3 Considerations for Live Events During COVID-19

When executing a live event, such as an industry conference or awards show, organizers must make decisions very rapidly. During COVID-19, the ability to quickly, and safely, readjust plans has become even more urgent. In many ways, these events are similar to emergency responses. That’s why our team of scientific experts is well-equipped to help. As organizers determine how to best protect the health and safety of their hosts, staffers and attendees, Jacob Fenske, MS, CIH, Senior Consultant, says there are three primary questions to address:

Where will the event be held? Organizers must consider not only the geographic location of their events but also their potential venues. Currently, there are COVID “hotspots” in the U.S., where additional steps must be taken or alternative options considered prior to bringing in outside staffers or guests. In addition to evaluating the selected communities’ transmission rates, organizers should determine whether their desired venues are large enough to safely accommodate employees, contractors, and guests, especially if events need to be held indoors. Have experts recently assessed the ventilation systems or air flow? Is there adequate space to set up the required number of medical screening stations? Organizers must take this type of information into consideration.

Are there certain health and safety protocols the event must follow? Many U.S. cities and states have now established mandatory COVID-19 directives or outlined recommended best practices. Organizers should follow these protocols as well as the latest CDC-approved health and safety guidelines during the planning, execution and wrap-up of their events. For certain industries, live events will also have to abide by union or guild agreements.

What safeguards will be put in place to reduce transmission risk? Organizers should put secure barriers in place to help keep COVID-19 out of the workplace and limit its potential transmission, if needed. This includes systematic, expeditious testing and detailed screening requirements for both employees and attendees. Organizers should also utilize social distancing, personal protective equipment (e.g., masks and face shields, including neck or handheld devices) and proper hygiene procedures, such as handwashing stations, individual hand sanitizers and personal packets of disinfecting wipes.

Like emergency responses, live events can be stressful and chaotic, even if only held virtually. Through decades of on-the-ground experience, our experts are able to help organizers make the best decisions possible, so they can safely execute their events and return to life as normal. If you have questions about our COVID-19 response services, contact us at webquestion@cteh.com.

Any scientific or medical information included in this article is current as of the date of publication; however, public health knowledge of COVID-19 is rapidly developing. Readers are advised to monitor national, state and local public health agencies for current recommendations regarding any infectious disease.