Even though numbers have decreased in Southeast Texas, there are still a lot of things to think about when planning events during COVID-19. But one that cannot be neglected is that many attendees may have a certain level of anxiety about gathering in groups—regardless of how compliant an event is with CDC regulations. Look at these tips on how to make everyone feel comfortable when meeting in Beaumont.
1. Clearly communicate safety measures—but don’t make them all an attendee thinks about.
The Beaumont CVB wants your attendees and your staff to know that their safety is being taken seriously—it is of the upmost importance of our team that not only are we communicating thoroughly on your behalf to hotel and venue partners to ensure safety but also making sure the event is enjoyable for all. Having safety measures in pre-event communications, check-in, and optional FAQ page for your group, safety can be clearly communicated for your attendees.
2. Be consistent with your messaging.
Whether you have a landing page on a website, Facebook page, or are sending email invites to guests, it is important for the messaging to highlight the safety precautions of the event to be consistent across all platforms for attendees. When sharing any pre-event communication, it will also help gauge the interest of potential attendees and give them the confidence to attend—especially when sharing the precautions and steps that will be taken during the event to ensure guest safety.
3. Make it clear you are following all laws and CDC guidelines.
Make guests feel confident by showing that you are up to date with the latest federal and local laws on mask requirements and capacity restrictions. Depending on the venue, you can find varying restrictions for each. Different types of venues, like city-run sites (Event Centre, Jefferson Theatre, Civic Center, etc.) versus private businesses (Major Event Center, 434 Fannin, Broussard’s Farm, Ford Park, etc.) are also likely to have different sets of rules. Similarly, consider venue characteristics like filtration systems, outdoor space, and cleaning processes—and make those details clear to attendees.
4. Make sure attendees are aware of any screening procedures before they register.
Whether you are requiring proof of vaccine, rapid COVID tests, and/or health questionnaires and temperature checks, make sure attendees know that right off the bat so they can determine what they are comfortable with—and what they are prepared for. Also, having designated roles for your group or registration assistance from the Beaumont CVB can help make this process run smooth.
5. Have on-site reminders about safety measures.
The communication about safety does not stop when attendees get on site. Guests likely want to see entrance and check-in signage that further outlines safety measures, as well as additional signage indicating traffic patterns, mask reminders or social distancing requirements as needed. This goes back to having consistent messaging throughout and continued communication. Another way to implement safe meeting is to utilize QR codes in your signage so attendees can use personal phones to gather additional information.
6. Consider giving attendees a way to report on-site activities they are not comfortable with.
Have a point of contact or designated area to report “unsafe measures” or complaints to give attendees another reason to know that you are taking the situation seriously and are transparent. Everyone running the meeting or event, from the organization hosting to the venue, should know all the procedures and rules pre-event so that everyone is on the same page when addressing concerns.
7. The safety measures do not stop just because an event is over.
It is important to keep in touch with attendees, particularly to have a coordinated communication plan for if someone tests positive for COVID-19 after the gathering or using a post-event survey about how attendees felt about safety protocols. You can use those findings to gage success of the event but also offer insight into future planning.