th celebration, there are tones of ways you can enjoy the outdoors when celebrating. We love the idea of hanging fairy lights around the garden or incorporating our LED light-up letters and other venue decorations in London to create a spectacular and memorable venue outdoors. Take a look at Woodland Trust for kids birthday ideas or My Domaine for sophisticated adult birthdays.
Of course, safety will be at the forefront of every decision that you make when planning your in-person event, so regardless of how many guests you invite, you will need to make sure that you abide by the Covid regulations and rules. Your first port of call is to check the government website for the latest information on Covid regulations. With the continuous announcements in changing regulations, it is important to make sure that you keep on top of the new rules to ensure the safety of your guests. However, whether the rules state that you can no longer have as many guests as you hoped or you need to sightly adjust plans, here are the basic guidelines you will need to keep in mind when planning your event:
- 2m Distancing – this is where your venue will be critical, as you will be required to provide a safe distance for your guests. This means that you need to be able to include all of your entertainment, stalls and more while providing a path that allows for social distancing.
- Sanitising – you must provide hand sanitisers for your guests, whether you offer them their own pocket-size sanitiser or place large pumps around the venue.
- Face Coverings – unless guests are exempt, all those attending must wear a mask to ensure the safety of your guests and staff. To ensure that this is enforced, you can even include a branded face-coverings handed to guests when they arrive.
- Walking System – we would recommend creating a one-way system to ensure that guests can safely follow social distancing. However, for some events this system may not work effectively, so creating a traffic light system or using floor tape can create a road-like walking system to keep order throughout your event.
- Seating Arrangements – your seating will need to be arranged so that guests can easily sit 2m apart while also providing space for people to walk between seating.
Technology has become the haven and saving grace for many businesses during the pandemic, from communication platforms to video conferencing. Life has been made a lot easier through advanced technology, so why not make sure that you incorporate this into your event planning? As previously discussed, technology specifically designed for engaging events such as our digital graffiti wall or Twitter wall are the perfect additions. Other platforms, such as video conferencing, can also be beneficial at your in-person event for those not attending. For example, while you may be planning a face-to-face event, some guests may still feel uncomfortable attending, travel may be difficult, or they could be in tier 4 that does not allow travel to other tiers. To ensure that these guests are still able to enjoy and access your event, make sure you include video conferencing or film your event for others to watch at a later date.
Just because your guests have to social distance, it doesn’t mean that you are unable to create entertainment that everyone is able to enjoy while remaining safe. In fact, there are a fair few creative ways that you can entertain your guests to leave a lasting impression, or allow your guests at weddings and celebrations to take home a keepsake. For example, our range of fun photo booths available for hire are ideal for uplifting spirits while creating memorabilia for your guests and loved ones. All of our booths are thoroughly cleaned when used, and options such as our hashtag printing photo booth hire in London allow guests, both in person and virtually, to print a photo by posting an image on social media and using a personalised hashtag. This allows guests to enjoy the photo booth feature while maintaining social distancing and minimising contact with surfaces.
One reason your guests may not want to attend your in-person event, is because of their travel arrangements. For example, wedding guests may not want to drive to your venue as they plan to have a drink or two, or the idea of tacking the underground or hopping onto a public bus may not sound too appealing under the current circumstances. There is a very easy solution to this problem, and it is one that can also help to ensure that all your guests arrive safely and on time to your event. Hiring a minibus or even a coach, depending on your guest size, is the perfect way to ensure that everyone feels safe while travelling to your venue.
Reputable London-based minibus hire companies such as The Big Minibus are ideal for events in and around London. With minibuses available for hire at all hours and for a range of guest sizes, ensuring your loved ones or business partners are safe at all times couldn’t be easier. All you will need to do is contact the team to arrange a time and date, and a licenced and experienced driver will arrive in a luxury minibus vehicle.
Safe In-Person Events Like No Other
While there are a few rules that you need to make sure you maintain to keep a safe and enjoyable atmosphere, there are plenty of ways that you can still have a good time at your in-person event with colleagues or loved ones. As long as you follow the government guidelines, and place health and safety at the forefront of your event planning, then you can ensure that your event will go down well with those attending and those watching virtually. If you need a helping hand in planning your event, then please feel free to contact the team about our range of entertainment services. From our interactive photo booths to our games table hire in London, there is something for every event type!