From networking and making meaningful business connections to improving employee engagement, corporate events have always been an important aspect of any business. However, that all changed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that forced us to avoid human contact and seek quarantine, in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. Thankfully, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all events need to be canceled for the foreseeable future; all you have to do is get a bit creative when planning your corporate event. To that end, here are some of the most essential tips for hosting a corporate meeting or event in the COVID-19 era:
Think about the event size and logistics of movement
The density of the crowd gathered at your event should be your number one priority during the coronavirus pandemic. This means you might need to book a larger venue, limit the number of attendees, or even hold corporate events more than once, in an effort to adhere to the recommended social distancing guidelines.
The movement of the crowd needs to be controlled as well, in order to keep your attendees appropriately spaced apart. If you are hosting a dinner event, for instance, ensure the tables are placed far apart, and that there is at least one empty seat between guests, to prevent your event from becoming overcrowded.
Use the recommended safety tools to your advantage
The use of face coverings and hand sanitizers is constantly being recommended in public spaces, in an effort to reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19. However, instead of viewing these regulations as a hindrance to your corporate event, think of them as a wonderful marketing opportunity.
For instance, you can design reusable face masks based on your corporate event or adorned with your company logo. As long as you make masks that are unique and interesting enough to encourage your attendees to wear them, you might even get free advertisement after the event. Similarly, you can place your branding label on small hand sanitizers to hand out at the corporate event, as an incredibly creative event promotion idea.
Ensure the stage follows safety regulations
If you are holding presentations or hiring speakers for your event, your stage and audience areas should follow the current safety rules and regulations as well. Consider hiring a reputable and professional staging service that is able to provide a bespoke stage set for your corporate event, ensuring that the set is interesting and engaging, while following the necessary regulations.
As far as the audience is concerned, it would be best to ensure that the 6 feet social distancing guidelines are being followed, for a safe and sound experience. This could be done by simply making sure that the seats are properly spaced out in front of the stage, or alternatively by putting X marks on the ground 6 feet apart, in case you opt out of seating.
Have rules and plans set in place before the event
While it can be difficult to imagine an exciting company party without physical interaction, keep in mind that even a handshake can be potentially dangerous during a pandemic, although it’s considered to be an essential aspect of networking and business meetings. For that reason, it would be best to enact a “no handshake” policy for your event, and insist on waves, elbow bumps, or other forms of greeting instead.
Similarly, it would be wise to have a concrete plan set in place, in case any of your attendees exhibit symptoms of coronavirus during the event, whether that means providing an isolation facility or transportation to a clinic or hospital. Contact your local health authorities for the best advice on the matter.
Consider moving your event online
If you are planning on hosting a corporate meeting, a conference or even a presentation, it might be best to consider holding your event virtually, for an entirely risk-free experience. Even if you are planning a product launch, for example, you can always mail a product sample to each guest, and then host the event online, where you will have the business opportunity to present and describe the product while the guests try them out.
And don’t be too concerned about moving your event online; even major companies such as Facebook and Adobe have decided to hold their corporate events virtually amidst the pandemic, as it’s the only way to ensure complete safety and security of their guests.
While the definition of a corporate event as we know it might have changed entirely in the era of COVID-19, there are still ways to host a cautious, safe and successful event with these incredible tips.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer with a focus in real estate, business, finance, and management.