Decision making is aided by checklists. Evidence shows that checklists improve decision-making under uncertainty because they give people clear guidelines with which to act. So, we have decided to give you a checklist of the most crucial things to do as you plan an event in the Covid-19 era.
The following is based on CDC guidelines, which you can consult for further information.
Contracts and Pre-event Communication
Prior to the event, you need to ensure that the venue contract explicitly specifies safety responsibilities and sanitation and that staff have been trained according to COVID-19 protocols. Guests should be told what the safety and hygiene measures are and what, if any, extra measures you are taking to ensure their health and safety. They should also be told that they will be denied access if they have elevated temperature readings. Make it clear that social distancing must be preserved, which also means no handshakes, no hugs, and no fist bumps will be permitted. Suggest elbow bumps and prayerful hands.
The mode of transport that guests use is very important given that many areas remain under some form of lockdown. Some people may be able to fly in, while others may be permitted to drive and still others may not be able to come in completely. Lockdowns clearly affect who is able to attend. If attendees can come, encourage them to drive alone in their own cars so they can stay safe. You want them to avoid public transportation, where possible. Arrange parking areas in such a way that social distancing can be preserved and place signage and ushers at entry points to guide attendees towards where they should go.
Some states have mask mandates, and even in the absence of mask mandates, the CDC guidelines recommend that face masks be worn. Attendees must be made aware that they are expected to wear face masks. Have some on hand in case anyone forgets theirs. You may even brand your free masks.
It is important to put everyone at their ease by showing them that you care about their health and safety. Both staff and guests must have their temperatures taken. Establish points where temperature can be taken (consider thermal imaging) and create a protocol for what you will do if anyone’s temperature proves too high.
You should really stock up on hand sanitizers and make them available in many, easily-accessible stations. Use signs to point people to where they can get hand sanitizers. You want to have many stations so that people do not congregate around one spot.
Social distancing in event venues means that you will have to set limits as to how many people can be in a restroom at the same time. There should be clear markings to allow for social distancing. Restrooms should be sanitized frequently, especially high-touch surfaces and again, provide plenty of soap and hand sanitizer. Again, you need to communicate protocols surrounding restrooms well in advance of the event, so everybody knows what to do.