As we enter our third lockdown, we dream of sunny days listening to live music, meeting friends at the pub and dancing the night away at festivals. All of which seem like distant memories.
These things will return, but we will have to adopt a ‘new normal’ to remain Covid secure. We have embraced the government’s rules of wearing a face mask inside, washing our hands regularly, and adhering to social distancing. The golden ticket question is ‘how can this be implemented at a large event whilst keeping everyone safe and reducing the spread of Covid-19?’
Social Distancing and Testing
Social distancing is now standard practice and keeping 2m distance feels deeply ingrained. Though, this will prove difficult, or even impossible, in crowded spaces and could create a challenge at a large event. The Virgin Money Unity Arena found a way around this in August 2020 when they held their first socially distanced event. Each small group of people were housed in their own pod with food and drink being delivered to them, reducing the need for moving and unnecessary interaction between attendees. This became a popular idea last summer when a few different events adopted this approach.
Further success with social distancing at seated events was seen when football fans returned to stadiums last year. Stadium capacities were reduced, but this still provided a much-needed boost for the sports industry and could easily be applied to live music events and tours. Something a little more challenging to be utilised at a multi-day festival.
During a festival, social distancing is difficult to enforce. The addition of rapid flow testing before entering could play a large part in the ability of festivals to take place. Under the government’s plans, by the summer a large percentage of the population will be vaccinated, adding an extra layer of safety. Vaccinations, rapid testing and the use of a test and trace app at the festival could enable events to run, whilst providing a safe environment for all involved.
Wearing a Face mask, Reducing capacity and Washing our Hands.
As a nation we are now used to wearing face masks, which only one year ago was a completely alien concept. It is likely that face masks will continue to be required throughout close-proximity events. Branded fabric face masks have become a popular item, and will be ideal for sponsors, event recognition and (more importantly) keeping the public safe.
If reducing the capacity of a venue was necessary, events may opt to run over a longer period. This does come with its own challenges, but is something that we might start seeing more of.
We know that washing our hands reduces the spread of bacteria and viruses, but at an event where things are touched by many people the risk of transmission is high, so the need for limiting contact and keeping things clean is key.
How we at ID&C can make it even safer?
The implementation of an RFID system to an event would allow customers to experience ticketless entry and cashless payments, reducing interaction and limiting money exchange. This system not only would reduce human contact but decreases queues and speeds up entry into different areas. An RFID wristband could also limit capacity into an area which was busy, as the movement of customers throughout a site is easily trackable. A simple but very effective way of keeping everyone safe.
Maintaining clean surfaces at an event is difficult. The accreditation that is worn is touched regularly and poses a different challenge. While the wristbands get washed along with our hands, what about the laminate passes that are used for key identification? These laminates are held and checked regularly and could create a transmission site for infection. Our new antibacterial laminates and overlays have a coating which inhibits the growth of bacteria, lowering the rate of transmission.
We all know that this year’s events are going to be a little different, our ‘new normal’ may consist some or all of wearing a mask, rapid testing, RFID and anti-viral products and socially distanced seating. All of these applications will take time to implement. But, with support from the government and learning from other sectors and other events, we can work towards reviving the industry and looking forward to a much needed summer of fun!
To help with the transition to our new normal we would like to offer you a discount on your online order. Apply the code NORMAL21 to your basket for a 5% discount.