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COVID-19: What to consider when hosting a business event

How do you host an event during a pandemic? We've listed some things to consider.

Since March, the restrictions on business events due to COVID-19 have meant that corporate get-togethers, training courses and face to face team meetings have been limited.

However, with current government guidelines stating that business and training events of 30 people or less can take place in COVID-secure venues, such as Leigh Court, you may be thinking about arranging your next one, so we’ve put together some advice on what to consider when hosting an event during a pandemic.

Is your chosen venue COVID-secure?
Business events of 30 people or less can take place in COVID-secure venues only. Most hotels, event spaces and other large venues will have had to complete a risk assessment to prove they have taken measures to become a safe environment for people to attend. Look out for the Visit Britain ‘We’re Good to Go’ Industry Standard, which is the recognised consumer mark of a COVID-secure venue before you book your event and ask your event coordinator what measures they have put in place, so you can reassure your own guests.

We're good to go Visit England

Will your event format need to change?
With social distancing needing to be in place for any business event, you will have to consider how the format of your training or seminar could need to change. For example, if you normally have breakout sessions during the event, can these still be done from a safe distance, or is it necessary to have smaller groups, or cut them out altogether? Can you ask people to look over documents or do extra preparation before the event to keep things as efficient as possible? These are all things to think about beforehand to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Can you include people remotely?
With COVID-19 regulations being strict on numbers, you may want to try and include other delegates or speakers remotely, rather than trying to get everyone to attend a physical venue. Ask your venue if they have the technical capabilities to support this and what you need to provide to them to make this happen.

What extra information do you need to send to delegates before the event?
It’s a good idea to let delegates know what will be expected of them when they attend your event, so they can prepare before they arrive. Do they have to park in a certain area, enter via a particular door, follow a one way system or sign in? It’s useful to send this information out before the date so everything runs efficiently on the day.

Can the venue provide refreshments?
Gone (for now at least) are the days of everyone congregating around the same table to get lunch, but most venues will still be happy to provide refreshments in a COVID-secure way. Perhaps they can make up individual lunch boxes for delegates or ask your guests to choose their meal before the day, so everyone stays safe and risk stays low.

sandwich wrap

What happens if someone does test positive?
Venues will take every precaution they can to keep events safe, but it is worth finding out their procedure if someone who attended your meeting does later test positive from COVID-19. Venues will likely keep a list and contact details of everyone who has attended on various days, and of course there is the NHS track and trace system too.

Hosting events looks very different to how it did at the start of 2020. However, at the moment, you are still able to hold socially distanced events and training, as long as it is properly organised and COVID-secure. If you’re thinking about hosting an event soon, why not get in touch with the team at Leigh Court who can help with any enquiries.