With summer in full swing, event planners and caterers are creating new ways to host events while honoring COVID-19 guidelines. When planning an event, it is a good idea to communicate expectations with guests up front. Let them know to bring their own facemasks or that you plan to hand out swag bags with facemasks and hand sanitizer.
Here are five other creative ways to ensure a fun and safe environment for everyone.
1. Use bracelets to set expectations
Some events have even adopted a system of differently colored bracelets that are handed out to express different comfort levels of the guests. For example, black bracelets can mean “see me, but don’t get too close,” while white or yellow could mean “we can speak but stay in your lane.”
2. Host a drive-by party or picnic
For these types of events, families or couples can find a place to park, open the trunk, take out their seating/blanket and food, and set up their own personal space. Of course, this requires the space for parking. For larger crowds, games such as corn hole and or an outdoor movie could be fun options.
3. Stagger arrival for guests with assigned seating
Assigned seating is a play stolen from traditional wedding planning. By assigning seats, guests will have a table to call home base, even if they move around the party. In addition, having guests arrive at different times within the hour will increase the safety and comfort of guests.
4. Use design and décor to complement social distancing
When putting together your event, use furniture, tables, plants, and other décor to help enhance the event environment and aid in social distancing. Many event designers use specific spaces as an opportunity to seat small groups and allow socializing.
5. Get creative with catering
Many caterers are creating Bento boxes, premade boxes, and bag lunch/dinners. Some caterers are promoting pre-mixed cocktails with names on the glasses. In addition, there are new beverage/bar trucks popping up to serve safe and individual drinks. These days, most caterers are offering small packages for customers who want to plan a party for 6-10 people.
As the pandemic continues, event planners and caterers continue to rise to the occasion. The industry is slowly but surely rebounding and adapting to the new normal. In Rhode Island, the RI Chapter of the International Live Events Association offers monthly meetings for event professionals that keep the community informed and engaged. If interested in attending or becoming a member, visit ileari.com.
Are you interested in becoming a wedding planner or event planner? Earn your degree in event management online at JWU Online. For more information, complete the Request Info form, call 855-JWU-1881, or email [email protected].