The pandemic has changed the scope of our personal and professional lives in ways we never imagined. One of the most challenging changes has been the regulations around in-person meetings and gatherings. This has created difficulty for individuals and families but has especially hit businesses hard, as they usually have a greater need for meetings and live events. Business owners are left wondering how to make events during the pandemic safe and successful, or if they should hold them at all.
Events have always been a great way to raise the profile of a business. But when restrictions started earlier this year, things got a little tricky. Operating a business right now isn’t just about making money and serving customers, it’s also about keeping everyone safe and holding onto public trust as we forge our way through this tough time. Here are a few tips for navigating business events during the pandemic.
Current Guidelines and Restrictions
Depending on where your business is, know that different regulations and restrictions for holding events will be in place. It’s important to stay up-to-date about state and local pandemic guidelines because they seem to change often. Sticking to these guidelines is key to executing an event that is as safe as possible for everyone. You may find that your state or local government has banned all events and gatherings over a certain number of people.
Though you may have planned an event well in advance, understand that the regulations could change between now and then. In any case, I recommend that you have a back-up plan just in case you are unable to hold your event as planned.
Health and Safety
If you do decide to hold some type of physical event, you must consider health and safety for everyone involved, including your staff, vendors, and visitors. When planning for the event, take every available precaution to prevent unnecessary contact and the potential spread of the virus. Make sure to provide detailed and clear instructions to everyone that is involved in the process. Signs and brochures can help to keep everyone compliant.
Additionally, keep a log of your preparations and how you intend to make your event safe for visitors. This will be key to prove you have complied with all local guidelines and restrictions.
If the uncertainty and fear associated with holding physical events are making you crazy, virtual events might be the way to go. Adjusting to this change has been a challenge for many businesses, so adapting and making them work can be appealing to all that do business with you. Planning purposefully to make your event attractive and roll out smoothly is a must. Virtual events can be difficult but done well, they can be an asset and bring a new facet to your offerings.
Prepare for Cancelations
It can be difficult to put time, effort, and money into an event, only to lose it all. However, this is the reality in which we live. It’s an unfortunate fact that many events (large and small) have been canceled by companies all over the world this year, and many more are likely to be canceled in the future. It will be key to prepare for possible cancellations during this time by having a worst-case-scenario plan in place. If you are creative, consider what things you could do instead of holding a live event.
Do also check on your general liability insurance for small businesses to protect yourself from major loss due to any mishaps with an event. Some policies might even cover losses due to having to cancel.
Overall, if you want to hold a business event, do take all the risks and costs into consideration before you make solid plans. As we move through this difficult time, we are discovering innovative ways to promote our businesses and keep them afloat. Don’t be pressured to take unnecessary risks by anyone for the sake of not postponing an event. Do what’s right for your company and stay safe out there.