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8 Crucial Steps to get back to In-Person Events Safely


This blog is specifically written in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. That being said, it doesn’t mean that the safety steps suggested should only be used in such circumstances. Most of them can be associated with any event as safety should always be a top priority in any situation.


Before getting to the planning stage, it is extremely important to always follow the guidelines of both local and international health and safety organisations/ministries to ensure the safety of all concerned. If such organisations permit in-person events, follow these steps to help make it safer for both the organisers and attendees.


The 8 crucial steps include:

1)             Assessing the risk level

2)             Alleviating the risk

3)             Insuring the event

4)             Communicating the safety measures

5)             Reviewing the safety measures

6)             Executing the safety measures pre-event

7)             Enforcing the safety measures during the event

8)             Following up post-event


1.  Assessing the Risk: when planning an in-person event in times of a pandemic or post-pandemic, there are numerous risks associated with having people gather in large numbers. In order to eliminate or reduce such risks, it is critical to perform an assessment of all the risks involved before going ahead with the complete planning of an event.

If based on the assessment, the risk level for transmission of infection is high; you should seriously consider either converting it to a virtual/online event or rescheduling to a later date.


2. Alleviating the Risk: after your assessment, if the risk level for community spread/transmission is medium or low, look at ways that these can be further improved. A few ways may be to reduce attendee numbers so social distancing can be maintained, having touch-less check in procedures such as QR scanning (if using an event app) or providing sensor activated soap dispensers and hand wash systems. Besides such measures, assign some of the event staff to specifically oversee implementation of all the safety measures at the event. At the venue, keep one room or designate an isolated space as ‘quarantine’ in case you have people displaying symptoms of illness.


3.     Insuring the Event: this may not be available in all countries however if insurance companies in your location provide such a service, consider taking out a policy. Since regulations change so frequently, there may be a small possibility that by the time you get to the date of your event, Health authorities may require all forms of gatherings to be cancelled and an insurance policy that covers Force Majeure situations such as pandemics would help not having to lose all the monies invested.


4.   Communicating the Safety Measures: putting safety measures in place is all well and good however if the details are not communicated to the staff and attendees, it will be of no use. Send an email or post a bulletin (if using an event app) to everyone who is a part of the event stating all the safety measures and insist on compliance for everyone’s safety. If everyone is required to use certain Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks, this should be explicitly stated in the communiqué. Communicating would also extend to signage at the event including signs showing the mandatory PPE required for entering the venue, queuing distance, gathering spots, etc.


5.   Reviewing the Safety Measures: at least a week prior to the event, take stock of the safety measures you intend to put in place at the event. If there is any safety equipment still missing, now is the time to recheck its delivery timeline. Run an online or in-person training session for all the event staff to emphasise the importance of all the safety measures and their role in ensuring its implementation. A day prior to the event, send another reminder email (or in-app message) to all attendees detailing the safety precautions to be followed by everyone. Another important point that can be mentioned is that if anyone has any symptom related to the illness (in the case of Covid-19: fever, dry throat, cough or difficulty breathing in the past 14 days), they should avoid attending and can request for a refund on the ticket fees if there is no live stream option for the event.


6.   Executing the Safety Measures Pre-Event: on the day of the event or the night prior, do a walkthrough of the venue to check all the safety elements, seating placement and signage. Ensure that all the high-risk touch points such as door handles, chair backs, toilet seats, taps & soap dispensers (if not sensor activated), etc have been sanitised before the start of the event and reconfirm that the venue staff will continue to do so at least every 30 minutes during the event.


7.    Enforcing the Safety Measures during the Event: make sure the staff assigned to oversee the safety aspects are on point to guide attendees where required. If during the check in process or at any time during the event, anyone seems ill, the suggestion is to discreetly ask them to further distance themselves or leave the venue. During the event, make short announcements (or send in-app messages) reminding attendees of the measures to be followed to ensure everyone’s safety.


8.     Following up Post-Event: if there was any person who displayed any symptoms at the event, it becomes your responsibility to communicate this to everyone connected with the event, i.e. vendors, attendees, staff and any additional organizers so that they can get tested as a precaution.


Final Thoughts: virtual/online events can be interesting but there’s no denying that an in-person event is something else altogether! In dire situations such as a pandemic, where even small gatherings can cause community spread, having a large-scale event can be dangerous for all involved so the more we are able to mitigate the risks, the better it would be for everyone.

Due to uncertainties, consider flexibility as far as ticket refunds in case of sudden illness or giving the option to connect online via a live stream.

If there is more than one group attending the event, keep gaps between sessions so the venue can be sanitised before the next batch comes in.

If food is to be served, avoid any salads or chilled foods and instead opt for hot dishes kept at optimum temperatures in pre-packaged servings. If face masks were part of the mandatory PPE, arrange for food to be consumed seated while maintaining the mandatory distancing guidelines since masks would need to be removed ( obviously  🙂 ). Buffet style food service is out of the question in such situations.

Despite all these precautions, if someone comes to the event and displays any symptoms of illness, arrange to isolate the person and contact the relevant Health authorities for assistance.



The above information is only provided as a guideline and is not meant to provide any kind of legal or medical advice. Eventsador will not be liable in any way for damages or if an outbreak occurs as a result of anyone following the above stated suggestions. Information relating to Covid-19 (or any such pandemic) is subject to change and the above information may or may not be updated therefore it is the individuals’ responsibility to keep abreast of all current regulations and restrictions in their location or the location where the intended event is to occur. 

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