Tourism & Hospitality Events checklist

All being well, on 21 June all lockdown restrictions will come to an end and indoor events will be allowed to take place once more. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has, perhaps irreversibly, changed the corporate hospitality industry, and there are a number of factors to plan for when organising an event that you may not have considered before. With this in mind, Chamberlink provides a handy checklist to help you navigate events planning in ‘the new normal’.

Where to start When planning your event, consider the following as a starting point: • Does your event need to take place in person, or could you switch to a virtual model?

• What can you do to make your guests and staff feel comfortable? Can you remove or reduce the risk of close contact?

• Will travel restrictions affect how attendees will reach your event? • Are you flexible enough to adapt to changing Covid-19 guidance? • Have you considered the scenarios that would necessitate postponing or cancelling your event? How can you prepare for these scenarios?

Health and safety The health and safety of your guests, speakers and staff should be your major priority. Although lockdown restricts will eventually ease, many people will still be concerned about the cleanliness of the places they visit, and may decline to attend events if they feel health and safety isn’t being taken seriously. • Have you carried out a risk assessment, and does this include all Covid-19 related risks?

• What additional hygiene measures must be put in place across the site, and how will these be monitored and maintained?

• Do you need PPE, and can this be secured in time? • Will your chosen site need to be deep cleaned before/after your event, and are you responsible for organising this?

• Assuming social distancing may still be a requirement, how will this be implemented? Will you need a one-way system and separate entrances and exits, and how will you manage queues?

Catering Pre-Covid, it was a given that corporate events would be catered in some capacity. However set ups that involve delegates queuing at buffets and using the same utensils to serve themselves may well be a thing of the past. • If your event is catered, have you considered the Covid-19 risks associated with serving food and drink? Could you consider varying the food offer, such as providing hampers or table service, in order to minimise contact in dining spaces?

• If guests will be given the option to buy food on site, can you implement cashless payment systems?

Communication While much is still uncertain surrounding the easing of Covid restrictions, you will need to develop a communications method that will allow you to quickly share vital information with your delegates and staff. It might be difficult to text or call everyone on your guest list, so consider developing a website or even an app. • How will you communicate with delegates in the lead up to, and during your event? Consider how you will share the following information:

- General information, welcome materials, emergency protocols etc. - Covid-19 information (track and trace details, protocol if a delegate develops symptoms etc.)

- What happens in the event of cancellation and how the refund process will be handled.

Finance • Do you have sufficient finances and cash flow to manage ‘sunk costs’ if the event is cancelled or postponed at the last minute for reasons beyond your control?

• What are your contractual obligations to your venue, staff and suppliers? Do they have cancellation policies in place?

• If you are operating at a reduced capacity, is your event still financially viable? • Do you have sufficient event insurance in place? Is cancellation due to Covid-19 and the surrounding risks included in your policy?

56 CHAMBERLINK June 2021

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