How to behave appropriately at in-person events

Four ways to ensure the safe return of physical meetings. 

Mindful behaviour to note while back at in-person events
Mindful behaviour to note while back at in-person events Photo Credit: gettyimages/Hung_Chung_Chih

With many borders having opened up in recent weeks, the events industry is gearing up for a busy spring and summer, with in-person gatherings back on the agenda. Not everyone however, will be comfortable attending physical events, so here are some steps you can implement to ensure event planners and delegates’ needs are catered for.

Specify point of contact for Covid-related queries

With regulations differing from one destination to the next, it’s important to ensure you have all the latest and correct information to hand. By making one or two persons responsible for this role, you can have an expert on hand who can manage Covid issues with ease, and who can answer any queries or address concerns.

Provide a ‘remote’ working space

AIME took place last month at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Its CEO, Peter King, said the venue provided space and the necessary technology to enable in-person delegates to hold meetings remotely if they wanted to, instead of talking to exhibitors on stands, or mixing with too many people at any one time. You could also consider venues with plenty of green space so breakout sessions can be hosted outdoors (weather permitting).

Don’t overload

With in-person events gathering steam, event professionals may find they have no choice but to get back on site. Being an event planner is a stressful enough job as is though and not everyone may feel the same. Communication is key - ask staff to voice any concerns they might have and don’t assume that everyone is happy to return to live, just because events are back.

For those on site, consider building more break times into the agenda and providing staff with some techniques to help restore calm. This could range from mindfulness to breathing exercises, or if staff numbers allow, consider rotating those who need to be on site at any one time.

Be prepared

Many restrictions such as social distancing and mask-wearing are no longer mandatory but that does not mean that everyone will be happy to get up close and personal and shake hands. Some people will still feel more comfortable keeping their distance so if there are no obvious indicators that someone is taking a more cautious approach,(such as wearing a mask), it’s always worth asking if people are happy to share space over lunch, or have additional seating or packed lunches ‘to go’ if necessary.