COVID-19 has changed the way people plan and hold events. Many family parties had to be done through Zoom, while companies had to cut their guest lists to the bone to abide by quarantine protocols. The good news is that the pandemic couldn’t stop people from celebrating life’s milestones or gathering professionals together. People always find a way — a safe way — to get together for an important agenda.
That said, it is not easy to book a venue; even the most seasoned event planners find difficulty balancing event aesthetics and guest limits. So, if you’re planning to hold an event, here are a few tips to help you choose the best and safest venues during COVID-19.
Finalize Your Guest List First
The number one concern is to finalize the number of guests at your event. Whether you are eyeing a ballroom or a rooftop rental, the size of the party is important. You want a venue that can comfortably accommodate several guests. Even if you plan a small, intimate affair, the vendor has to plan the layout of tables and chairs.
Some vendors would need this information to plan safety parameters. Cities are now becoming more lenient about mass gatherings, so expect that the rules on physical events will be more relaxed within the next several months. However, some venues still impose a pandemic guest size limit that’s much smaller than the venue’s actual limit, to be sure. The most rigorous ones arrange tables in such a way as to minimize contact.
Consider young guests, too. In many parts of the world, this age group’s movement is restricted because they are considered medically vulnerable. Even if your event is months away (and a lot of positive development could unfold), it’s better to think ahead and plan for kids.
You can opt not to invite children and state this specifically in the invitations, especially if you’re holding a wedding ceremony. Don’t feel bad — some couples have done this before the pandemic because they want an adult-only reception. Only this time, you are thinking about the safety of the children. If you are adamant about inviting children, then there should be stricter protocols in place.
Ensure that the Venue Has COVID-19 Measures
Though cities are becoming more lenient about mass gatherings, it still pays to choose a venue that upholds your safety, even if your event is still many months away. If the venue’s administration is serious about hygiene and sanitation, you can have peace of mind knowing that your guests will be in good hands.
As you talk to vendors, ask about their protocols for social distancing and hand-washing. Are there enough hand-washing stations for the guests? How often are the tables and chairs disinfected? Will there be social distancing signs at the event? Ensure that the event is equipped with masks, disinfecting agents, gloves, or other things needed to keep everyone safe. Take it one step further by:
- Sending your guests a message or email about any particular health policies that the venue enforces
- Clearly describing what is allowed, prohibited, and advised in terms of clothing and protection gear during the event
Check the Place Personally
Book a site tour to see the venue — and pandemic preparations — for yourself. The venue’s images could be edited, so they do not really reflect the atmosphere of the space. There are camera tricks, too, that can make the venue look bigger than it actually is. Only an ocular visit will show the true potential of the space.
Don’t forget to ask the advice of a professional event planner or somebody who has already planned an event during the pandemic. They will help you make the best decision and achieve your event goals without exceeding your budget.