After 9 weeks of lockdown the Norwegian government recently announced that from the 7th of May events with up to 50 guests could finally resume, with the numbers increasing to 200 from June and 500 in September.
Let´s hope the UK follows suit soon!
I took the opportunity to speak with a number of Norway´s leading event agencies after the news had broken, to hear their thoughts. The first noticeable thing was a sense of relief in their voices. It felt like the wheels were about to slowly start turning and they could get back to doing what they loved best, organising events. Face to face.
Even more reassuring was the buzz of excitement as they informed me that new event enquiries had already started to trickle in. It seemed like the whole market was ready to bounce back.
How to assess COVID-19 Risk at an event
However, a common theme was how delivering events in COVID-19 times would create new challenges.
Holding events has always being about bringing people closer together, to celebrate and to share experiences. The guidelines from the government, which amongst other things included holding a minimum distance of 1m apart from each other, would certainly have an impact on the atmosphere.
But there were bigger concerns. How could they deliver events safely without contributing to the spread of the COVID-19 virus?
What I've always loved about the events industry and the talented people that work within it, is their ability to adapt quickly. To innovate. To get things done.
Planning is Crucial to minimising Risk at Live Events
As I was rightly reminded by Ketil in Motel agency, the key to delivering a great event has always been about great planning. With this in mind we agreed to meet in order to discuss the best way agencies could plan events around COVID-19.
Using a real live events brief to base the discussions around, we started by listing all potential COVID-19 risks and the ways they could be reduced.
With the list rapidly growing we turned our attention to categorising the risks based on the likelihood of them happening, and the impact they'd have if they did occur.
Soon after a colour code was introduced to visualise which risks would need to be followed up more closely during the event.
We all agreed it felt good to be taking about events again and how to deliver them.
How CRAP will help you plan your next event
Towards the end of the meeting we started to organise the data in a more usable format. Using inspiration from other risk assessment templates we decided to create a specific template for COVID-19. And low and behold, the COVID-19 Risk Assessment Plan - or CRAP Template - was born.
Since the meeting it's been positive to hear that the template has already been well received by their end client. Using the template they were able to outline exactly how the event will be delivered whilst reducing the risk of Covid-19. The event has now been confirmed for June.
I hope the template can prove useful for others as they start to plan events with COVID-19 in mind.