As an organizer, you may be confronted with a whole series of new challenges in the “new normal”, ranging from complying with Covid-19 safety and social distancing regulations to marketing your event in a much more virtual way than before.
In addition, there are fluctuating conditions associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, such as new variants and constantly evolving regulations, which can change the scope for action in event management. Flexibility and advance preparation for different scenarios are therefore required to be able to react promptly to new conditions.
When Is Something an Event?
An event is when there is a performance, festival, performance, or party at a location, for example. A fair, village festival, or congress are also events.
Communication with the potential participants of your events is of particular importance: With the digital implementation of the invitation and the online registration of your participants, you make a significant contribution to the security of your events. At the same time, you can make participant management efficient and flexible.
In direct communication with the (potential) participants, information about the security measures of the event can be transported, the current contact data can be queried and the registration for time slots with a limited number of participants can be mapped. In addition, you can also obtain approval for the security concept of the event. You can include all of these measures in the security concept of your events.
This is made possible by the combination of a personalized invitation and online registration. While the invitation can be sent digitally by e-mail or “traditionally” by letter, registration is only implemented online using the registration form on the event website of your event.
Recommendations for the Invitation and Registration of Participants
Record contact details of all participants
With the online registration form on the event website of your event, you give your participants the quickest and easiest way to respond to your invitation with an acceptance or rejection. The registration form can be designed according to your requirements and can be pre-filled with the data of the participants that you already know.
By querying or confirming existing contact details – especially your email address and telephone number – you ensure that you can reach all potential participants and inform them in advance about the security measures taken as part of your event. Remember to make these data fields mandatory.
If you have the current contact details of the participants, you have prepared for any impromptu postponement or cancellation.
Provide information on security measures and obtain consent from attendees
On your event website, you can not only inform your participants in detail about the security concept of your event, but you can also use the registration form to obtain the relevant consent. To do this, set up a subpage on the event website and refer or link to it in the invitation, in all other e-mails, and in the footer of the website.
Examples of questions and declarations of consent that you can include – as a mandatory field(s) – in the registration form:
- I confirm that I will follow the required safety distance and the measures described in the organizer’s safety rules.
- I confirm that I will only take part in the event if I do not, to the best of my knowledge, have any symptoms of Covid-19.
If you want to go one step further and rule out recourse or a claim for compensation from participants in the event of a Covid-19 infection possibly triggered by attending your event, you can include wording like this:
- I am aware that attending the event will expose me to a potential health risk. I will not make any claims to the organizer in the event of an illness that can be traced back to attending the event, and I will indemnify and hold harmless the organizer about my person.
You might not have to ask your participants for any specific data about a possible (Covid-19) disease because most believe that this concerns sensitive and particularly sensitive data, it may only be recorded and processed with express consent.
The statement by a participant that at least no conscious Covid 19 disease is present or that they feel healthy does not, however, represent a sensitive date.
Provision for an official follow-up (contact tracing) of the participants
What if a participant tests positive for Covid-19 after attending your event? This may require official contact tracing, in which all actual participants in the event are contacted or notified by the authority.
To meet the requirements, you should also inform your participants that their contact details may be passed on to authority.
You should therefore include this measure in the data protection declaration of your event, e.g., B. with the following paragraph:
- I agree that my contact details (name, e-mail address, telephone number, address), as well as information about my participation in the event and for follow-up (contact tracing), may be transmitted to the competent authority upon official request.
Limit the number of participants
One of the biggest challenges in planning an event is limiting the number of in-person participants due to Covid-19 requirements. There are several solutions available to you:
Participants can be limited to a specific number for an event. As soon as the quota is exhausted, the registration can be closed.
Optionally, you can make the registration of your hybrid event be expanded to include a waiting list – so you remain flexible and ensure that the limited places at your event are used.
Allocate participants to time slots and contingents
To be able to implement events with a higher number of participants, taking into account all requirements, it is advisable to divide the participants into groups and time slots.
In the first step, you create the event with any number of time slots (these can be adapted or expanded at any time). You can define the exact start and end time, and then determine the maximum number of participants, a registration period, and a location/room for each slot.
Participants can register for a time slot using the registration form on your event website. If the quota of a time slot is exhausted or the registration period has expired, the registration of the slot concerned closes. Once all free places have been taken, registration for the entire event should be closed with a corresponding notice on the event website.
Guidelines: Indications for Big Events
This applies to conferences, congresses, major trade fairs, corporate conventions, and similar events. And the indications must be integrated, according to the specific context, with those relating to catering (with particular reference to the methods of serving buffet) present in the guidelines.
- The maximum number of participants must be evaluated by the organizers based on the capacity of the spaces identified, to reduce crowding and ensure interpersonal distancing. If the fair event is split over several venues/pavilions, physically separated from each other, it is necessary to identify the maximum number of participants for each venue/pavilion of the event.
- Reorganize the spaces, to guarantee access in an orderly manner, avoid gatherings of people and ensure the maintenance of at least 1 meter of separation between users.
- Provide adequate information on prevention measures, by using special signs, posters, audio-video systems, or even by employing staff to monitor and ensure compliance with covid-19 regulations
- Promote the use of digital technologies to automate organizational and participatory processes (e.g., booking system, payment of tickets, filling in forms, the printing of recognition systems, carrying out evaluation and satisfaction tests, entry registration systems, delivery of attendance certificates) to avoid foreseeable gatherings.
- Body temperature may be detected, preventing access in case of temperatures > 37.5°C.
- Make hand hygiene products compulsorily available for users and staff in several points in the areas (e.g., ticket office, halls, classrooms, toilets, etc.).
- In the conference rooms, the seats must provide for minimum spacing between one participant and the other, both front and side, of at least 1 meter.
- All devices and equipment should be disinfected before use. This includes microphones, laser pointers, keyboards, etc. Be sure to properly disconnect all electrical connections before disinfecting them.
- All staff should wear a mask covering the nose and chin for the entire duration of the event. They should also frequently sanitize their hands with hand sanitizer.
For event planners, the Covid-19 pandemic isn’t ideal, but there are ways to deal with it so you can pull off a successful event. With a little preparation and creativity, you can organize a successful, well-attended event while complying with necessary Covid-19 regulations.