Secure event design – new venue safety measures

The Coronavirus affects both the “now” and the “tomorrow” of the events industry. At Iventions, we are forward thinkers, therefore we invested our know-how into practical and functional design that help to create new safety standards for the events industry.

We extended our expertise into researching the latest scientific findings and hygiene protocols. Our architects were trained by WHO and spoke with experts of different fields of play. All this enabled us to design a future-oriented secure event environment.

Upcoming events will be even more digital and contactless. Already-available apps will become even more of an extension to the real-life event with new functionalities and the broadcast of “virtual attendance”. Medical certificates could become a part of the accreditation process. Moreover, zero accreditation policy will apply to attendees showing visible Covid19 symptoms or have a concerning medical condition. The venue selection will change; more space will be required for a fewer number of guests and outdoor spaces will be of a higher appreciation. Furthermore, self-service will be avoided,leading to an increased number of staff working at the event. Read more below…

New circumstances require new measures. Combining expertise and findings to design relevant safety standards.

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1

Arrival to the event

The influx of an international audience to larger events can increase the risk of spreading diseases, however, preventive measures can help to protect both participants and staff. Profound preventive health practices need to be actively promoted through different channels before and during the event.

On-site, these measures are set from the guests arrival. Individual spacing and wider opening hours of the accreditation centre avoid overcrowding. Traffic control ushers manage congestion, whilst clear drop-off signage and floor surface traffic signage will help the smooth flow of traffic and invitees. A visibly marked fast lane drop-off will give priority to the older generation as a rational protective measure; the 60+ generations are the VIP’s of our past and future. Clear access instructions including self-standing signage and wayfinding lines marked on the ground will autoregulate and systemize the guests arrival.

Hostesses & security staff guide the attendees to the nearest entrance, at all times making sure that guests are keeping a safe distance from each other. Specific trained sniffer dogs detect Covid19 virus;  they work as the first protective filter layer at the doors. Upon entry, guests get a small sanitary kit from a custom designed, contactless vending machine (using NFC technology). Moreover, instructive animations are displayed along the access ways to clarify safety procedures and accreditation flow to the attendees.

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2

Accreditation

To make the on-site accreditation process as fluid as possible, attendees have self-registered online and obtained their badge prior to the event as much as possible. This procedure is available and promoted through the event app.

Body-heat cameras are installed at all entrances; these are the secondary protective filter layer thatensures fast and efficient medical screening of the arriving guests. Increased amount of staff efficiently manage visitor flows; all  follow strict safety rules and wear masks and gloves at all times. As this area accumulates a significant movement of people, the mask-on policy will also be mandatory forthe arriving guests. The non-queue fast lane access is spacious and located close to the main doors; itis targeted at guests in the 60+category, the disabled, and select VIP’s.

The accreditation journey is designed in a highly intuitive way, with well-designed repetitive messaging and highly visible signage. Safe distance lines on the floor will remind guests to keep an appropriate distance from each other. Sanitary kit stations located along the way will provide guests with the essentials, in case they forgot to take their ownThe cloakroom is also contactless as coat-tickets areavailable via QR codes on the event app. The cloakroom is auto-disinfecting with a UVC light  installed inside the space; the UVC light is an extra disinfectant measure to safely destroy genetic material overnight in between event days.

The event is paperless; the event app and specific QR codes unlock fast access to event data such as floorplans, programs, exhibitor listings, networking hours, conference sessions or other location specific information. Beacons are spread throughout the various zones and send specific push notifications to targeted guest groups depending on their location within the event venue. The technology shall also be used to monitor guest flows and safe distancing.

The medical room provides early healthcare check-ups, as well as a quarantine room to safely isolatattendees in case of doubt. Pending test technology, a Covid19 quick-test could be conducted here as well.

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3

Expo & networking

The layout of the networking areas are free of too many obstructions and spaciously designed so that all guests can keep a safe distance between each other whilst networking. The spacious lay-out has to be already taken into account when choosing the venue for the event – a larger ratio of sqm per participant needs to be respected. Hostesses in the area play a double role; firstly to guide the guests to their desired destination, and secondly to monitor if the attendees follow the safety protocols, and act in case they don’t. Hand disinfecting stations for quick and contactless hand disinfection are installed at visible and easily accessible spots, making it an accepted and often repeated routine for all. In order to reduce and eliminate virus particles, HEPA air filtering machines are distributed within the area, ensuring a high filtering capacity and a high flow of air volume.

To keep the space open, break out rooms are arranged in a more modern way, using attractive yet functional space dividers that reduce migration of potentially contaminated air. Events will become more hybrid; real-life events will seamlessly integrate a digital broadcast experience. Making sure that those that cannot attend real-life due to medical or travel restrictions can still connect, network and meet in virtual ways. Conference sessions are for instance broadcasted live, exhibitors create virtual tours and demos on their stand with integrated video-chat functionality, and networking areas includes video call options.

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4

Hospitality area

For the hospitality area to be both functional and safe, it is necessary to implement a smart space arrangement – distributing furniture and decoration in a way to limit the formation of larger groups, at the same time making sure there is enough space to keep a safe distance. No self-service in the bar and buffet area will ensure that only protected and trained staff have direct contact with food. The menu is composed of low-risk ingredients, avoids raw meats and fish, food is not displayed in the open air, and cutlery is provided in plastic bags. The HACCP protocol is strictly monitored; the protocol has proven to be highly effective in mitigating any bacteria and virus contamination risk. The staff working behind the bars and buffets wear masks and gloves at all times and work efficiently to deliver fast service to avoid unnecessary queuing.

All the areas, but especially the ones with food and beverages need to have a significant amount of cleaning staff actively cleaning the surfaces and immediately collecting glasses and plates from the tables. Seats are individual instead of using multi-seat sofas and benches, and guests are seated at dining, cocktail or coffee tables to maintain safe distance between guests. Additionally, the mobile charging stations are equipped with small UVC lights in each locker to kill any bacteria and virus while waiting for the electric charge. The toilets are as contactless as possible – water taps and soap holders are ideally equipped with movement sensors, all doors to be automatic or have a special elbow handle.

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5

Plenary room

Plenary rooms need to change significantly. On-stage sessions are often the centrepiece of the event program and attract many guests simultaneously into one area. In order to reduce the risk of contaminated air migration, it is important to implement a set of safety measures. Mask-on policy is applicable at all times to staff and is required as well for attendees if the seating plan cannot be safely spaced out. Air filtering machines are evenly distributed within the space to increase air flow and intensely filter living particles. A good alternative is, if weather and venue security permits, to open up windows and emergency doors to boost airflow and draft in plenary rooms.

The ratio of sqm per person increases and thus limits the net seating capacity of the hired venue space. For this, parallel digital broadcasts increase communication to those who stay in adjacent event spaces -watching on screen- and to those who bought a virtual accreditation for attending digital live sessions.

Safe distance seating plans will differ per local regulation but on average face masks need to be worn if seats are closer to each other than 1,5m. As spaces between chairs can serve as evacuation ways and as seats are not interconnected, it is possible to plan seats all the way up to the perimeter of the space.

Research has proven that loud speaking and singing creates more risk spreading Covid-19.  To protect the audience, transparent panels are installed at the speaker stands, or at the perimeter of the stage, to block part of the speakers’ air. Moreover, the microphones have single-use, protective covers that are changed backstage after each speaker performance. The interaction between speaker and audience is safely done through live digital voting and polling, integrated in the event app and visualized on the stage-screens.

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Disclaimer

The information on this website resembles the latest findings and research in Covid-19 protective measures and safety protocol. Iventions has ensured to be as accurate as possible in finding sources, doing research, and speaking with experts. As the research on Covid-19 is updated daily and insights are continuously changing, we cannot fully guarantee the accuracy and adequateness of the design. We hope however that event organizers and clients use our design as a point of reference and inspiration.