5 Venue Considerations for a Safe Return to In-Person Events

  • By David Kennedy | Thursday, June 18th, 2020
Venue Considerations for a Safe Return to In-Person Events

As restrictions on mass gatherings around the world begin to relax, venue managers and event organizers alike are working on plans to get the world of live events back up and running again. With social distancing measures still in effect, you’ll need to take every precaution to keep your venue’s attendees safe, while providing the same engaging event experience your customers have come to know and love.

Read on for our event experts’ list of five considerations to keep in mind when reopening your venue post-quarantine. 

Customer Information Collection

Before your event even begins, it’s more important now than ever to know exactly who will be attending. If you have to identify and reach out to attendees who may have come into contact with someone who is sick, you should explore putting an effective contact tracing system in place. The first step you’ll want to take is adding new required fields within your ticket checkout process such as the name, email, and other contact information of every individual each customer is buying tickets for (not just their own information). Also, considering adding custom questions and waivers within your ticket checkout to reiterate your safety precautions and receive any additional customer information you may want, like what city they’re from and how they plan to travel to your event.  

Online Venue Mapping

If your venue features a reserved seating layout, you can adapt your seat map to adjust for social distancing and ensure that attendees are able to maintain a safe distance from each other throughout your entire show. When building out your venue’s seating chart on your event listing page, you’ll want to block off seats to decrease capacity and provide ample distance between seats. For example, to align with your city’s social distancing guidelines, you might block out each end seat in a row to widen the distance between those walking down the aisles and those who are seated. Throughout your seating chart you should also block off a certain number of seats in between each available seat. To allow those who have quarantined together to sit next to each other, consider having groups of adjoining seats for sale, allowing customers to purchase them as a party, then blocking off the seats immediately around them.

Timed Entry

Managing admission into your venue is the primary event-day challenge you’ll face when it comes to maintaining social distancing measures, but by implementing timed entry features, you’ll ensure your attendees are entering your event safely and without the need to wait in long lines outside. If you’re hosting a reserved seating event, you can create an incremental admission plan by selling different sections at different, pre-set entry times. For example, rows A, D, and F may enter at 6:00PM; rows B, E, and G at 6:15PM; and rows C, F, and H at 6:30PM. With this staggered entry, every attendee will spend less time waiting in crowded areas and will know exactly when they should arrive.

Timed entry is also a great option for your general admission event, as you can sell staggered entry times and allow customers to pick from available time slots, then sanitize your entrances in between time slots. Coupling these timed entry options with other common sense practices like requiring face coverings during the admissions process and providing hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue can help drastically reduce transmission risk throughout your event!

Exit Procedures

Though it may be easy to overlook, managing your attendees’ exit is just as important as their entry when maintaining a safe social distance. Consider setting up an exit strategy that fully utilizes each venue exit by mapping out which sections of your venue should be directed to which exit doors upon the conclusion of your event. Provide a clearly labeled exit map to your customers in advance and coordinate your staff to help guide attendees to their most direct exit. This will help avoid confusion on-site while keeping everyone safe and exiting efficiently. If your venue only has one usable exit, make an effort to prevent bottlenecks and reduce health risks as much as possible by taking actions like informing attendees in advance that they should expect to be dismissed by section, reminding them to adhere to the six-feet-apart rule while filing out, and requiring everyone to wear a mask or face covering while in the process of exiting the venue.

Cashless Payments 

Whether customers are buying tickets day-of, concessions, or merch, on-site purchases are a huge part of the event experience (and, of course, your overall revenue) and need to be taken into account. In a post-pandemic world, the physical exchange of money adds an additional level of contact that is not ideal when practicing social distancing. By instituting RFID cashless payments for your venue, you can replace the need for a physical exchange of money with a simple tap of your attendees’ phone, wristband, or badge!

A cashless payment option makes hands-on tasks like counting change obsolete, keeps lines moving inside your event, and creates a seamless payment process at every vendor or concession stand. For an even more streamlined process, you can set up mobile ordering for concessions, so customers can order and pay for food and drinks directly from their phone, then pickup their order when it’s ready. Our partners at Token can do all this and more, and they know firsthand how to implement a seamless cashless solution to support events in the age of social distancing.

Interested in learning more about the steps you can take to prepare your venue for a safe return to in-person events? Contact our team today!