Advice for your first event since the pandemic

7th January 2022

We have experienced first-hand how COVID-19 has impacted on the events industry and are fully aware that the pandemic is not over, however we have noticed that people are beginning to have the confidence in booking future events once again. With that in mind, we are here to offer some help, support and guidance in what is still quite uncertain times.
Whether you are arranging a small get together of friends and family, a corporate event for a new business or a large party to celebrate a smaller wedding that took place during lockdown, we hope that you will find some of the following advice useful.

If you have any questions or would like Party Pages to help you with the planning and running of your event, feel free to send us an email or message us via Ask Party Pages.

 

Firstly, it is very important that you check the Government website and fully understand the current legislation that is in place for any gatherings and events. This article was written in early January 2022 and all advice is correct for the current guidance and laws in place.
There are many ways in which people are now protecting themselves from COVID-19, a few of which are grey areas and not everyone agrees on, so we would recommend that you keep an open mind with any precautions and prerequisites that you put in place.

 

Sanitising stations are now quite normal to have wherever you go, so at the very least, you may want to have some hand sanitiser in place, especially if access to hand washing facilities is limited. We also recommend that you have a clear guest list and have a method of contacting everyone, just in case you need to make people aware of a positive COVID-19 result following your event.
You might wish to ask any attendees to Lateral Flow Test and prove their negative result before attending your event, but you will not be able to enforce this unless it is the law at the time. Similarly, although some venues may request a COVID passport, unless this is stipulated by the Government in law, you cannot refuse entry to someone who doesn’t have one.
Some guests may wish to wear facemasks, but if you are providing food or drink, they are unlikely to be able to wear them the entire time and social distancing may or may not be possible depending on the nature of your event and your venue, so this will ultimately be up to you to decide on.

If you are realistic with your expectations and trust your guests to be sensible, you can still plan and have a wonderful event, even with some COVID precautions in place!

 

As we approach the Spring and Summer months, you might wish to err on the side of caution and host your event predominantly outdoors. Think about outdoor BBQs and hogroasts, garden parties, street parties with the neighbours or even a venue with an outdoor space that you can use. Whatever your event is, if it is out in the open, you can anticipate your guests feeling more comfortable, whilst you reduce the risk of anyone passing on the virus.
However, as we are in England, unfortunately you will be relying on the Great British weather… so make sure that you have a wet weather contingency plan in place. Marquees and gazebos are a great way of providing shelter whilst keeping the event outdoors, so take a look at our marquee hire suppliers in our directory.

 

Catering is usually one of the most important parts of any event, but if you are hosting an informal event without any food, you can skip this paragraph. During the height of the pandemic, table service was a must and any buffet or grazing options were not permitted. With this in mind, you may want to opt for a seated meal to minimise the mingling at tends to occur at buffet stations and the shared utensils.
However, we are realistic and understand that many events, a sit down meal is just not feasible. Perhaps you could look at having individual portions of items, such as a grazing box or individual salad portions, rather than guests helping themselves from a large buffet. Another alternative and quite unique idea is bowl food, which is a light snack served in one bowl with a spoon or fork, which can be enjoyed as guests stand and mingle or sit down. This would usually be from a caterer who would provide a few different options and tray serve to the guests at the event, with them helping themselves to a couple of the bowls that take their fancy. There are many amazing caterers in our online directory, so take a look at what they can provide as a more socially distanced option.

 

At this point, you may be considering limiting the number of events that you might want to host going forwards. We have had a significant period of time where large events were prohibited and then restricted in numbers, so it is likely that you might have missed several events already and don’t want to miss anymore.
How about hosting one event to cover off all of the celebrations that you have missed along with your next upcoming one? You might want to join some family or friends and host a big celebration for everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries that were bypassed during the lockdowns.
Perhaps you had a small, intimate wedding under the regulations and now want to host a bigger party to celebrate. Why not join this with your 1st wedding anniversary? You could even renew your vows or have a ‘celebrant’ join you for an informal ceremony so that the guests you couldn’t invite to your wedding can then feel included.

Corporate events will almost certainly have been cancelled without too much impact on the workers, but what about the new starters who haven’t yet experienced a corporate event and have only been included on Zoom? They might love the idea of getting together and finally meeting some colleagues in person, so perhaps you could incorporate some team building to help with working relationships and include something fun as a reward for the hard work over the past year or two.

 

Whatever your reason for planning your next event, look back over the past 2 years and see how you can incorporate the events that were missed. You and your guests will probably appreciate the sentiment of including what has been missed, whilst limiting the number of events upcoming in the future.

Free Advice Service
Are you planning an event or party? Is there something you want to ask? If you have a quick question; maybe you’re not sure if you have everything covered, or perhaps you are having difficulty in finding or selecting the perfect DJ, caterers, venue or decorative expert. Please contact our free ask service for advice and recommendations.