Planning a COVIDSafe event – tips and learnings for organising a CovidSafe event

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Maxine McIntyre is an event planner and VenueSafe Advisor (VSA) for MCEC. For the past 18 months, Maxine and the VSA Team have worked closely with the Victorian Government to contribute to the development of COVIDSafe event policy, and to design and implement a venue specific COVIDSafe Plan for MCEC.

This month Maxine shares her insights on the road to COVID-normal events and what she’s learned about planning events in a post-COVID world.

The past 18 months have been a time of profound transformation and uncertainty for the events industry and many of our customers have struggled to stay across the monthly, weekly - sometimes daily - changes to advice and best practice recommendations.

As a VenueSafe Advisor for MCEC it’s been my role to advocate for our customers and business in the ongoing development of directions relevant to our industry. In addition, I have worked closely with the Victorian Government to develop a venue specific COVIDSafe plan for MCEC, that allows our customers to work at MCEC without additional approval via the Public Events Framework. The resulting VenueSafe Plan is a comprehensive, intelligence-led plan which highlights key practices to enable events to take place safely and securely, minimising the risk of COVID-19 transmission and protecting our community.

With the road to reopening now firmly in sight, I’m frequently asked how event organisers can begin planning events again under COVID-normal conditions. These are my top five tips:

  1. Choose a reputable venue with an approved COVIDSafe Plan in place. This is the best way to take the stress out of planning a COVIDSafe event. At MCEC, our comprehensive VenueSafe Plan means you can relax and focus on the finer points.
  2. Be flexible. Recognise that last-minute changes to government guidelines, directives and mandates may affect your event and have a plan in place that takes various scenarios into consideration.
  3. Communicate. Consistent and clear communication – with attendees, stakeholders and your venue - is integral to planning a successful COVIDSafe event. Make sure you inform your attendees of any changes as soon as you can and clearly articulate what will be expected of them (eg. facemasks, physical distancing).
  4. Be organised. Make sure you have spare face masks and hand sanitiser (consider putting these in your welcome pack), and clear signage. Develop a detailed attendee register in case you need to support contract tracing efforts.
  5. Consider virtual or hybrid. Digital event platform technology has come a long way in a short time. If virtual is an option, it’s a great way to sidestep the issue of COVID safety altogether. You can explore MCEC’s virtual and hybrid event offering here

You can learn more about how we’re working to keep MCEC safe and download a copy of our VenueSafe Plan here.