Tips & Guidelines for Hosting a Corporate Event During COVID
Planning and hosting a successful event can be stressful. Throw in a global pandemic, and that stress level increases tenfold! Everyone is eager to meet like it's 2019, and with careful planning and proper COVID procedures in place, corporate meeting planners can host a successful event.
Let's face it, we're living amidst a constantly evolving situation, making it impossible for meeting planners to know what things will be like on the day of their event. But, if the circumstances of the past two years have taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. And it helps to have a Plan B and C should Plan A fail.
Perhaps the status of COVID was improving when you began your planning, but as your event nears, that optimism is replaced by uncertainty. And some of your guests are becoming hesitant about attending your big corporate function. But with an eye to the unexpected, you can help minimize some of the hesitancy with sound decision-making early on in your planning.
Understand Your Audience
It's essential to have a pulse on the company and attendees’ attitudes towards the virus. If employees haven't returned to the office and continue to work remotely, you may need to take more care in ensuring virus guidelines are followed compared to a team who works together in-person daily. Bear this in mind when selecting your location and determining how many people will be attending your event. If necessary, consider hosting multiple smaller meetings if that helps participants feel more comfortable.
Choose Your Location Wisely
If concern for the virus is prevalent among your attendees, you’ll want to select a location with enough space for everyone to spread out. It's always safest to opt for a meeting room large enough to accommodate social distancing. Better yet, choose a venue that has both indoor and outdoor options.
Select Your Vendors Carefully
While your teams have been working together, whether in person or remotely, bringing in outside vendors for catering, training, and other services introduces a new and unknown group of people. Therefore, it's critical to understand the COVID policies of each of your vendors before hiring them. It will provide a greater level of safety and comfort to your employees.
Here are two examples of COVID guidelines the team at Atlanta-based Simply Food Trucks and one of their Atlanta food truck partners have implemented to ensure the safety of their guests:
Simply Food Trucks' COVID guidelines:
The food truck(s) are inspected and permitted in multiple counties, and all have an "A" rating health score
Employees take their temps before their shift at the kitchen
Employees who are not feeling well are required to stay home
Employees wear gloves at all times and will change gloves frequently
Surfaces will be sanitized frequently
Each order will be packaged in individual to-go containers
Social distancing of at least six feet is encouraged
Staff will wear masks upon client request
And these are the COVID guidelines for one of their frequent food truck partners:
We encourage social distancing while waiting in line to get your order.
People will stand 6ft apart from one another to ensure social distancing.
There will be a no-contact menu.
Menu items will be passed through a window and placed on a ledge for attendees to retrieve their order - no contact.
Servers will wear a face mask.
Hand hygiene will be both available and encouraged.
Vendor COVID Protocols:
All vendor staff has completed Safety Training.
Vendors will have been PCR COVID tested 48 hours before their start date.
All vendor's crew will wear a face mask covering the nose, mouth, and chin.
During service, they will wash their hands thoroughly and disinfect their area and hands via liquid soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and water.
Staff will be tested with a lab-based PCR test done 48 hours before working on-site.
While you can't control the virus, you can take precautions to ensure that hosting an event during COVID is manageable. Food trucks are the ideal catering solution to your team's meeting needs because it's contactless, each order is packaged individually, and trucks are outside.