As springtime chirps into action, the positive sounds of normality can be heard around our towns and cities. The chatter of beer gardens, the bustle of the high street and the energy of sporting venues all bringing life back to a more recognisable way of living. Marking ‘Step 2’ in the roadmap out of lockdown, this step forward and the current scientific data really does provide some optimism for large events and large-scale gatherings becoming a real possibility in the summer of 2021.
Undoubtedly, there will be changes that will be coined ‘the new normal’ and these changes will come with legal, logistical, and financial implications where expertise will be needed to navigate through this new landscape. So how can an events agency help clients and event stakeholders get their events underway in a safe and responsible way? Let’s break down the potential ideas being floated for the safe unlocking to facilitate events.
Before step 3 and 4 can be taken, a series of test events will be undertaken as part of the national Events Research Programme (ERP), which will provide data on how events for a range of audiences could be permitted to safely reopen as part of the roadmap out of lockdown. This includes trials of sporting events, the opening of nightclubs and business events in trial settings which are in more scientific conditions than we would be used to. Ticket holders will have to take a lateral flow test 24 - 36 hours before the event and produce a negative result to gain entry. The test events will likely shape the way events can happen in step 3 and 4, using scientific data to inform how people interacted in the venues and how testing can play a part in mitigating viral transmission.
Agencies are experts in managing risks. For the countless events we have produced over the decades, we know what it takes to keep delegates, crew and stakeholders safe. Ensuring the necessary safety precautions are in place to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 will become another piece of lifting an agency can do to support our clients. This would include:
Depending on the outcome of the ERP test events, it may well be that so-called ‘COVID certification’ is needed in order to attend large-scale events. As well as keeping up to date with the legal requirements for COVID certification, an agency would be able to ensure that teams are in place to check the delegate’s COVID certification when they arrive at the event and that all delegates arriving are safely permitted to attend the event. Sometimes, the sign-in process for the event can be a bottleneck and COVID certification may emphasise this further. An agency would look to make this process as seamless as possible, utilising technology such as a web portal or an interactive mobile app that serves as a sign-in/registration facilitator, agenda and event hub with access to digital content.
Audience and delegate interaction will still be at the forefront of our minds, as we want to keep content engaging and interactive. Depending on the outcome of the test events, some venues or locations may still have capacity limits in place so content development would need to factor this in. For example, overseas delegates and others not in the venue may want to engage with the event online via a live stream, meaning a hybrid event model would take place. An agency would work to curate the content so that in-person delegates and live stream viewers both feel that sense of occasion and interaction with the event content.
With the above in mind, an agency can source the perfect venue for your event. Here, we would have capacity, AV requirements for in-person or hybrid events and location all in mind. This is so that your venue delivers to a high standard and operates within the confines of the regulations at the time.
So, as we cautiously move through the roadmap, there will be many considerations when it comes to facilitating, producing and hosting live events. We can support these changes to the new normal and provide expert support that ensures that all of the correct measures are taken, and rules abided by. As an agency, we live and breathe the world of events, no matter what the ‘stage’ or challenges are, and we will work with our clients to navigate through these adjustments to help you deliver an exceptional live experience.
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