QUICK TIPS FOR EVENTS IN 2020: Social Distancing & COVID
It's been a crazy year so far and we're all itching to get on with out lives. If you're anything like me you've probably heard enough about social distancing and the whole COVID thing. Unfortunately we're stuck with it, but that doesn't mean we can't still enjoy ourselves and celebrate. Here are a few tips for hosting an event at this crazy mixed up time:
You don't need to cancel your event! Just change it up a little. No matter how many people are attending make sure all guests wear masks. You can even incorporate them into the theme. seems obvious, but I’ve had a number of friend and family members throw and attend parties without proper social distancing, or at least masks. Crazy right? Well a number of them have fallen sick and been hospitalized. So far, nobody I know personally had passed from COVID (fingers crossed).
EMBRACE THE SUCK:
Just because things are different this year don’t fret. You can use it to your advantage. How many times in our lives will we be in a position where we must social distance to this degree? This is a first for me and everyone I know, so odds are this is a once in a lifetime event, so make it fun! Have your wedding and celebrate next year with a more casual reception. Better yet, have it soon and let all the photos have people in masks. They can always take a few mask down or off with the appropriate distance. Birthday? Same thing. Just about any type of event you can think of, your event may be remembered forever by your guests because of when it happened and how different it was. You can even add a theme to the event! Think about it, you’ve got an opportunity to be creative. You can use costumes, have color themes, or any other funky thing you’d like to do. Don’t hold back, go all out! With fewer guests you’ll probably save a ton of money anyway.
INVITE FEWER GUESTS:
While this seems like common sense, I had a teen call me recently asking about her sweet 16. She thought she’d have an indoor party with 150 guests. I was thinking to myself “this kid is crazy!”, she had not even considered social distancing. Nobody was going to wear masks and the venue wasn’t that big so everyone would be on top of each other. Now on the other hand I have a client who would like to celebrate her wedding outdoors. The guest count for this wide-open space is only 70 people and they will all wear masks. It turns out she’s saved a ton of money inviting only select people and was able to use that to enjoy extra entertainment and put most of her guests up for the night in town.
BYOB & LIMIT DRINKING:
I know this is not the most popular option, but think about it: You have upwards of 100 people all using the same keg, or putting their hands all over the wine bottle, reaching into coolers, mixing drinks etc. Not to mention that once people get drunk, they tend to forget social boundaries and stop using common sense. Also think about how many of them don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Normally it’s gross, now it may be life threatening. You could also use drink tickets and ask those who get too drunk to leave the event for safety reasons. This isn’t just for booze either, this goes for soda and juice and food which leads me to my next suggestion.
DON’T HAVE A BUFFET:
While buffets save money, they are notoriously less sanitary. Every guest will touch the utensils, they talk in line and while plating. Some will inevitably spit while they talk, cough, or sneeze in the area and with the close proximity that is the buffet line, this is bound to be a disaster. Also, as I previously mentioned most people are still thinking about using punch bowls, 2 litter bottles and other shared drinks, please don’t do this. Use cans, or bottles. If you don’t have a bartender, you can purchase premade drinks. It’s more expensive, but with fewer guests you can afford it. If you’re really trying to be creative, you can order prepared sealed meals ahead of time and have them steam heated onsite. This will not only save time but may save money as well because the caterer will be able to prepare everything in their own time instead of hiring more people on location during the specified time.
BIGGER IS BETTER, SOCIAL DISTANCE REQUIRED:
We need to keep some distance so instead of trying to pack people in like sardines just rent a bigger space and assign seating. Use 10 foot tables for 6 people instead of 6 foot tables. Don’t get a dance floor. Yes, keep some space, but know that this won’t be an occasion where the dancefloor will or should be packed. Ultimately you are going to need 2-4 times as much space as you would normally require. Remember, the best thing about this is that you have a legitimate excuse for leaving someone off the guest list.
HAND SANITIZER & WASHING STATIONS:
This is too obvious, and I don’t think I need to explain why this is important, but inevitably there have been a number of gatherings that don’t have this. So please spend a few bucks and make sure folks can wash and sanitize regularly.
I mentioned this earlier, but you have an opportunity to do something special, something different. Never in our lives have we experienced anything like this. We’re unlikely to experience anything of this magnitude again while were here so have fun. Your event is going to be memorable and that’s what celebrations are about. We don’t remember that time we went to a random party and nothing happened. We remember those special moments where everyone is smiling, but there was some strange thing going on or that happened that embeds the moment into our hearts. So instead of staying home and feeling lonely, you can do something to help others get out. You can have the party you always wanted. You can make a difference! Just make sure to use these tips and celebrate responsibly.