In the wake of recent UK news, it is understandable that some UK companies are reviewing their short-term event strategies in the face of the Coronavirus, but it is also important that we put this into some perspective.
Despite the recent surge in UK cases, the Government is not advising any cancellation of public or business events, since these gatherings are not viewed by scientists as high risk for cross-contamination.
In addition, the majority of corporate event attendees are not in the high-risk groups, so the personal impact of infection is unlikely to be serious to the vast majority of delegates or guests.
It is encouraging to note that whilst our London Launch venue members are reporting some short-term postponement requests, there appears to be no major slow-down in bookings for the Summer – Christmas period. This indicates that most London businesses are taking a pragmatic approach to business continuity.
In addition to the general government advice around personal hygiene, here are a few tips for running events in this period of heightened infection risk:
- Ensure that you communicate to attendees of guests to not attend if they are feeling ill or displaying any known viral symptoms.
- Have clearly displayed hand-sanitising points throughout the event and encourage regular hand washing through clear signage and joining instructions.
- Make it a policy to avoid handshakes – a pat on the shoulder or back is a safer greeting.
- Avoid any food service that might encourage cross-contamination. This would include circulating canape trays and finger food. Buffets served by catering staff and seated meals are a safer option.
- Request that any catering staff involved in food service wear suitable masks to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
The Government policy regarding Coronavirus at UK events will no doubt evolve, but they are currently striking the right balance between containment and “business as usual” and it’s worth remembering that the risk of serious health problems for the under 65s is very small indeed, so the active business community should not be fearful of staging and attending events, with the right precautions and practices in place.