How to Safely Plan Events During the COVID Delta Variant

COVID-19 changed just about everything in our lives, including how we shop, work, travel, and, of course, how we plan events. While most of us were starting to get used to the “new normal,” thanks to vaccinations and mask-wearing, the COVID-19 Delta strain has put a damper on everyone’s celebrations, renewing discussions about public gatherings and social distancing. 

According to the CDC, the Delta variant, which is known to be more contagious, now accounts for more than 80% of all documented COVID-19 cases in the U.S., though more than 95% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It’s important that we all respond to the evolving threat that is COVID-19, but the pandemic still doesn’t have to be the end of corporate events.

CPG Agency has been planning (and will continue to plan) in-person events that meet our clients’ needs and COVID-19 guidelines. It’s possible for you to move forward with a great experience that hits your business goals—and keep everyone safe while you do it.

Depending on your attendees’ vaccination status, personal preferences, and corporate culture, you may need to adjust your event for stricter safety requirements. But they don’t need to go away completely. Instead of indefinitely canceling your events, try these approaches.

Socially distanced events

More and more companies are booking large, well-ventilated venues to accommodate indoor, socially distanced events. 

The CDC recommends that people stay 6 feet away from each other at all times. To allow for social distancing, you’ll need to design your event in a way that discourages bottlenecks and crowding. Space out seating areas, rope off certain sections, and encourage attendees to stay in their seats during your event. It’s also not a bad idea to open the windows or rent air purifier machines for better circulation. 

Keep in mind that you’ll need to cap attendance for indoor events. Make sure every attendee has at least 6 feet of space around themselves at all times. Factor in the square footage of the venue to limit the total number of attendees. 

Daily onsite testing

Need to gather your entire executive team for a week of technical training? You can still host your event, albeit with a few proactive safety precautions in place. 

The tricky thing about COVID-19 is that you can spread the virus without necessarily feeling ill. That’s why self-screening measures don’t always work. If you want to give your attendees an added layer of safety, offer daily onsite testing for everyone at your event. 

This includes mandatory temperature checks for everyone (including the event staff) before they enter the venue. If they register a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, you can’t admit them to the event.

Some events take this a step further and offer daily onsite COVID-19 tests for all attendees. Daily onsite tests assure everyone that they’re safe at your event. Rapid testing systems are available to test every attendee for the Delta variant in as little as 10 minutes.

Fully vaccinated attendee list

Although it’s possible for vaccinated people to contract the Delta variant, vaccines can minimize the severity of COVID-19. Vaccinations are an essential part of fighting COVID-19, and that’s why some events are only open to fully vaccinated attendees.

If you’re trying to plan an event amid the COVID Delta variant, you can require that all attendees show proof of their vaccination status. It’s still a good idea to encourage social distancing and mask-wearing among fully vaccinated attendees, but vaccinated-only events can undoubtedly reduce the risk of transmission.

And don’t forget about the people who are working the event, too. Your event planners, food service staff, DJs, and other workers need protection against the virus. That’s why CPG is proud to say that our entire team is 100% vaccinated, as well as all of the vendors and partners with whom we work.

Hybrid events

But what if your attendees can’t receive the vaccine? Or, what if your employees don’t feel safe, even with daily onsite testing? Everyone has a different comfort level during this unprecedented and uncertain time, and that’s something we have to respect as event planners. 

Many businesses are creating hybrid events with in-person and virtual components. If attendees feel comfortable attending in person, you can follow all of the guidelines we’ve listed here to keep them safe. If attendees are high-risk or prefer attending virtually, you can still create a beautiful virtual experience for them, too. 

For example, you can still host a brand activation event that’s open to your internal team. Include a COVID-friendly component like an online dance party (complete with a DJ), gift boxes mailed to each attendee’s home, event live-streaming, and more. With the right approach, your remote attendees won’t miss a thing—we promise.

CPG Agency’s CORE process

The coronavirus continues to be a serious concern for event planners, and it’s been clear for more than a year the confusion, changing nature, and challenges brought about by it. You can’t control everything, certainly not amid a pandemic. But bringing in an expert event management agency like CPG early in the process will allow you to strategically plan, create, and execute in order to achieve your most important business goals, regardless of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. 

Our proven blueprint for client success is a careful blend of the immersive processes and experiential strategies CPG Agency employs, based on behavioral science and experience design principles. From analog to digital, every tactic is focused on aligning the mind, body, and soul of your stakeholders with the key business objectives driving your brand.

Keep moving forward in uncertain times

Uncertainty is an issue when you’re planning an event during a pandemic. But with the proper planning and precautions, you can still host a fantastic experience that engages attendees without compromising safety. Communication is crucial, not only for CPG Agency and our clients, but also internal communication and understanding of the audience, as well. CPG Agency has the experience, creativity, and capability to plan influential, engaging events for your brand—amid COVID-19 and even during the Delta variant. See how our pandemic-friendly, turnkey event planning helps brands get more results safely.

With a nearly 20-year career crossing corporate and agency development and management roles, Liz brings a holistic perspective, efficient process and creative acumen to each client relationship. She employs a multi-disciplinary approach to match best-in-class experiences with business objectives and has shared that solution with audiences across a wide variety of the biggest brands in the world.