Download our guide to help venues and events restart after COVID

  • 7-step framework to improving operations
  • Focus on accountability and viability
  • Get in touch to learn more about our range of modules

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Introduction

COVID-19 has been devastating to the events, leisure and hospitality sectors. The nature of these industries is to encourage people to gather, celebrate and enjoy a shared experience, all of which are made extremely difficult with social distancing. Coronavirus and events do not mix well.

The industry will need to work hard to satisfy regulatory bodies, governing authorities, and its staff, and to gain the confidence of its customers to open a safe and commercially viable way. It will need records to prove its due diligence at every stage of the operational process.

At WeTrack, we have been trying to alter and develop products to help our industry get back to operating as soon as possible, albeit in a 'new world'. We do not have all the answers - nobody does - but we wanted to convey our thoughts and encourage people to contribute.

We have formulated a 7-step framework for events and venues to re-open once it is safe to do so, and created a blog series on the seven steps. You can read snippets from each piece below, click the links to view the full articles, or download our full white paper at the top or bottom of the page.

Aligning 'business as usual' and COVID-19 projects

Keeping your company working on what's important and holding people accountable is as essential as ever, but don't put on COVID-19 blinkers and ignore everything else that needs to be done.

5 tips for maintaining balance in your project management

1. Don't abandon your 'normal projects

Yes, some of your projects will be slowed down, postponed, or reduced in scope. However, it's too easy not to give your regular projects the attention they deserve. Prioritise your projects, but don't lose sight of everything else.

2. Tag, group, sort and assign

Review your project and task tags as well as which teams and staff are assigned to items, so users can focus on what's important.

3. Automate reporting

Now is not the time to be manually creating lots of reports. Get the right information to the right people at the right frequency, using the automated reporting functionality in your system if possible.

4. Align projects with risks & issues register

Make your risk and issue register a core part of your project plans, not something that is done in isolation.

5. Keep notifications and reminders going, but do not overwhelm users

Notifications are great, most of the time! But make sure your team isn't getting notification 'blindness' through the sheer volume of messages.

Full article: 5 tips for aligning 'business as usual' and COVID-19 projects

Venue and event risk in a re-calibrated world

It was essential before, but risk planning suddenly gets even more complicated and necessary. Responsible planning has to begin now.

Risk and issue management in the new world

It might be a world where events do eventually look 'normal' again, but will they be? We all now face huge uncertainty, and uncertainties lead to risks, issues and opportunities. 

As examples, will there be a public attitude of increased thrift, and an enduring worry of big crowds? Will there be a business attitude of increased thrift?

Uncertainty has to be responded to with risk planning. Consider risk management technology, which can bring coherence, collaboration and responsibility to your mitigation and contingency planning. Consider knowledge transfer, because if there is ever a time to learn lessons, it's now. And consider event insurance, because that safety blanket would feel very comfortable now.

Here are some starting points for identifying risk:

  • Financial risk: the "optimism bias" of hosting events now changes to pessimism bias.
  • Security and terrorism: sadly, a repetitive tale, although proper security is very largely keeping our events safe.
  • Cyberterrorism: because the entire event and venue infrastructure is only becoming more reliant on technology.
  • Weather and natural occurrences: extremes of weather might be becoming only more extreme as global warming and climate change continues apace.

There is so much to consider here and we can only scratch the surface. Read the full article for more depth.

Full article: Venue and event risk in a re-calibrated world post-COVID

How can major event readiness software be used more widely?

We want the tools available to the biggest and best prepared events in the world to be applied to events and venues of all types.

The 'new normal' processes and plans / equipment will need to be tested

A readiness programme tests the operational plans to make sure everyone and everything is ready to deliver the best event possible. Delivering an event is difficult, especially if it's a new event or if there are significant changes to the last time the event was delivered. This makes readiness a natural link between operational planning and event delivery.

planning readiness event delivery-1

When events come back there are obviously going to be huge differences from before. There are many benefits to having a readiness programme:

  • Allows staff to practise communication and escalation processes
  • Validates assumptions and plans
  • Identifies gaps in plans, processes or resources
  • Builds confidence and resilience in the team by applying stress testing before, rather than during an event

Full article: What is readiness software for major events and how can it be  used more widely?

Seven pre-opening checks for your event or venue

Pre-opening checks for venues of all types (including stadiums, theme parks, leisure centres, arenas and attractions) are already subject to a series of regulations and standard operating procedures. These are clearly likely to increase in scope and importance.

Accountable venue management

Here are 7 check types to consider before you can open to the public again.

1. Safety

It is vital to maintain a high level of oversight and open in a safe and controlled way.

2. Hygiene

Most venues already have excellent hygiene in place, but this will become increasingly important to visitors and staff alike.

3. Social distancing

It is likely venues will need to review their operating procedures to reduce capacity and occupancy.

4. PPE

If it used, make sure it is of sufficient quality, doesn't ruin the visitor experience, and is disposed of correctly.

5. Maintenance

Extra checks must be carried out and recorded centrally or risk assessed.

6. Staff communication

Staff will need extra training, refreshed method statements and time to review new ways of working.

7. Guest communication

This starts a long time before they reach your venue. Keep clear and consistent messaging from the first contact or ticket purchase.

No event or venue will get this 100% correct the first time, but the more planning that goes into it the more likely it is that you will succeed.

Full article: Seven event or venue checks for opening during COVID-19

Use digital run sheets to manage your event or venue's return

As events return and venues and attractions begin to reopen, event planners and venue operators need to be able to adapt their operations on the fly. Comprehensive run sheets / production schedules / call sheets / running orders are key to ensuring smooth operations - whatever you might call them!

When your venue reopens, operations will become more complex

The unknowns that come with operating in the changed post-pandemic environment mean you need the ability to easily update and communicate changes to your schedules.

You'll be following stricter safety precautions and you'll need a fully auditable log of your team's activities to satisfy regulatory authorities and governing bodies.

Three things should be the focus:

  • Clarity
  • Collaboration
  • Accuracy

We all want our events to be executed smoothly, and in this time the need for accountability has moved to the forefront of operations. When run sheets work as a clear, collaborative and up-to-date tool, this becomes a lot easier.

Full article: Use digital run sheets to manage your event or venue's return

Three crucial steps for incident management and event control when events resume

Once your events or venues are allowed to re-open, it will be event control rooms and their responses to incidents that come under greatest scrutiny.

Make sure your event operations or venue management stand up to any test

1. Prepare thoroughly

Be prepared for things to go wrong - they always do! Acknowledge usual patterns and create incident categories for better understanding of how to improve processes. Make information flow effective by fully involving agencies, teams and individuals.

2. Respond consistently

As an event or venue manager, you need to know that the response to an incident will be consistent, whoever gets to the scene first. Build out exhaustive contingency plans and response checklists, aligning them with incident categories and informing all team members.

3. Ensure accountability

Stay accountable by logging decisions, discussion and actions. Keep separate lists of general log items and incidents to allow for everything that happens to be recorded, and use event logging software that allows for complete recording and easy recalling of logs after the event.

Thorough preparation, consistent incident response and post-event accountability are going to drive your event or venue's success in the new world.

Full article: Three crucial steps for incident management when events resume

Learning lessons throughout event planning and delivery

Long-term event planning, short-term event readiness, event-time delivery, post-event lessons. It's easy to see what gets forgotten if you're only considering lessons learned after the fact.

Integrate learning lessons every step of the way

Project Management

You're probably working on multiple complex projects at any one time - always think critically about their progress.

Risk and Issue Management

How you approach your risks really defines how much confidence you can have in your operations - learn from the past.

Readiness

There's so much to learn both from every individual readiness test activity and the process of event or venue management as a whole.

Venue Checks

Be aware of common issues and spot patterns so that you can focus your checks more directly on known pinch-points.

Run Sheets

Look critically at how your day progressed, what elements fell behind or slipped in quality, and adjust suitably for next time.

Incident Management and Event Control

Live event days are unpredictable - but you can easily group similar incidents and analyse how you dealt with them.

Share knowledge in a collaborative process across your team throughout planning and delivery to integrate learned experience into future operations.

Full article: Learning lessons throughout event planning and delivery

Too much info? Take away our one-page guide to re-opening your event or venue

You need to open in such a way that is safe and commercially viable, with a full audit trail of due diligence. Protect your visitors - Protect your staff - Protect your organisation. Here is our 7-step plan for re-opening once it is safe to do so.

Download our full guide to help venues and events restart after COVID

  • 7-step framework to improving operations
  • Focus on accountability and viability
  • Get in touch to learn more about our range of modules

Keep this in your inbox!