Guide to Staging Safely
Shepard is driving the exhibitions industry forward with our Guide to Staging Safely. We are so honored to work alongside industry experts like CES, PCMA, and Surf Expo, who have started the new year hosting successful, safe events. To continue the momentum, we have gathered a list of proven strategies and helpful tips for hosting events that bring people together with peace of mind.
Before You Stage
Communicate – Refer to the CDC, WHO, and local + state government guidelines for the most up-to-date information. Use your social media and digital-owned properties to communicate to your audience and exhibitors. Follow these examples from PCMA Convening Leaders for more great ideas.
Traffic Flow – Ensure booth configurations and demo areas allow for social distancing. Work with the venue to allow for physical distance in aisles and public areas; advise exhibitors on booth layout to encourage safe interactions
Badge Pickup – consider additional kiosks or alternative pick-up locations to lessen congestion in the registration areas; make sure hand sanitizer is available, and offer one-time use pens/pencils if there are forms to fill out
Advise Attendees/ Before You Go
Get Tested – Encourage all attendees to get tested before entering the event center; offer complimentary testing onsite and/or free test kits with badge pick-up
Proof of Vaccination – be clear about your stance on vaccination and ensure your policy lines up with local/state and venue requirements; post on your website, socials, and in electronic communications to exhibitors and attendees
Hint: When requiring proof of vaccination for U.S. guests, encourage guests to download the CLEAR app to show proof of vaccination status
Another great example of how to stage safely was CES in Las Vegas. Kudos to the entire team there. Here are some learnings you can apply to your own event:
Safety Briefings – Set up a Health & Safety task force to incorporate daily briefings to your internal team on show days regarding the COVID-19 protocols and preventative measures; use a Show Daily/newsletter, mobile app push notifications, and/or your most active social channels to communicate urgent messages to exhibitors, attendees, and guests
Hand Washing – Make hygiene a priority. Ensure that soap and warm water are readily available in venue bathrooms, with signage on proper protocol for hand-washing. This is a great sponsorship opportunity, too!
Sanitize High Touch Areas – All areas where people will be congregating/flowing through should be sanitized frequently, especially if there are items like Wayfinder touch-screens, charging stations, concession table-tops, or other high-touch surfaces.
Food & Beverage Safety – Take extra precautions to provide food and beverages in pre-packaged containers to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and other variants. Work with venue food & beverage directors to ensure proper protocols are in place.
Safety Signage + Ambassadors – In high traffic areas, place signage throughout the venue to reinforce your policies on mask-wearing and other health safety protocols. Consider employing a team of roving ambassadors to remind guests of onsite health safety resources and requirements.
Safe Interactions – when personnel is required to interact in close quarters, such as the Exhibitor Service Center, implement sneeze guards, hand sanitizing stations, and extra masks for those who may need one. Surf Expo, which was staged January 5-7 in Orlando had some good ideas to encourage business to get done safely.
Training – Ensure your team members are trained for what to do in the event of an outbreak or change in schedule due to illness. Know who to call and what procedures to follow. Have a plan in place before you stage.
Team Meeting Areas – Designate a specific area for your team to meet safely each day or as needed to discuss progress, any areas of concern, and any issues that need to be addressed.
Remote Access Options – think ahead to any presentations or keynotes that can be pre-recorded or live-streamed; make a contingency plan for last-minute changes to the programming.
From pre-show planning to onsite contingency plans to remote access capabilities, Shepard is ready to help you craft your own Safe Staging guidelines. Contact us today to learn more.