If we were to examine all the main things that make an event, it could be broadly summarized in four different parts –
- Event infrastructure
- Event organizers
The event planners are in charge of taking care of everything, be it targeting the right audience or selecting the event venue. While reaching out to the right audience will make sure that the people who are actually interested in the kind of event you are hosting get to attend it, picking the right venue will ensure that it is easily accessible by different modes of transportation.
The pointers mentioned above are essential to check when an event planner is organizing an event in normal times. But the need of the hour is different due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Spreading its presence across borders, coronavirus has to be dealt with care and lots of prevention.
In the previous article, we talked about why the event planners should be prepared for dealing with anyone with signs and symptoms of coronavirus. In this blog post, we are going to talk about the inventory an event planner must arrange for before organizing an event both on the event management front and when it comes to managing things on the venue.
Venues: Health and safety measures
When you are finalizing a venue, remember to check how well prepared the premises are, what all gadgetry and services the staff can offer. While you may or may not be able to anticipate why doing so is important, here is spilling the beans – an event management team can not do everything all alone. Working closely with the venue management team is as vital as working with your own team. A bit of alertness, some preparedness with appliances and other needs from your team and venue staff can save many, many lives. While narrowing down on your venue check whether they have –
Thermal scanners have become one of the main preliminary gadgets to determine whether a person is feeling unwell and bears the signs and symptoms of coronavirus. If you are wondering what it is, here is a quick brush up. Every live being emits heat or infrared energy. Thermal cameras make use of heat sensors that have the ability to record the amount of heat generated by the body of a person or an object and then create a 2D image with distinguishable temperature levels.
When a person is made to stand before the thermal scanner, the computer screens the hot temperature, then highlights it with a different color palette than the rest. The thermal scanners are capable of detecting abnormal body temperatures such as anything over 101 degrees F (38 degrees C). Large scale events and conferences have a very high footfall and checking the body temperature of every attendee can be a big nightmare and lead to delay in entry to the venue. After the authorities have identified possible vectors, they can segregate the attendees for further screening. Thermal cameras are only equipped to the point that they can tell who has a higher body temperature or has been running a high fever. Thermal scanning in no way can determine and declare that a person is infected with the coronavirus. There are other different screenings required to conclude whether he or she is indeed affected.
What happens before and after your event? It is not that the virus will only survive for as long as people are around. The virus can survive on surfaces of different kinds of materials and surfaces that have been contaminated with novel coronavirus for at least 2 to 3 days. The solution? An effective and appropriate disinfectant to cleanse the coronavirus should be used. It must be made sure that the disinfectants have been made and applied in accordance with the recommendations of the manufacturer. Appropriate contact time must be given to the disinfectant to work as per its complete potential and disinfect materials implementing
Make sure you have developed and implemented a microphone disinfecting policy between speakers, attendees. All exhibitors, booths, and meeting rooms should be provided with packs for maintaining hygiene standards.
Isolation holding room(s)
Being of utmost importance, isolation holding rooms are the most important part of the inventory of all. Why? Let us assume that you have been able to identify someone suffering from fever or someone who has been coughing and/ or sneezing incessantly, what will you do? There has to be at least one or two isolation holding rooms where you can make the person attending the event wait and later redirect him or her to the nearest possible hospital.
Having an isolation room will let you isolate the person showing signs and symptoms of coronavirus and reduce the risk of making other people susceptible to catching the infection while attending the event. A small act of vigilance and preparedness will make a huge impact on your overall event.
Event organizers: health and safety measures
Till now we talked about the different kinds of measures that can be taken up by the venue management and staff to minimize the risk of letting coronavirus spread and how they can ensure to host the event smoothly. In this part, we shall discuss the different ways and inventory that can help an event organizer be better prepared for the event.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Without a doubt, there are a number of things that an event manager and venue staff can do to avoid the spread of COVID-19 virus, but nothing beats the personal initiative to prevent catching the infection. As an event manager, you must encourage your attendees to stay informed to stay healthy by following simple things like –
- Wash your hands regularly with the help of soap and water. If water and soap are not available, make use of a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol content.
- Avoid touching your nose and mouth when your hands are washed as these body parts are the main infection carriers.
- Wear an N95 mask if you have a cough or have been sneezing to avoid spreading the infection among other people. Patients with confirmed or possible SARS-CoV-2 infection must not step out without wearing a mask.
- If an attendee has been feeling sick, they must stay at home and take rest.
The specialized N95 surgical masks are the key to stopping the spread of coronavirus. The Food and Drug Administration of the USA states that these respirator masks are capable of blocking out at least 95 percent of the tiny particles that come in contact with them on a scale of 0.0001 inches (0.3 microns) in diameter. With a higher risk of transmission, it is advised that the people suffering from cough and cold should use this mask whereas the others should not use them.
Just as we have discussed earlier, having a thermometer by your side will let you check the body temperature of any attendee who seems unwell and maybe showing the signs and symptoms of coronavirus. The body temperature of the person will not be a confirmation for you to determine whether they are a coronavirus positive person or not but it will make it easy for you to segregate and isolate them for further examination. There are various kinds of thermometers that are widely used including –
- The forehead thermometer, a classic example of a liquid crystal thermometer.
- An ear thermometer which is known to be an infrared thermometer.
- Oral and rectal thermometers have mercury at their tip and are to be read manually. These have been superseded by the thermometers with a digital readout.
In case there is no water and soap available for the attendees to wash their hands, you must be able to provide them with a hand sanitizer with a bare minimum of 60 percent alcohol content. The ones containing at least 60 to 95 percent of alcohol content are the most effective ones. Cleaning the hands using a hand sanitizer will get rid of any germs on the hands of the user hence making them clean to use. Available in the form of gel, liquid and foam, using hand sanitizers are one of the most convenient ways of getting rid of germs from your hands. Care should be taken while using these as they are highly flammable.
Medical Waste Management
In this case, medical waste can be defined as the total waste stream from different parts of the venue. The aim of having medical waste management by your side is to control any likely risks and effects that coronavirus may have on the environment. All medical waste must be disposed of on a daily basis in the best possible way. Any mismanagement in handling medical waste can result in transmitting the virus among the people managing the waste and other staff.