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4 Ways To Promote Social Distancing At Outdoor Events

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020| SpeedPro Greenville

Outdoor event planning has always been difficult. Now, with social distancing guidelines in place, planning becomes even harder. So, how do you go about planning a successful event with social distancing while still showing the attendees a good time?

As of September 2020, South Carolina continues to place restrictions on events in order to reduce the spread of COVID. According to section four of the Governor’s executive order number 2020-50, the number of those gathered for an event should exceed no more than 50% capacity of the venue and all in attendance must wear face coverings.

So, how do you plan an event that is both fun and safe for you attendees? We’ve got a few suggestions to help kick start your brainstorming process.

1. Limit Attendees

The most old-school way to keep attendance numbers down is to limit how many people you let through your entrance. One of the best ways to do so is to have a first-come-first-serve ticket reservation system. This will help keep the number of attendees below the half capacity mark. Don’t forget to include yourself, your employees and any vendors in that number as well.

Many gatherings in the past have used this method to keep numbers manageable for a community dinner or an event with limited seating. Now, more often than before, events and activities have been moved to the open air because you typically have more space outdoors than in a building.

According to the US Fire Marshal, occupancy limits for a room or building are typically calculated by the amount of floor area each person takes up, and each type of occupancy calls for different calculations. For instance, an office building is divided into 100-150 square feet per person while a restaurant is divided into 5, 7, or 15 square feet per person, depending on how the area is used.

Taking into account the six feet of social distancing, square footage is divided by 113 square feet per person. Once you do the math, you’ll find how many people can be in a building or venue while maintaining a six-foot distance. Or you can just divide your building or venue’s occupancy by two.

2. Use Directional Signage

Any good event has plenty of wayfinding signage to guide attendees to their favorite vendors and attractions. Good wayfinding signage will help keep attendees from overcrowding.

Some types of directional signage include:

  • Entrances and Exits: If your event has one entrance/exit point, one-way signage and ropes will keep entering and exiting attendees from rubbing elbows by controlling the flow of traffic.
  • Standing Positions in Line: Similar to the floor graphics you see in the grocery store, circular line placement graphics or signs at your event will encourage event goers to stay six feet apart while in line. If your line is on grass, maybe use some brightly colored spray paint (if the venue allows) to mark the six feet increments.
  • One-Way Traffic: At an event, people usually walk every which-way to get to their destination. With well placed signs, you can attempt to control the flow of traffic to keep people from bumping into each other as often.

In addition to directional signage, you could invest in social distancing signage that directly encourages event goers to socially distance.

3. Create Areas Using Event Tents

Outdoor events have many activities, attractions and vendors that bring an event to life. Oftentimes, people run together as lines crisscross or a crowd gathers around an attraction. After taking measures to control the flow of traffic, providing extra space for each attraction may help spread your attendees.

Using a custom printed tent, you can indicate different activities, vendors and attractions to avoid confusion. These can tents also provide shade as well as wind and rain protection.

The biggest plus to a custom event tent, is the amount of branding space available. In addition to your big, bold text proclaiming what is under the tent, you can add any graphics or logos that might help advertise your business or sponsorship.

Custom tents from SpeedPro Greenville also have the option to add on back and side walls for extra elemental protection. These walls provide even more branding space as well as a way to direct the flow of people coming to the tent.

4. Spread or Eliminate Seating

At outdoor events with seating, such as concerts, auctions and plays, you can easily encourage social distancing by spacing seats six feet apart. Members of the same household don’t need to be separated, though, so some seats can be placed together.

Depending on the event, you could eliminate provided seating altogether and ask households to bring their own lawn chairs or picnic blankets while providing some seating for those who request it.

However, some venues have fixed seating. At these venues you can get creative with “sit here” stickers or ropes to indicate where to or not to sit. Whatever you do, be sure to make the message clear.

So Basically…

There are many creative ways to encourage social distancing as well as fun at your next event. Even if you don’t have the budget for 20 aluminum canopy tents, you can still encourage CDC guidelines with smaller a-frames or yard signs.

You can also encourage mask wearing and hand sanitizer usage with signs and banners placed throughout your venue. Even something as simple as reprinting CDC posters will remind your attendees to social distance and practice good hygiene.

SpeedPro Greenville is ready to jump to your rescue concerning event signage solutions. From custom tents to circular social distancing decals, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today for more information.

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SpeedPro Greenville

Studio Owner

Gregg Richey