Last updated September 14, 2020
We are living in unprecedented times. Thinking about the future is extremely challenging! Short-term, our regulations seem to be changing every two weeks. Long-term, it’s impossible to imagine how the next year will unfold, given the necessary short-term adjustments and sacrifices we are all making to keep our communities as safe and healthy as is possible during this pandemic. This has especially been tough on the events industry, as planning processes get tossed in the blender with all of the other unknowns.
There are no concrete answers about when limitations might be lifted, when another wave of the virus might influence additional restrictions, or how long it might be before a vaccine is readily available and our society becomes comfortable interacting like we did before COVID-19 hit us this year. Groups all over the world have had to pivot to virtual events, meeting on video conference platforms and finding creative ways to engage while we can’t meet in person.
For anyone trying to keep communities involved and move forward with events planned in 2020, here are some resources that might help guide your decisions about structuring events through the end of the year.
Basic Guidance Provided from National Organizations
First and foremost, it is imperative to abide by government regulations and restrictions to ensure that we are keeping our communities safe and as healthy as possible. For most of us, local ordinances are the most stringent, but overall guidance from the CDC, WHO and national leaders are below:
CDC Considerations for Events & Gatherings: This site has extensive resources that offer support for anyone considering how to safely bring a group of people from different households together. Below is a summary of key takeaways, but we recommend that you take in the full website.
- Stay home and engage virtually whenever possible, wear face coverings when out in public, and practice effective hygiene.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily, or as frequently as possible.
- Limit seating and capacity to allow for proper social distancing.
- If you must provide food, serve individually plated meals or grab-and-go options, and use disposable dishes and utensils. Avoid all self-serve food or beverage options.
Download the CDC’s Events and Gatherings Readiness & Planning Tool.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Understanding the Coronavirus Webinar (You will be asked for contact info to access this recording.)
CDC’s Definition of Proper Social Distancing: Keep a Safe Distance to Slow the Spread
Current information from the World Health Organization about the Coronavirus Outbreaks.
Here are some resources to follow if you’re planning events in Colorado.
State Guidance for Indoor Events. These are some highlights, but please visit the website for the full info!
- Under the current “Safer at Home” orders, we are required to maintain a minimum of 6 feet between people at all time. For event space, this means ensuring that individuals can move around the space with a 6ft area surrounding them. So to properly accommodate this, you should plan for 144 square feet per person!
- Collect contact information for all guests, so in case you learn that someone at your event exhibits symptoms, you can contact everyone who attended with more information about getting tested and self-quarantining.
- The more signage you have reminding people to respect social distancing the better.
- No self-service food or drinks!
- No games or activities that involve contact between people, congregating together, or sharing materials.
- Add an additional 6 feet in between vendor booths, and require vendors to have booth layouts that promote social distancing. This will likely entail providing larger booth areas.
- Direct traffic flows in one-way patterns, controlled by ropes or fencing.
- And performers providing entertainment must be at least 25 feet away from all audience members. (Research suggests that projecting and singing spreads respiratory droplets over greater distances, which increases the risk of virus transmission.
Visit the Colorado Resource Page for COVID-19, a hub of information that includes public health info, state guidelines, and any new information that has come out through medical research.
Track data about the virus in the sate, maintained by the Colorado Department of Public Health.
This Social Distancing Space Calculator is super useful for determining how your group can be accommodated for both indoor and outdoor events!
Masks are now mandatory in all public indoor spaces! A statewide mask order went into effect at midnight on July 16th, and will be in effect at least through October 12th.
Have questions about your specific circumstances? Our team is always willing to brainstorm solutions and share whatever resources we can. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how we can help! In the meantime, stay as healthy and as sane as is possible during these turbulent times.