Safety, while always among major priorities for live events, has several more layers added now. Our hospitality staffing NYC team looked at three important areas of concern and possible solutions.
I. Event capacity and social distancing
Check state and local guidelines to determine the maximum allowed capacity for events in your area. No matter the number of attendees, social distancing must be practiced.
Various portions of the event, such as guest arrival and departure, present potential risks of crowding, so think in advance how to minimize it. Possible strategies include:
- Creating staggered arrival times.
- Using a check-in app or software program, instead of having a seating chart and place cards picked up upon arrival.
- Asking your hospitality staffing NYC agency to provide greeters and positioning them at short intervals from each other, to guide the guests towards the designated areas and prevent crowding near entrances and exits.
- Designing spacious floor plans, ensuring the maximum possible distance between the tables and chairs.
II. Food service
According to CDC, “there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by food. However, people sharing utensils and congregating around food service areas can pose a risk”.
The following precautions may help:
- Switch to disposable plates and utensils (recyclable or compostable, when possible).
- Offer plated dinner service instead of buffets and stations. Executed gracefully, it adds a nice touch to even the most casual celebrations.
- During receptions, ensure that staff passing food and beverages wears masks. Consider displaying menu cards clearly listing the ingredients and possible allergens of the items offered, to help guests hear and understand this information since the server’s face is covered.
- If you have a bar at your event, request additional wait staff for hire to monitor the social distance between the guests in line.
III. Cleaning and hygiene
Disinfecting efforts and personal hygiene have to be adhered to meticulously, so plan ahead:
- Prepare buckets with water, disinfectant, disposable rugs and gloves in the areas visited by guests repeatedly, such as bars and restrooms. Have a designated hospitality staffing NYC attendant for each area, or discuss the disinfection schedule beforehand and post cleaning logs for the staff to initial every time they do a round of cleaning.
- Crowd-control the line to the restroom and regularly check it for hand-washing supplies and paper towels.
- Set up multiple hand sanitizing stations throughout the event space. Touchless, sensor-activated dispensers are the best. Consider adding individual mini bottles of sanitizer (optionally, branded with your logo) to the guests’ gift bags.
Although the road to full recovery for event planning and production could be long and thorny, our industry is known for its creativity and grit. We will adapt, innovate and persevere, staying true to the infamous motto: “The show must go on”.
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