It’s been nearly nine months since the first confirmed cases of COVID-19 occurred in China, and six months since businesses throughout the world shut down. As we figure out our path forward, people are beginning to resume some events.
These same people use buses for some of these things, because they’re a convenient way to both surround yourself with your loved ones and do so in a socially distanced manner. During this challenging time, we want to celebrate and be with those we care about.
As an event planner, you understand how stressful celebration can be in the calmest of times. Here are some tips for how to help minimize your guests’ stressors during a pandemic.
Ways to Help Your Event Attendees Feel More Comfortable During COVID-19
Have a Plan
You know this in your bones. Events always have something go sideways at the last minute. Having a plan in place will help your clients understand the processes for those moments. It’ll ease tension and also allow you to be prepared to shine. Your clients will want to come back for more, because they’ll remember how calm you were in the middle of a global pandemic.
Consider a Mask Rule
In these times of COVID-19, masks are key to helping stop the spread of the virus. However, as the pandemic has continued, masks have also become an accessory, one that allows folks to show off their individuality, maybe with a pattern or a logo or a nod to a fandom. In fact, event-masks can help your clients celebrate: maybe they have a specific sports team or book series that they love. Make masks fun and people won’t even realize it’s a rule.
Consider a Socially-Distanced Seating Plan
Although it’s nice to snuggle close on a minibus for a bachelorette trip to the beach or camping, a socially-distanced seating plan will allow your participants to trust that they’re protecting their safety and the safety of the other participants. Having a socially distanced seating plan also confirms the professionalism of the event for folks who are attending conferences or using the bus as an employee shuttle. Make sure to account for extra participants, fewer participants, and pods, depending on the circumstances.
Provide Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is another one of those things like masks: easily customizable and perfect as a free gift or a giveaway item. Maybe your clients are running a conference. They could put their logo on the bottles and distribute it to participants. A marketing win and a fighting-COVID win. Everyone is sanitizing their hands these days, and the participants will be carrying it around until the bottle runs out. This is also a great way to make sure that folks on the bus have hand sanitizer that they can use throughout the day.
If your client’s event is across a small distance, perhaps from one location in a city to another nearby location, consider staggering trips. This will allow you to use the bus more like a shuttle. Between each trip, seats can be wiped down and the space made cleaner for the next group. Although it may take slightly longer, it’s a safer way to transport participants and your clients will appreciate that you’ve considered the safety of their people.
Be Informed of Government Regulations in Your Area
Each locale has its own rules and regulations around COVID-19 and gatherings. Plus, as numbers of cases shift around the country and the world, regulations adapt as well. If your group is traveling between two distinct cities or states, you’ll want to make sure that you research the regulations in both areas. Some places have fines for gatherings over a certain amount. Your clients will appreciate your diligence.
Plan Socially-Distanced Activities
Once your group arrives at their location, you’ll want to ensure that there are plenty of socially-distanced activities planned! This’ll vary depending on the type of event you’re hosting. Consider brainstorming ideas with your clients ahead of time.
Cluster by Pod
Depending on the time of the event you’re planning, your participants may have formed quarantine pods. This is something you can ascertain on your intake forms, whether yours or your clients’. If people do belong to pods, you can use these pods in your socially distanced seating plan. It’s a way to maximize the space you’re able to use on the bus. This will save your clients money, and who doesn’t like that, especially in the middle of an ongoing pandemic?
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Through it all, the most important thing is to remember to have fun! COVID-19 might be dominating everyone’s minds still, but when we look back, we’re going to want to remember other things too. That wedding day? You’ll want to think about laughter and the joy and celebration. That conference? You’ll better remember what you learned if it’s linked with fun memories in your brain. Beyond that though, stressful things are always easier when you’re having fun. Anxiety and excitement feel the same way to our bodies: it’s all about how you interpret it.
Although COVID-19 is here for the indiscernible future, that doesn’t mean our lives stop. As conferences, weddings, school trips, all pick up again, a bus or passenger van can help you safely get from place to place.