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Ladies of the Eighties

Everything You Must Know To Host Socially Distant Events

The crowd socially distancing during the show
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(Hypebot) — While it’s hard to entirely eliminate risk when it comes to in-person events during a pandemic, the right planning and precautions can help make your next socially distant concert significantly more painless to execute.

Guest post by Quinne Myers of Eventbrite

No in-person event during a pandemic can be entirely risk free. But with the right precautions, resources, and planning, you can put together socially distant events that are as safe as they can be under the circumstances. We’re here to help make the process smooth and comfortable for you and your guests with tons of first-hand experience, expert advice, and relevant content.

Whether you’re looking to host a seasonal outdoor market, a new drive-in event, or a socially distant outdoor concert, first thing’s first: Check with your local municipalities and follow all local guidelines when starting your event plan. (For noteworthy updates on regulations across the country, along with creative safety measures, read and subscribe to Eventbrite’s Events Industry Report, which is updated every two weeks.) Once you’ve studied up on your region’s rules, here are some tips to produce a safe and efficient socially distant event.

Identify, measure, and reduce your risks

Event creators have a responsibility to recognize the threats and take appropriate actions against them for their guests. The first place to start for implementing best practices at your event? Eventbrite’s COVID-19 Safety Playbook for Events.

This in-depth resource offers a four-stage safety process to assess your event’s unique risks, implement relevant safety steps, communicate your policies to attendees and staff, and use a pre-event checklist to put safety first.

For extra help before you start, we recommend checking out our up-to-date look at COVID-19 safety risks at your event (including potential steps to take to combat them) on our blog.

Follow basic safety steps

Every municipality has different guidelines for hosting safe in-person events, but there are some steps every event creator should take, even if it’s not a requirement in your area.

From providing basics like hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer, to creating an event-specific medical response plan, we’ve rounded up all of our best safety tips on the blog. Incorporate these into your own pre-event checklist, and even the most discerning guest will be safe and comfortable.

Get creative

In the new world of pandemic-era events, hosts and creators are forced to rethink classic event scenarios. How do you keep people safe at performances and social gatherings? And how can you make a socially distanced event exciting?

So event creators are, well, getting creative. One major success has been drive-in events, offering attendees everything from classic film screenings to in-car concerts. Colorado-based jam band The Magic Beans threw an entire music festival at a local drive-in theater, sending out their jams on a hi-fi audio simulcast to attendees’ headphones.

For even more ideas, we’ve curated a list of creative ways to address COVID-19 at your in-person event on the blog. Check it out here.

Include a hybrid virtual component

Zoom fatigue is real, but people are still willing to attend great virtual events — especially if they’re unable to attend in person. Adding a virtual aspect to your in-person event is a fantastic way to let extra-cautious or faraway individuals attend your event.

Plus, it can be a small budget addition that’s great for your bottom line. Check out how Anthropologie has crafted hybrid virtual/in-person events here.

Don’t be afraid to over communicate

Whether it’s on your ticket page or at the door to your event, an absence of information about safety measures can make your guests assume there are none.

Prioritizing safety and communication are key to resuming in-person events, and it’s more important than ever to open a direct line of communication with your attendees. Include your safety measures on your event’s landing page, refresh guests on policies at the door, and make sure you’re available after the event for any concerns.

We’ve even developed an email template you can use to share your safety steps with attendees. This makes it super easy to delicately and empathetically communicate with ticket-holders regarding the precautions and procedures you are implementing.

Let technology do the work

At Eventbrite, we’ve implemented so many cool features that creators are using to help with social distancing. Online ticketing can guarantee a touchless experience, and setting up time slots for your event has never been easier. Professional and Premium organizers can even develop a custom venue map, so guests can see a real-time layout of your socially-distanced seating or standing arrangements when they purchase tickets.

Plus, when you use the Eventbrite app to check guests in, you’re automatically provided with an up-to-the-minute capacity tracker. This allows you to monitor how many attendees are in the space at one time, which is perfect for ensuring you’re meeting local COVID-19 occupancy guidelines.

You can read about how event creators use Eventbrite to help with social distancing here.

Flexibility is key

Local COVID-19 guidelines are constantly changing, attendees’ priorities shift weekly, and everyone has a different solution. So the biggest trick to a successful in-person event is being willing to adapt. Constantly.

Adaptability was the biggest piece of advice from two major event creators who have successfully reimagined their in-person events. If you missed their webinar, check out all of their key takeaways.

Remember we’re all human

These really are unprecedented times, and we’re all doing our best with the information we have. Your attendees might feel frustrated, scared, or anxious after your event, whether it’s their first in-person gathering since February 2020 or their fiftieth.

So be empathetic, take it slow, and remember we’re all in this together.

For a better understanding of what event-goers are experiencing right now, we spoke with a psychologist. Read more of her thoughts to find out how organizers and attendees alike can handle their anxiety and enjoy events again.

Now you’re ready to host your next socially distanced event! 

Quinne Myers is a writer, illustrator, apparel designer, and lingerie industry pundit living in Brooklyn. Loves sweaty concert dancing, eating dessert, feeling feelings, and petting every dog.

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