As we keep progressing further and further into our “new normal” it is becoming more and more challenging to navigate the landscape of preventing COVID-19 transmission and event safety. Certainly, there are some measures everyone can take, such as hosting events outdoors when possible, avoiding communal food service like self-service buffets, and offering hybrid events to reduce overall headcount in a certain space.
But what about those events that must happen indoors, or cannot limit attendance because of their importance to the company, brand, or the guests themselves?
For these occasions and gatherings, having a Health Check can be an excellent way to provide peace of mind and also limit and mitigate risk for everyone – attendees, organizers, and event staff alike. Here’s how it works:
Day of Event Announcement:
From the first moment you schedule your event and a venue has been selected, make certain to notify all invited attendees that health checks will be taking place for entry to the event. Notify catering managers, entertainers, and other event support staff that you will be requiring the same of them as well.
1 Month Prior to Event:
If your event organizer or event planning company isn’t offering to assist with coordinating a Health Check (VIBE offers complete health check in protocols tailored to suit a variety of event types)… then you’ll need to obtain the equipment to do this yourself. Make sure to acquire at least 1 touch free thermometer for every 10 confirmed guests, with a couple of back-ups to have on hand just in case. If you’re hosting your event outdoors, make certain you have a shaded area (tent or otherwise) to prevent anyone from having false readings because the environment is too warm. The same can be said for cold-weather events indoors – make sure you don’t set up a health check next to a heating unit or inside a catering kitchen. Other supplies you may need include reliable wi-fi access for those wanting to show digital copies of vaccination or recent test results, and latex gloves and masks or face shields for event staff.
At Least 2 Weeks Prior to Event:
Send an email to confirmed guests and post on the event website (and/or social media) that health checks will be taking place and the steps guests should take. Typically, there are 2 options.
1. Provide proof of vaccination, with the final dose having been administered at minimum 14 days prior to event.
2. Provide proof of negative COVID PCR or Rapid/Antigen Test – within 24-48 hours of event
3. Let guests know that temperature checks will also be part of entry procedures.
Day of Event:
Set up “phased” stations and/or check-in lines. A good “spot training” for this is to check caterers, entertainers, and event staff upon their arrival to the venue. Vaccinated guests can walk through a line or two where their vaccine credentials are verified. Tested guests can walk through a different line. Or, you can merge the two. A second phase for those guests who were credentialed would then be touch-free temperature checks. By spacing out the two phases, guests spend less time waiting for multiple steps to happen all at once. Make sure staff is trained to thank guests for their patience and encourage them to enjoy the rest of the event. If possible, see if a master of ceremonies or keynote speaker can make a similar message.
Whether you choose to encourage masks in addition to health checks is up to you. It will largely rely on the make-up of your guest population. Should you choose to require masks, be certain to communicate this to guests ahead of time or have a supply of disposable masks on-hand large enough to offer a mask to each and every attendee.
When Health Checks run smoothly, most guests hardly feel inconvenienced at all and it seems like a small price to pay to enjoy the rest of the evening with less worry.
About the VIBE Agency: The VIBE Agency is a Miami-based award-winning full-service production agency that specializes in the creation and orchestration of live and virtual experiences for the corporate industry.
The agency is forward-thinking and was recognized as one of the 50 top event companies by Special Events magazine in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, Valerie Bihet, founder of the VIBE was named a Smart Women in Meetings 2021 Hall of Fame honoree by Smartmeetings, for her consistent work advancing the industry. If it can’t be live, make it VIBE!