Exercising greater vigilance with live events

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Written by Mark Harsant

While we continue to live with Covid-19, organisers should continue to employ methods to reduce the spread of the virus among attendees and staff at business events. We have emphasized below the most common best practices you should be adhering to at your events. However, we can help you with comprehensive risk assessment plans – along with their implementation on the day – to make sure your event is as safe as possible.

  • If you’re delivering a live event, you should complete a health and safety risk assessment (RA) that includes risks from COVID-19. This should consider COVID risks as they stand, as well as considering how existing risk assessments should be updated if the activity is affected by COVID.
  • In your communication to attendees in the lead up to your event, you should advise them on what to do if they are experiencing Covid symptoms and the subsequent action they should take.
  • Inform attendees of the venue’s policies on face masks and social distancing.
  • Do not permit anyone with COVID-19 symptoms to enter the event. Ensure mechanisms are in place to (a) ensure that the guests or staff know that this is the policy; (b) have ways to monitor this in advance of travel and on-site (asking to see test results, testing on site, etc) and (c) ensure that the penalties for cancellation due to COVID are removed, i.e. refund or free date change so audience members are not encouraged to attend with symptoms or staff aren’t penalised if they have symptoms.
  • Allow people to check in at the venue by either using your own data tracking or the NHS Test & Trace app. During your contactless registration, ensure you have a crowd management plan in place and stagger arrivals and departures.
  • Consider modifying the layout of your event to maximise the space you have for the attendees.
  • Clean more often during the event; this should be discussed with the venue hosting your event. The focus should be on high-touch and common surface areas.
  • Provide ample air ventilation.  This should be addressed on your site visits to the venue prior to the event. Where possible, keep doors and windows open to try and reduce indoor air re-circulation.
  • Clear messaging is now more important than ever at business events. Display signs in highly visible locations reminding attendees of health and safety protocols and Covid-19 messages. Include regular announcements on the public address system and consider showing frequent videos on screens showing how attendees can reduce the spread of Covid-19 at the event.
  • Should there be any post-event cases of Covid-19, ensure you know the reporting procedure to the test & trace facilitators.
  • Finally, it’s vitally important to communicate and train your team before your event delivery. Ensure everyone knows the health and safety measures and emergency procedures.

Additional Resources

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic – WHO

Organised Events Guidance – Gov.uk

Guidance on running events safely – HSE

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