As businesses slowly begin to reopen, it will be important as you plan your events to consider the health and safety of the guests.  At this point, there should be more evident measures that the venue has or is doing to ensure the health or safety of both their staff and guests.   As you complete your site visits, evaluating the protocols they have put in place such as cleanliness of the bathroom should be considered.  Ask them, how often will the bathrooms be cleaned and disinfected during your event?  In addition, you should evaluate the safety protocols for their staffers, will they be wearing masks now as they pass around appetizers and interface with the guests? What are they doing to take precautions with food preparation  and have serving methods changed, we already know buffets are a thing of the past – will individual food containers be a thing of the future? 

Social Distancing

Will events be limited to 25% capacity, 50%, or are we concerned at all? Other things to consider is venue space and options to accommodate social distancing requirements.  Does the venue have outdoor space to use, how tall are the ceilings in the room(s), how updated is the ventilation system and air filters, can we use multiple rooms to allow social distancing.  How will the seating or furniture arrangements be changed to limit the amount of guests from being in too close proximity of each other.  Will attendees be required to wear masks and what protocols are in place to encourage attendees to self monitor themselves prior attending the event and what is the protocol on how to handle anyone that experiences symptoms during the event. 

Tech capabilities

Every planner looks for in-house A/V capabilities when on their site visit, but what we should be looking for now is built-in cameras for broadcasting our event online. As more and more businesses open their doors, we need to remember that not everyone will feel comfortable going back out right away. People will come back in waves and it will depend heavily on the individual generation, personality, location, upbringing, and their overall comfort level with COVID-19.  Providing alternate solutions such as hybrid events should be kept in mind thus the importance of venue tech capabilities.  To increase a good turnout technological solutions will allow planners to incorporate both live and virtual events. 

In-House or Preferred Vendors

With any venue that we are selecting for our next in-person event, we must find out if they use in-house catering and A/V, or do they outsource to their list of preferred vendors. One would hope that  the  venue will try to extend whatever new health & safety policies and set the expectations with their preferred partners. While leveraging in-house services may be more attractive over having several vendors in play to limit the possible transmission of coronavirus it is important that your client feels confident with the health and safety measures that are put in place for all resources used.  Some venues will be required to utilize union resources so it will be important to confirm safety measures are put in place for any vendor whether it is onsite resources, offsite resources and union resources. 


As the largest cities in America are still on lockdown, planners are looking to other less populated destinations for their next event. Not only will they be opening earlier, but it will be easier to incorporate social distancing in a more spread out area than your normal big city such as New York.  It will be important to ask your venue what protocols they have in place for things such as public elevator access.  Can the event planner incorporate any regulation on the number of people in the elevator at a time?   Will the area be designated just for event participants or will multiple events be taken place and/or open to the public.  Is your event in a private or semi-private space will be more important than ever.