COVID-19 can make planning and executing a live event extremely challenging. Audio Visual Professionals and Event Planners have been trying to navigate the current event climate while setting the stage to be as safe and compliant as possible.
Capacity limits and venue closures can change without warning. Safety and procedural requirements can vary by city, county or state, but we have put together a list of common best practices that will help you produce a successful and safe live event:
Book a larger venue than normal. This will allow for proper social distancing of attendees, but bear in mind, you may need to work with your AV company to incorporate larger screens and more sound reinforcement to account for the larger space. To help maintain audience safety designate a one-way flow of traffic to minimize congestion of attendees, and extend intermission-times to reduce congestion in exits, corridors, restrooms, and concession areas.
If your original event exceeds local capacity limits consider dividing your large gathering into several smaller groups. Your Audio Visual team can assist you with broadcasting to these smaller rooms or satellite locations.
2. Present Virtually
Limit the number of live speakers you have on-site. This can be achieved by asking if speakers can present remotely or pre-record their material. When you are required to work with multiple presenters use separate microphones for each. These can be pre-sanitized prior to use and kept in a sealed zip lock bag labeled with the name of each presenter. This limits the chance of cross contamination between presenters and also limits the amount of close contact interaction between presenters and technical staff.
Performers and speakers on-stage must maximize physical spacing between one another. If spacing is not possible, install plastic or cardboard barriers between individuals.
3. Social Distancing
When using podiums or stand microphones have staff members assigned to wipe down any mics or surfaces that may have been touched in between speakers. It may be beneficial to have a second podium on stage, and alternate presenters between podiums to allow time for cleaning.
Be sure to have adequate social distancing space in green rooms or staging areas, and assign a staff member to insure presenters aren’t congregating off stage.
Provide sanitization stations backstage accessible for people making entrances and exits, and require presenters to sanitize prior to entering stage. It is also helpful to dedicate specific entrance and exit points. This prevents speakers from close contact as they come on and off stage.
Make it a process for the crew to clean and sanitize their work stations at the end of each day.
5. Temperature Screenings
Require staff and presenters to submit to a temperature check prior to entering the site. Record each person’s temperature, and have them sign a release form stating they’ve had no known symptoms in the last 48 hours and acknowledging the dangers of COVID-19. It is recommended you assign a Safety Manager to handle these duties. The state of Nevada has provided the following screening guide to assist you when questioning staff and attendees: Click Here
6. Clear Communication for Staff
Have clear rules for staff and crew during the setup and run of the event. Begin the day with a safety Q&A session outlining the rules you’ve set in place and locations of sanitation stations. Provide enough space backstage for crew to distance themselves, or if space is limited (as it often is) provide plastic or cardboard barriers between workstations.
7. Masks and Additional PPE
Have additional PPE available for staff and speakers. Masks must be worn backstage at all times. Speakers must wear masks as they enter and exit stage, but can remove their mask after they enter.
8. Take your Event Virtual
If meeting in person is not an option… consider moving a portion of your event to a digital platform. Capacity limits for live events are varied and in constant flux, so the ability to live stream your event will allow you to safely reach larger audiences.
Fortunately, most people have become very comfortable with virtual meeting software over the several months; however, if you our your clients need additional information on the transition from live to digital we’ve got you covered: https://craft.productions/video/questions-asked-about-taking-your-event-digital/
Most importantly – be adaptable and have a backup plan!
Further information and specific guidelines regarding the State of Nevada’s live event protocols can be found here:
Technical Director, Craft Productions