As the number of Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 increases and the country begins to reopen businesses, more marketers are beginning to consider producing live, in-person events again. But in terms of logistics, budgets, technology and safety, post-COVID events will differ in key ways from those held before the pandemic. Below are resources to help marketers implement effective, safe and productive live events going forward.
* CDC Readiness and Planning Tool. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly updates its “Guidance for Organizing Large Events and Gatherings” page on its website, and supplementing that information is a planning tool for event marketers. The guide features checklists for those responsible for facility specifications, supplies and signage, training, F&B and more. It also suggests steps to take should an attendee become ill with COVID-19.
* Event Planning Guide for COVID & Social Distancing. This download from events and experiential marketing agency Impact XM covers some of the same territory as the CDC’s planning tool, but it also discusses touchless-tech add-ons, among other aspects.
* Considerations for Business Gatherings in a Post-COVID-19 World. In addition to addressing marketing and logistics, this guide from brand experience agency Freeman touches on how session formats might need to be tweaked to accommodate shorter attention spans, why foot traffic might no longer be a relevant metric for trade shows, and other industry-specific aspects.
* COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guide. Two M.I.T. professors and an energy consultant created an interactive website that suggests standards for room occupancy limits for minimal likelihood of transmitting COVID-19. Variables that you can enter include size of room, type of ventilation and what the occupants will be doing while in the room. Though the results don’t definitively ensure that room occupants won’t spread or catch COVID, it’s a useful tool for determining attendance limits.
* Interactive Global Event Tracker. This interactive map from events agency GES shows which major locales, both in North America and around the world, have hosted live events and exhibitions within the past 90 days. A quick glance stateside shows that several cities in the South, such as Atlanta, Dallas and Miami, have already hosted events with more than 2,000 attendees. The map also provides links to those cities’ COVID guidelines.
* State-by-State COVID-19 Guidance. Law firm Husch Blackwell compiles the latest updates regarding COVID-related executive orders, regulations and restrictions per state. The updates are subject to change, but they provide information on where certain locales stand regarding mask mandates, restaurant capacity limitations and more.
* Pandemic Compliance Advisor Training for Meeting Industry Professionals. COVID-19 has given rise to a new job title: pandemic compliance advisor (PCA). A provider of specialized health training, Health Education Services offers a three-hour virtual class covering the responsibilities of PCAs. Attendees also receive access to relevant resources that are regularly updated and can earn continuing education credits from the Events Industry Council.
* Planning Live Events During COVID-19 Courses. Several events and healthcare professionals formed the Event Ally to help event producers operate safely in the wake of the pandemic. It offers two training courses. “What Every Producer Should Know” encompasses everything from risk assessment to event design to record keeping; “Hiring, Training & Managing the COVID-19 Compliance Officer” covers what it promises in the title.
* Event Marketer webinars. CM‘s sister publication has several on-demand webinars that address COVID-related best practices. “Food & Beverage in the COVID Era” discusses catering options, budget considerations and more. “Mastering Event Contracts in the Post-COVID Era” offers input from legal and event industry experts. And “Creating Safe and Hygienic Events” includes case studies of live events produced during the past year.