How to Safely Return to In-Person Events in 2021

It’s no secret that the demand for virtual events was higher than ever in 2020, and we’re thankful for the opportunities those events provided! Though grateful for the technology, virtual events lack the connectivity, engagement, and personal touches that in-person events provide. As we look ahead to 2021 and beyond, we’re here to help you plan a safe return to in-person experiences!

  1. Determine what you need from your venue. Your top priority should be space. Make sure there’s enough room to socially distance and keep everyone feeling comfortable. Talk to your venue about their gathering restrictions and any health or safety guidelines they’ve put in place so that you can educate your attendees.
  2. Factor in weather. Being able to host outdoor events or being able to open windows and circulating outdoor air is a great way to ensure proper ventilation. As you’re planning your event, take into account the weather, outdoor space, and ventilation options at your venue.
  3. Understand their cleaning routines. Talk to your venue about how they clean their event spaces, and what kind of sanitation schedule you can expect during your event. How will your attendees know if a table or area has been sanitized? How often will high-touch surfaces be cleaned?
  4. Review your contract carefully. You want this to be a win-win for your organization and your venue, so be sure you truly understand your contracts and your options. Pay close attention to the cancellation and postponement policies.
  5. Consider event insurance. Look into what your venue’s insurance covers, and what could be covered by event insurance, specifically as it relates to postponing or canceling your events.
  6. Discuss grab-and-go meal options. Pre-packaged meals are a great way to keep your attendees well-fed while limiting their exposure to others. Look into providing water throughout the day to limit the use of shared drinking fountains.
  7. Plan ahead for social distancing. Limit the number of chairs at each table, space your tables apart, and create clear floor markings to keep people separated wherever you anticipate lines forming. How easily accessible are the restrooms, would limiting the occupancy be an option?
  8. Look for alternative routes. Depending on the size of your event, the flow into and out of your meeting space may get really congested. How can your venue help you set up a more efficient and socially distanced entrance and exit plan? While you can schedule things differently to ensure a smoother flow of traffic, your venue should have helpful suggestions as well.
  9. Set up sanitation stations. We’ve all missed the excitement of grabbing a cup of coffee and catching up with coworkers and contacts as we get on-site for an event, why not build some sanitation elements into that routine? Stock up on hand sanitizer, masks, touchless thermometers, sanitary wipes, gloves, face shields, and other PPE that will help keep your attendees safe!
  10. Embrace touchless technology. From contactless payment options to digital badges and on-site printing, make sure you’re thinking through all the details when it comes to getting people in and out quickly, efficiently, and with as little physical contact as possible.
  11. Establish safe transportation options. Whether your attendees are traveling from near or far, encourage everyone to follow CDC guidance for Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Keep your events and lodging options within walking distance, or provide sanitized, safe transportation between locations if possible.
  12. Keep the noise volume low. To help ensure good respiratory etiquette, keep things quiet so your guests don’t have to shout or speak loudly just to be heard.
  13. Require proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination. The easiest way to keep your event safe and your attendees healthy is to know that no one in attendance is sick. Letting your attendees know this precaution is in place will help them feel safe and comfortable at your event.
  14. Require face coverings. Make a statement by offering branded face coverings at your event, but make sure attendees know masks are mandatory. The CDC has stated that masks can slow the spread of COVID-19, and should make your attendees feel more comfortable on-site.
  15. Prepare your attendees. Nothing is going to be more important than preparing your attendees for your event. Let them know exactly what your health and safety guidelines will be, what will be expected of them while they are on-site with you, and how you’ll be keeping them safe.

For your safety and the safety of our team, we are following strict safety protocols here at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel. We look forward to welcoming you and your guests, and will go to great lengths to ensure your safety. Learn more about our COVID safety protocols, then get in touch when you’re ready to learn more about our meeting and group packages!