Keep Your Con Safe in 2021: With COVID-19 cases at all time highs, many conventions have been cancelled or postponed in efforts to keep attendees safe. However, some conventions are still continuing, but with strict safety guidelines and population control to maintain a safe and healthy environment. To keep your convention (or any big event) safe in 2021, here are some mandates you should enforce:
No surprise here, masks are the foremost ingredient in holding a safe public event. CDC guidelines recommend wearing a mask when around large groups of people, so your event should follow these rules closely. Ensure attendees are wearing masks at all times except for eating (at, preferably, spread-out tables), and if an attendee does not bring a mask, have extras for them to use. If they refuse to wear a mask for whatever reason, do not grant them access into the event. No approved medical reason is reasonable in this circumstance–any medical condition that would prevent wearing a mask is a reason not to come to your convention. Your attendees should understand and respect the guidelines your convention implements.
Socially Distanced Halls
We all know how unbearably tight the exhibitors hall can be, even without COVID-19 to add that extra layer of discomfort. However, with booths spread out six feet from one another, rather than being next to each other, as well as giving at least double the walking space around the halls, your convention can help minimize the proximity of attendees at the exhibitors hall. This means less competition for your vendors.
You might even throttle the number of people entering the hall with a queue that is marked in six-foot increments. Having attendees and vendors spread apart gives everyone the gift of safety in knowing they won’t be clumped together like most cons in the past.
Hand Sanitizer Stations
Hand sanitizer has been proven to kill COVID-19 found on the hands and arms, so including hand sanitizer stations is integral to keeping your event running as safely as possible. Put hand sanitizer stations at the entrance of each panel, exhibitors room, cafeteria, and bathrooms, as well as multiple spots throughout the convention center.
Remind people that this stuff is important. (While you’re at it, mark off all your queue lines at six-foot increments.) Along with signage that depicts and encourages safe behaviors, add signage that reminds attendees and staff that they are important to you, and that you want to see them safe and healthy next year, too.
Public Safety Crew
Whether you call them “Security” or “Public Safety,” ensure your crew members are ambassadors for both the con and for the cause of good public health. Having your crew lead by example is critical. Make sure they have the PPE they need. Make sure they know the policies the con has put in place. More importantly, rehearse contingencies (yes, actual role-playing) with them to better handle circumstances where people may need a little nudge to follow best practices. Empower your public-safety crew to enforce all guidelines.
Keep Your Con Safe in 2021! While these tips are a great way to keep your event safe, these shouldn’t be your only precautionary measures. Air purifiers, temperature checks, and outdoor seating for eating are some of many more ways you can keep your event running properly and healthily, without putting your attendees at risk. You might even have some internal discussions about a vaccine/immunization requirement.
Call UsagiMed. We can help you sort these things out. What criteria are you using to determine whether to have your show or postpone? What steps are you taking to keep your attendees safe? Let’s have a conversation.