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  • Writer's pictureJoe Gilliver

Maintaining Covid Safety in Live Events

Live events may be back (and better than ever!), but this doesn’t mean we can return to normality straight away. There is still a wide range of guidance and support, as recommended by the UK Government, plus the fact that Covid-19 is still a threat to us all. We are clearly not out of the woods yet. And we may have to live with Covid-19 for many more years to come.

So before launching that all-important live event, please heed our warnings. Ensure that you ask yourself the right types of questions and protect people from any harm.

The importance of a risk assessment

Putting it plain and simple, risk assessments save lives. You will not only be directly responsible for the health and safety of your participants, but you will also be responsible if anything were to happen to your employees. For example, if there was a Covid spread at the event and it affected your staff, their illness will be down to your careless handling of the situation.

In turn, you will be impacted financially as you will need to pay them without their work input. In addition, if there is no risk assessment in place, you could also be liable. The resulting legal cases will not only damage your wallet, but the reputation of the business you have been trying to build up.

The steps needed for risk assessment

Assess everything and understand mitigation options

Start by identifying any risks that are potentially hazardous to participants and staff. In this case, there needs to be an assessment of the facility where you are holding the live event. Is it big enough to comfortably accommodate the attendees with social distancing? Is it well ventilated to minimise the spread of Covid-19? Is there a proper system in place for filtering people in and out? Making sure that you cover all bases, going into fine detail while doing so is best practice.

After this has been done, consider the safety steps in case of an emergency and implement all the government guidelines, freely available online. Then, update this regularly and make sure everything is thoroughly in place as the event approaches closer and closer.

The risk of transmission cannot be eliminated entirely. Still, it can be managed successfully if you are careful, detailed and alert to any of the signs which can be prevented early doors. Doing this can help you make informed decisions when it comes down to it during the live event.

Take steps to implement solutions

Following the identification process, you must put the safety steps into action. If there are any doubts whatsoever - say you have a number of high-risk factors, for example - it is wise to either delay the event until further notice, convert it to an online format or change venue and start over.

Here are some recommendations to consider (but ensure you are up to date with the latest guidelines to keep on top of current events):

  • Bring in a specialist health and safety team that work in the events industry – we can provide connections

  • Collaborate with local authorities to ensure you stay in line with Covid-19 restrictions

  • Provide handwashing facilities with instructions and education resources to ensure everyone is aware of the symptoms and how to protect themselves adequately

  • Develop an event safety plan for quick evacuation while sticking to social distancing

  • Require everyone to wear face masks and to social distance during the event

  • Temperature check everyone at registration

  • Clean all surfaces with disinfectant before, during and after the event

  • Provide first-aid stations and evacuation plans in case of non-Covid emergencies

  • Plan to isolate individuals showing symptoms of Covid-19, then contact others after the event to notify them of exposure to Covid-19; install Track and Trace QR codes

  • Ventilate the venue appropriately.

Be completely transparent with policies and procedures

By making all your policies clear to attendees and staff, you will be doing all you can to ensure that each and every single person surrounding the event is fully informed. If you do the bare minimum and don’t prepare people for the event, complications will arise.

Giving a complete rundown on social media, via the website, through emails and during the event is fantastic, so do it! Include the advice from experts you have consulted, what measures have been put into place to minimise risks and clearly show that you have considered all areas relating to the event and everyone’s safety. People are then given an ultimatum - abide by the rules and be allowed to attend or don’t and then be denied entry. It’s as simple as that.

Each and every one of us needs to take responsibility to ensure that the virus does not spread further than it already has. Unfortunately, this will see to it that more events are possible in the near future.

Utilise a safety checklist to prepare for and respond to risks

Finally, it is time to put that plan into action! It will be your first live event during Covid times; it is important to note that there may be incidents for which you are unprepared. But that is all-natural due to the circumstances we are all living with. While doing your best the first time around, using this as a learning opportunity will be great for tightening any flaws in future risk assessments.

If the event comes off as a success without any hicks, then good job! Have professionals check for any areas of improvement, get feedback from attendees and staff, and generally update where possible to keep on top of everything.

Local regulations may apply as well, depending on where the event is. England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all vary in their rules and regulations, and these change and update all the time. To find out how they differ via the GOV.UK website here.

For help with anything live event-orientated, be sure to contact Chameleon today for a fantastic, personalised service. Then, if you’d like, visit our virtual events page for more information on what else we have to offer. We can help you create an unforgettable experience from start to finish!

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