The way Australia has handled (and is still handling) the Covid-19 situation is being applauded by the world. Owing to a strong and well-timed public health response along with the carefully planned testing and quarantine norms, we have managed to enjoy a pretty normal life here. However, it’s very important to understand the gravity of the situation and not to take things lightly. Acting irresponsibly is simply not an option!
Just like any other business, every event management company needs to adhere to a strict set of rules and guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety during an event. Even though every state has its own systems and recommendations, we have created this simple checklist, which can be generally followed along with the prescribed guidelines to help you organize a Covid Safe event.
Train Your Staff Members and Suppliers
No matter what kind of event is on the cards, how big or small it is, and with what kind of budget or resources, the first thing you need to prioritize is – to follow all the health safety protocols with absolute sincerity. For this to happen, you need to train your staff members, technicians, volunteers, and suppliers. Everyone should clearly understand what the rules are so that there’s no confusion before or on the day(s) of the event.
You can provide training sessions or organize mock rehearsals for this purpose. Also, make sure if anyone needs assistance or some kind of clarification, there’s a system in place for that as well. You can use a rule book, or digitally circulated guidelines (like a mail or an online brochure), or maybe a helpline number to do that. You can also prepare a team of ‘Covid Safety Officers’ whose job would be to ensure that all the rules are being followed properly.
To manage the queues and to control the crowd, consult your local guidelines first. For example, in Queensland, it’s mandatory to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between two people during a public event but this distance could be more in other states. So, first of all, go through your state’s Covid Safety guidelines for organizing public events and then plan things accordingly.
Make sure there’s enough space to accommodate everyone comfortably without breaking any of the rules. At least 4 square metres of space per person is the widely accepted norm in Australia. Mark the ‘standing spots’ clearly for the queues and mark your exit and entry points as well. To run things smoothly, make use of props like makeshift fences, decals, and signposts.
Use of Digital Tools
The use of digital platforms plays a very important role in these difficult times to reduce one-on-one contact and to complete tasks like sending invitations and completing registrations, collecting guest information, and briefing everyone before the event takes place.
Basically, everything that can be done online, should be done online to maintain social distance during the event. Use digital mediums like Zoom, Google Hangout & Google Meet, or Skype to communicate with your guests, vendors, volunteers, and staff members. There are so many other apps and online platforms which can be used additionally. Click Here for more information.
Educate Your Guests
Another very important factor you need to tackle in order to successfully organize a Covid Safe Event during the pandemic is to educate your guests regarding the severity of the situation while helping them understand how they can be a part of the event without putting themselves or anyone else’s life under risk.
Communicate with your guests via online meetings or organize a pre-event webinar or a virtual tour (make it mandatory to attend, if possible) to inform them what’s the current levels of Covid-19 cases in the area where the event is being organized, what are the safety protocols they need to follow, how many people are going to attend, and how can they make the event safer for everyone.
Safety Around Food and Beverages
Devise some sort of plan to limit the number of people going in and out of the area where the food is going to be prepared. Avoiding self-serve food and drink counters is also a good option. So, no buffet system or drink stations, where the crowds tend to gather. Instead, hand over your guests neatly packed and sealed meals while taking proper safety precautions such as wearing a mask and a pair of gloves.
How the food is prepared is also an important consideration. Make sure the kitchen area is properly sanitized before preparing the meals. It would be wise to use disposable plates, spoons, forks, and cups, but it would be even wiser to use eco-friendly materials!
Covid Safety Checklists by the State Governments
As we’ve mentioned earlier, every state has its own set of rules and restrictions for organizing Covid Safe events. And for this purpose, some of the states require you to take their approvals beforehand by submitting a ‘Covid Safety Checklist’. An example of this could be – the checklist by Queensland Government. This checklist is applicable for an indoor event with less than 5,00 attendees and an outdoor event with up to 1,500 attendees. It enlists various sections and sub-sections you need to take care of including what approvals you need to take from the government, how to communicate with your staff and guests, how to maintain physical distance, how to facilitate contact tracing, etc.
For events with 5,00 to 10,000 and over 10,000 attendees, you need to submit a very detailed ‘Covid Safe Event Plan’ in order to acquire the requisite permissions from the local government. Here’s an example – Covid Safe Event Plan by Queensland Government. It’s crucial that you fill these forms carefully with all the details, which are specific to your particular event. You are required to submit these plans at least 10 days in advance. You can submit your plan on this website – COVID Safe Event Plan Submission Portal.
Please note that these rules tend to change with time. So, before filling any forms or making any submissions, visit your state government’s official website to make sure you have the most updated information on how to plan a Covid Safe Event during the pandemic.
Our team has produced some very successful events during Feb 2021 (Post Covid) and have gone through some stringent Covid Safe planning. Chat to our team if you need assistance in Queensland.