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After going through the event guidelines released by each state, one thing’s absolutely clear – the event industry is never going to be the same.
There are too many changes that are needed to be made if the industry wants to survive the pandemic. And although there’s some relief, businesses need to ensure that their events are safe for attending.
Fortunately, the glaringly obvious ray of hope in all of this is the fact that outdoor events are safer than indoor events. Here’s why.
Open spaces prevent the spread of coronavirus
One of the major and obvious benefits of hosting outdoor events is that you aren’t contributing to the problem. Open spaces reduce the risk of transmission because of two primary reasons; social distancing and a lack of confined space.
Coronavirus is commonly spread through “respiratory droplets released into the air when talking, coughing, or sneezing.” When there isn’t enough ventilation, the droplets can linger around for longer and promote transmission.
Since open spaces have constantly moving air, the respiratory droplets are able to disperse, which reduces the risk of contamination.
No need for air conditioners in outdoor events
Centralized air conditioners are the #1 enemy of the coronavirus. They can accelerate transmission and put everyone within the space at the risk of contraction.
Although the coronavirus isn’t air-borne, it can still be transferred via AC if there isn’t enough moving space. Outdoor events not only bring down the cost of your event by eliminating the use of conditioners but they also make your event more environment-friendly.
It’s easier to follow social distancing guidelines in open spaces
When you’re stuck in an auditorium, there’s only so much you can move. Outdoor events, on the other hand, offer enough space for you to move around and maintain a 6-feet distance.
An open-air-environment lets people maintain their distance and discourages the virus from being recycled or getting carried away by other people. Moreover, you can manage an outdoor event better than one that’s hosted inside an auditorium because there aren’t any space constraints.
While high-risk activities such as large gatherings aren’t advised by the state, if you happen to be part of one, it’ll be easier to maintain a safe distance and control the crowds.
As mentioned before, a simple COVID-19 screening can reduce the risk of contaminating the entire event. Outdoor spaces also allow you to have multiple hygiene stations that people can frequent during the course of the event.
You get an opportunity to promote local businesses
It’s not just about staying safe but also ensuring that you can provide your vendors and partner with opportunities. The failing economy has left many grasping at straws. If your event can be of help in such cases, it’ll not only boost the local economy but also create positive PR for your event.
That said, outdoor events allow more local businesses to promote their products than the ones that are hosted indoors.
For example, if you’re hosting a fundraiser, you have a better chance of letting small business owners participate in your event by setting up their stalls and helping you raise more money. The same can’t be said about indoor events.
Guidelines for hosting outdoor events
Every time you step out of your house, you put yourself at risk of exposure to the virus. Fortunately for us, the coronavirus isn’t air-borne yet. So, a few simple and doable measures can help you make sure all the attendees are safe during your event.
- Cover your face with a mask
While the ideal scenario is to completely avoid large gatherings, covering your mouth and nose with a mask is the next best thing to do. Masks and face coverings have been made mandatory for the attendees as well as the organizers of the event.
If you’ve arranged self-service food and beverage stations, you would need them to comply with your Preparedness Plan and make it compulsory for the administrator to cover their face while taking care of the catering. The only time the participants and organizers are allowed to be without a mask is while eating or drinking.
- Maintain sanitizer stations
Depending on the size of the gathering, every event must have multiple sanitizing stations set up at regular intervals to prevent people from flocking near the select few. While there isn’t any particular guest-to-station-ratio, it all comes down to your judgment.
For example, Wynn Las Vegas has set up 300 sanitizer stations across the resort for their guests and all their 30,200 employees. They’ve also appointed staff to disinfect the guest area 24×7.
Wynn Las Vegas has put up front and back of the house signages to remind people that it isn’t over and that they ought to follow the state’s safety guidelines.
- Set up coronavirus screening
Thermal temperature scanners or cameras must be installed at entry points to conduct non-invasive temperature checks before the attendees are allowed to enter the event’s premise.
Also, you must maintain a record of all the people who have attended the event, so they can be tracked down and informed in case anyone contracts coronavirus.
- Limit the amount of food on display
Although the state has advised to selling and distributing only prepackaged food, you can display food that’s been prepared as per the updated food code. The states have also changed the definition of potentially hazardous food, so ensure that you go through the food & beverage guidelines before committing to serving food and beverages.
- Follow social distancing
Gatherings of up to 25 to 1000 people are permitted, depending on the state’s laws, and only if social distancing is followed. On the other hand, outdoor gatherings are limited to 1,000 people. Some states have also reduced the venue’s capacity from 50% to 25%.