POST COVID -19 STANDARD OPERATION PROCEDURES FOR EVENT INDUSTRIES IN NIGERIA.
The discussion was divided into two segments; section A and B. There are four speakers in each segment making the total of eight speakers, and the following points were made:
*Need to evaluate our businesses and ourselves.
* Educating our staff about COVID-19 and things they need to do in order to protect themselves and others.
• There is need to explain to our clients the importance of guest list. And also explain to them the essence of having the same number of people they needed for the event. Once its 200 guests make sure you are planning for 200 guests.
* Being realistic in the procedures we adopt, sticking to the procedures and enforcing them in realistic ways.
We should have to remember that we are all differentiates in terms of what we do. For instance, looking at a bigger security agency, such agency can handle anything that more or less flies at them. But if you look at a smaller security agency, they may not be able to deal with it. So we got to make sure that procedures are realistic and not those that are not achievable and practical.
• Having a dedicative pass law that will guide the procedures to be adopted which have to come up realistically too.
• In adopting the guidelines, everyone involved in setting up the event like the transporters, loaders, technicians, carpenters, sound engineers need to be involved because each and everyone of them have unique ideas in them that are very relevant.
• Speaking out as one voice. Irrespective of the fact that we have different suggestions and opinions, and also different associations which we belong to; there is need for us to come together and put up one standard operative procedure and present it to the government. Then, set up a committee that will negotiate with the government on everybody’s behalf. And whether people like it or not, they are going to abide by it.
In essence, it is important that all the associations in the industry have a particular guideline because having separate guidelines will not work.
• Enforcing the rules with our clients. They now have to pay for more extra days because we need time to do the setup implying social distancing. It’s not time for us to work over night.
• Having a good interview with our clients.
The first thing we should put into consideration is interviewing our clients, telling them what we are going to do as companies and the procedures involved. Now we have to take it as safety procedures which we have to think of the safety of our staff and also for the guests because, if anything goes wrong at the end of our event, we are to be held.
• To make sure that our clients go by the “Invitation only Policy” in the sense that it tells the number of guests that we are going with.
• Guest Data Base. Guests that are coming for an event are to provide us with their telephone numbers and email addresses. This is also important apart from health rules and regulations.
You also have to think of how it’s going to happen; how do you get their contact from them? A lot of people don’t like to give out their phone numbers and email addresses. We also have a contract that is covering that which states that immediately after your event and it goes seamlessly, we return back all telephone numbers and email addresses to the guests.
This is important because most times, clients don’t know who came to their event. So this helps to let the clients know who and who came for their event, providing them with information about them.
• Focus on design time.
For the safety of our staff, if the client cannot pay for setup the day before an event day, there should be process of working two/three hours a day to a phase set up; phase 1, phase 2, phase 3.
• If an event is going on and the event planners are not there, there should be a staff who will be available to supervise and make sure that things are done properly and that things are not stolen nor damaged.
• After event don’t be in a haste to pack immediately. Come in with health and safety personnel that will disinfect the table clothes and center piece before they would be taken back to the ware house.
• Because of the informal party structure Nigeria operates , some of the procedures may not necessarily work so, we need to phase the events for our clients. For example, you have a traditional engagement where you have to do the “dobale”; it’s sometimes difficult to have social distancing. We have to inform our clients that for their traditional party, if they want to have so many people, it could be done in their houses or somewhere small. The bigger the event, we now do social distancing. Usually, that would save a lot of money.
Again, doing the traditional engagement a week before the white wedding.
• A sitting plan structure whereby if there are 300 people to be in the hall, the client would be advised to put them in a hall that is doubled the number. So if it’s going to be 300 guests, we would look for a hall that will accommodate 600 people. By that way, social distancing is achievable. Then again, if the client can afford a 300 guest capacity hall, then you have to think 150 guests would be feasible.
• Education; the more we tell people about the health and safety of it, the better for it to be achievable.
• Having a doctors in the company who would always come to run a health checkup on all the staff to make sure that nobody is asymptomatic.
• Standard Operation Procedures for a social event is different from that of a cooperate event. There are different structures with that. For a cooperate event, it’s easier because the time for each cooperate event is shorter. In essence, there should be different structures for them.
• Coming up with a manual that would be shown to clients. Then, if they are willing to work with it, that’s fine. If there are some things they are not happy with, we will make an adjustment because at the end of the day, business is all about making profit. So we have to be feasible.
FUNKE ADE OJO
• Event planners in Nigeria need to focus. Working with all our associations is on standardizing the industry.
Currently standardization in the industry is highly fragmented. There is need for minimum standard in which all the planners decide what domain within those standards they need to operate.
• Moving forward, vendors accreditation should become a standard mode of operation. If an event planner should have an event, there is need to know every single vendor that has been engaged and paid, the number of workers coming, their names, and the number of the supervisor. All these are needed because if anything goes wrong after the event, it would be easier for the authorities to trace all that were involved in that particular execution.
• Guests accreditation. This is not going to be easy in the sense that we might encounter some refrains trying to get the informations of VIPs coming for an event. But, it is required of us to do so. This also opens up opportunities. One can come up with App solution that will help event planners to actually accreditate their guest and also the vendors. You want this to be in a seamless way, you want the people to capture this before an event in a way that everybody log, they have their invitation card, put in minimal details and some guests can’t be bothered with all these.
• Vendors and staff training. This is going to become absolutely critical in the sense that the industry needs people would sit to learn about health and safety requirement post covid.
Event planners at their minimal fee should send all their staff, chatterers, drinks men, coordinators and ushers to be trained. And then, certify them to prove that they have been trained.
• Social distancing. Everyone knows about the 2 meters apart instruction. We can consider using a 1000 capacity hall to host 250 guests. This means that we could only have 4 people at a table not even 5 in other to comply with the 2 meters apart rule.
• Screening and distancing should start from the gate. As event planners we always have coordinators, but this time, those coordinators have to do more from their usual work. They are also going to be maintaining social distance guidelines.
It should also be noted that the way of maintaining social distancing in an event that has alcohol differs from that of event that does not have alcohol. In an event that has high alcohol consumption, we have to be vigilant because we all know the effect of alcohol in the body.
• Personal protective wears.
The chatterers need to wear their mask and prepare their faces so that they can breathe easily and smell comfortably. For those dealing with food, their staff need to wear face shield only because of the sensitive nature of what they’re dealing with. Because the chatterers deal on food mainly and they are likely to talk, the face shield alone should not be enough. They also have to put on their face mask as well. Also look at the temperature of the food.
• Cleaning and disinfecting, or what the UK call “sterilization and cleaning”. This has to do with disinfecting the venue before the event. Also, during the event there is need to sterilize the door nubs, sanitize the food points, tables, chairs and rest rooms.
• Event planners are to have cleaning agencies separate from the venue cleaning agencies. There should be a frequent cleaning of the rest rooms because, someone that is asymptomatic can use the rest room and there would be a risk of another person using the rest room if they are not cleaned immediately.
• There should be accreditation for the event planners and for the venue as well. Accrediting event planners is important because they will now have to make the difference between life and death in some situations. Again, to be able to show evidence that they have done healthy and safety training and put safety measures in place.
• Security and cloud control. Social distancing and safety are not to be considered alone inside the event hall or garden, it should also be considered from the main entrance.
• Health check should not be left to the security agencies or the bouncers alone. It should also be the role of the event planners.
•Event planners should have a brief work on their budget, look for the best deal prices for you clients. Work on your own production flow, event flow, with an additional layer to it. Also, there must be an initial consultation and recommendations recommendations. Event planners should accept a job that will bring their brands into disrepute. lots of recommendations are to be made based on safety measure that is believed to keep everyone safe.
• Post covid, hybrid events will emerge because so many people will be scared to attend an event. During the event, people that are comfortable will be in the hall or venue, while others who are not physically present in the hall will log in virtually and also experience the event. In this case, there are opportunities for people to become technocrats on providing those streaming and digital capabilities in other for people who are not physically present in the event will be part of the event.
• In a zoom wedding, instead of having people to send food to various houses which becomes very expensive, it would be preferable that 20 family members that live in a certain area come together in one person’s house so that the chatterers or the event planner only have to deliver to clusters. By that way, people will feel like they are part of the family member’s event. This also reduces expenses.
• There is need to exercise more patience and put the guidelines to be given to the government together; which requires our clients’ comfort, and that once a “go ahead” order would be given to us, we would do this safely and comfortably.
• Sensitization on the part of the clients and event planners.
The event planners are to take the client through these new norms of running event now.
• Guests coming for an event is going to be strictly on invites. Gone are the days a governor or a VIP graces an event with entourage. Even if they are to come with the entourage, they are to remain in their cars while those with the invites would be allowed to enter the event venue.
• There is need for all the PPEs to be put in place by the event venue owners. The thermometers, sanitizers and hand washing equipment are to be provided.
• The vendors are to carry on with the responsibility of training their staff on these new norms.
• When the chatterers are done with set up, they have to go back and do a second cleaning before coming out for the event. They should also change their face masks and wash their hands regularly in order to ensure that they are always on point in terms of hygiene.
• The security part basically has to do with enforcement. They will be more relevant in terms of securing the venue and ensuring that people comply with the norms starting from the set-up days. This is to ensure that people coming for the set up adhere strictly to the norms.
• The security will also ensure that the hall is not over crowded and that those present in the hall are those that were allowed to be in the hall.
In essence, the security agencies are to ensure that people who come into an event hall have their invites; without which they won’t be allowed into the venue. And that they comply with the rules of washing of hands, temperature check, sanitizing of hands and every other health and safety measures inside the hall.
• Suggestions should be put together by special task force to enforce compliance and get government agency to certify the standard procedures for the event personnel.
•For the part of the ushering services, event planners should not engage ushers that are not linked to any ushering agencies. They should endeavor to have an ushering agency which they will work with.
• The ushering agencies should ensure that they are working with healthy people who are also presentable.
• Ushering agencies are to provide PPEs for their ushers. But, if the event planners or event venue owners should be the ones providing the PPEs, then it should be a norm.
Ushers should not be forced to purchase PPEs with their own monies.
The event planners should also provide Automated Access Card. This is for the safety of the ushers that would be performing their duties outside the venue in the sense that it helps to regulate physical contact. I would not want a situation whereby ushers have to go close to the guests to check their seat numbers.
• Training has to be coordinated in the ushering industry. It would be better if all the ushers’ associations organize training for the usher agencies with certifications issued out to the agencies and the ushers. Then, event planners should ask if the ushers they want to use for their events are are covid compliance before employing their services. This should not be a telephone conversation between the two parties, there should be evidence for it.
• There should be synergy between the vendors. This is because some vendors that are co-dependent; example is the ushers and the securities.
After the general vendor meeting, the ushering agencies and the security personnel for that particular event should have a separate meeting. If there is a simulation between ushering agencies and that of the security, a lot of things that are likely to go wrong would be prevented. Particularly in the area of social distancing because a lot of guests prove stubborn and most of them look down on the ushers. So, if there should be a synergy between the ushers and the securities, most of the guest will take the ushers serious.
In other words, there should be a simulation event which would be done outside the general vendors meeting.
•There should also be a synergy between the chatterers and ushers. There is need for them to work hand in hand.
There is also need for pre event simulation.
• We have to protect ourselves first.
• All event planners, venue owners and vendors, are charged with the responsibility of consistence training. We have to learn how to work under difficulties.
Train your staff so that they will know what they are up against.
• Event should be empathetic and sympathetic to our clients who would be paying more because events will be more expensive now than before.
• Event planners and vendors are to think first on event safety. That is the personal safety of the guests.
• The event entrances should be considered more. People have to stop and be checked, wash their hands, get sanitized and check there temperature before entering the event hall.
In essence, we have to preach patience to our ushers and bouncers in the sense that they have to exercise a lot of patience with the guests so they won’t get frustrated.
• We must ensure that we have for every event a medical team or at least one or two persons that are medically inclined and can attend to any kind of casualties that may arise.
• Management training of all staff, particularly the event planners.
Because the event planners are more like monitoring spirits and would be held responsible for anything that happens in an event, they need to train those that are working with them; the co planners and supervisors on how to identify, isolate and manage crisis starting from the entrance in such a way that the guests will be comfortable.
• It is advisable for food vendors to go by the frequent washing of hands with soap and water than putting on hand gloves. This is because, hand gloves protect only the person that puts them on.
Food vendors being primary, the people that carry what everyone eats, if they should touch any contaminated surface with the gloves, they are likely to spread it quick to people.
• Event planners particularly should be more creative.
• Educate your clients on the need of having hostesses. Make them understand that some of the reasons of having hostesses in an event is to minimize them (clients) from getting up at intervals to sort issues out. Let them know also that it is the work of these hostesses to check the names of their guests who forgot their cards, in the guest list which has been recorded before the event.
• All hostesses are to be trained on the basic first aid assistance in an event. As a company, you must be able to train your hostesses on emergency management skills.
• Hostesses should always go extra mile to learn new thing and source for information, apart from what the company has trained them on.
• There should be lots of synergies with the rules and regulations right from entrance of the venue in the sense that guests will be directed properly into the event hall on arrival.
• Sign posts the ushers can hold which identifies where people on different tables can get their foods, and hitch will be raised in such a way that it could be properly seen by the guests.
• There should be recorded audio instructions of the event which welcomes the guests and also states the rules and regulations guiding the event. It could be played before the event proper whereby everyone will be in tune with what is going on.
• Having TV screens which would show the numbers of event planners and supervisors on them.
When a table needs anything, a buzzer could be pressed and it will be seen on the screen that such table needs help. The hostesses around would go to ask what the table needs.
• There should also be “walkie talkie” as well.
With this, Everybody would be able to communicate with it without necessarily coming in physical contact.
• Hostesses are to put on long sleeves in order to protect theirselves.
• There should be branded face shields/ face masks for the staff.
• Guests’ management.
Hostesses and securities are to be enlightened about managing guests. That is, how to manage different guests with their characters without neither of them getting pissed off.
That is more reason we should have a recorded instruction of the event which would be played before the event proper. Better still, Someone can as well say that with a micro phone in a friendly way which will make the guest to comply without getting annoyed. In essence, we must be able to manage our guests properly.
• There should also be enforcement officers who ensure that all the vendors wear their PPEs and make sure that things are done properly.
• Hostesses should also be taught about empathy and how to exercise patience with the guests.
• Event vendors, after their pre setup, need to shower before changing to their outfit. Also the ushers too.
Therefore, event centers should look at having a bathroom where the vendors can take their bath.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What will happen to dancing in a party, Aren’t we going to have after party anymore?
Answers to question A
FUNKE ADE OJO
• If all the necessary percussions should be taken care of in the pre event, the screening, and health and safety procedures at the entrances, there should be no reason why people shouldn’t be allowed to dance in an event.
It will not be regarded as an interesting party if people come to an event without dancing. In this case, crowd dance should not be entertained instead, the amount of people at the dance floor should be managed.
• spraying of money also should not be allowed. One can do digital spraying or put the money in an envelope.
In essence, I think that dancing should be allowed.
• Gone are those days when people would want to dance with the couples in an event. They should be allowed to dance alone.
In essence, the clustering of friends dancing with the couples in an event should not be entertained.
How many numbers are to be recommended?
Answer to question B
FUNKE ADE OJO
• Since we are looking at having 250 or 300 people in an event, at any given time, depending on the size of the dance floor, we should be comfortably having about 15 or 20 people at the dance floor which will also have to be managed.
• Since people are dancing with their face masks/face shields, as long as there is no aerosol and direct contact, then dancing should not be the problem.
• Talking about the data base for the list of the party invites, Supposing the Chief Justice of Nigeria comes to a party with 12 persons along with him, and his name is not on the list, how are we going to handle that aspect?
• How do I get ushers for event planners who always come to me asking for ushers? Especially from the associations, how do I get ushers from these associations in any part of the country?
• Are there specific requirement an event planner should have like, belonging to an association which one can call to rectify that such event planner is genuinely registered in the association?
This is because an event planner might collect certain amount from a client for the DJ and will latter come to negotiate price with the DJ below what the client has already paid for the service of the DJ. So how do we go about the negotiation?
ANSWERS TO THE FIRST QUESTION IN QUESTION C
• In order to prevent uninvited guests from entering the event hall, there is need for a care package. This care package is fantastic in the sense that it would have one page paper where all the procedures would be written down. And moving forward, if we are having a client that has a good budget, we will get a company to supply branded facemask in the couple’s name or hangtags for the guests to wear instead of allowing them to put on facemasks of face shield that are not standardized.
We can also set it with the “asoebis” or at the registration table for guests to pick up the care packages. It will have the facemask or face shield with it and also a paragraph of what you would expect or how you would want you event to run. The guest would go into the hall with these care tips and their invitations.
• There should also be a large screen TV that will display the required procedures to adhere to before the event properly starts. The MCs or DJs can as well read out the procedures to the hearing of everyone.
Also, if someone is not invited for an event, it will be indicated on the document. And clients should inform the event planners on time to create space for securities people come with to an event, inside the hall if they are to come in.
Clients and guests should be told the procedures on how an event should be run. By this, they will not be worried and the tendency of having challenges with them will be reduced.
Answer to OJAY’s second question in Question C
• There are ushering companies that we have identified with in Benin, Abuja, even in the north. If you need ushering services from any one of these agencies. You can contact me directly or send DM to us on instagram@theushersorbit.
One of the things we do is to ensure that every ushering agency under us is registered. CAC for starters which is the basic requirement. They should have their corporate account details and some other things we look out for.
Answer to OJAY 3rd question in QUESTION C
FUNKE ADE OJO
• It is not encouraging for event planners to withhold part of the vendors’ fee. As an event planner, there is need to always seek the best for our clients. If a DJ’s fee is been negotiated with the client, be honest and and pay the exact fee to the DJ. If there is any deference, honestly pass it to the client and not to pocket it.
It is even worse when an event planner tells a client that the DJ’s fee is 50 thousand while it is not. In my opinion, it is a theft and highly dishonest.
• Certification is not actually by force because one can set up an event planning business today, have business card, put his/herself on website and he/she is already an event planner. In essence, there is no way of knowing who is authentic and who is not.
Even planners are advised to Join the different associations in the industry and learn from there. In essence, certification is not compulsory but hopefully, we will get there in the future.
The discussion was divided into two sections, A and B. In all, nine speakers made their points which are highlighted below.
• Training of Staffs on health and safety procedures.
• All staff must have their PPEs.
Event vendors should endeavor to get PPEs for their staff.
• Face mask and face shields are extremely important for all the staff.
• If one has to put on hand gloves, then they should be frequently changed because it transmits virus easily if they are to touch a contaminated surface/area and are not removed immediately.
• The venue must be well cleaned.
• There should be high level of hygiene starting from the market place where we buy our products.
• Small chops are to be served in food boxes or bags.
• Avoid sanitizing in the kitchen areas because these sanitizers are alcohol base.
• There is need to monitor the processing of food from the preparation stage to the presentation stage.
• Staffs should not be forced to work when they are ill. That someone has aheadache does not mean he or she is lazy.
• We need to work on allocations for event vendors so that there would be space for all of them to work during the event.
• Frequent washing of plates.
• Guests should not be allowed to the food areas.
• There should be order of service for vendors. They should know which one to serve first. It is pointless when we have 10 different vendors in a hall at the same time. There is a limit to what one can eat at a particular time. Moving forward, event planners should schedule all the food service to come in at different time. This also enhances social distancing.
• For food safety, food vendors should endeavor to wash their hands before and after handling a food, using safe water, encourage customers to wash their hands, avoid sneezing or coughing in a food, and avoid smoking in kitchen area.
• Everyone who handles food must be trusted because the easiest way to contact diseases or illness is through food. When food is not well prepared, it passes a wrong message.
• Everyone who cooks should always endeavor to separate raw food from cooked ones in order to prevent the cooked foods from being contaminated.
• Our environment should also be very neat at all times.
• Because food are prepared where everything is done, in the presence of all with the aim of achieving efficiency and quality of what we produce for people to have confidence in it before eating, we must ensure that capable hands are working with us.
Therefore, there is need to train and retain our staff.
• Cashless delivery by carrying foods to people in their houses (delivery service).
This will also help our staff to carry out a complex routine operation.
• We need to diversify into other things in order for us to make more money.
AD’MAS EVENT AFFAIRS
• Screening of our staff is very important.
• For the face masks, if we can go for the branded ones it would be nice.
• Staff should take their bath before an event kicks off so they can look fresh and be safe.
• Vendors should endeavor to take their bath immediately after setup.
• It’s not advisable for food vendors to make use of hand wipes. Washing hands regularly with soap and water is much preferable.
• Study, Research and Listen.
It is unfortunate to hear event planners say that covid-19 does not exist. If a CEO does not believe in covid-19, what will he/she be teaching the staff? It’s time we go back to researching because; it is what we learnt that we will teach our staff.
• All the processes must start from the scratch. This is the era where everyone needs to attend a vendor meeting when it’s been called. All vendors and eventpreneurs need to show up on vendors meeting. This is because, that is where information on what is expected of everyone to do is been passed.
It is not the era venue stylist will just wake p and decide on what day to go for a setup. It is necessary that event owners should be told on time before the venue stylist begins their setup. Because of security and safety reasons, we need to be sure that venue owners disinfect the hall before setup.
• One side does not fix it all.
This implies that client A is different from client B. A lot of people talk about chattering for the premium clients alone, what about people who chatter for the average clients? Or should average people not hold event ageing in Nigeria? So as an eventprenuer, we have to be strategic. We have to know what work for our events. Do not do things because others are doing. You really have to know the things that work for your brand. Do not say because planner A said she would be using 15 hand sanitizing basins, you should do same.
It is very important that we sit down and think out what is going to work for us.
• Preparedness of the vendors. That is, vendors should have their standard operation procedures ready.
If question on how many of us has or standard operation procedures ready.
Just as the way clients ask for package, they will also start to ask for Standard Operation Procedures. That means that we have to document it just as we have our E brochures.
• Design a colorful Standard Operation Procedures brochure for your clients.
By this way, it will be easier for him/her to read and understand.
• vendors should avoid copying other people’s standard operation procedures. Unfortunately, some chatterer make use of the Standard Operation Procedures of a baker, while some bakers make use of that of the stylists forgetting that what works for someone’s brand cannot work for the other.
As a chatterer, you need to show your procedures from setup. Then as a baker, you need to tell from setup to when you are mounting your cake. So everyone has their own personal road map.
• Because not all event planners are good in project management, there is need to set up an intelligent led security project manager.
• We also need technological managers because hybrid event will come back and we need technological advanced people in order to avoid the issue of network problems.
• The event HLC is very important. It is important that event industries have their own HLC if we want things to work out fine.
• We need to harmonize all these rules and coordinate them. If we do not put all these narratives into processes that are acceptable, we may encounter challenges in implementing them.
• We will be looking at the attendees in terms of age and health wise. Whether there will be patrons coming in from overseas or not.
• Post lockdown, the 8 hours duration of event will not be entertained. We should envisage shorter duration of reception.
• There is need to reengineer our procedures like having washing and sanitizing facilities as and at when required.
• There is need for more creativity on the side of the event planners.
• There is also need for contact tracing in the sense that when a guest is infected, it can be easily traced.
• Periodic evaluation of business guideline.
There should be review of these guidelines because things will always change.
• Attestation should be given to vendors after each vendors’ meeting. This shows that such vendor with the attestation attended the vendors’ meeting.
• It is time we as professionals see these as roles to be played to ensure peoples’ safety and not as business anymore.
• In as much as it is to be synergized, the weakest link can create a problem for the industry and institutions are to be held responsible. Therefore, we need to look inward and appraise ourselves.
It is time for us to get to know our staff the more and train them properly.
• Sanity should be brought into an unregulated industry because, if we do not regulate the industry, government will come in and do the regulations for us.
We need to view this as a multi billion naira industry and each sector is as responsible as the other. The moment we are able to appreciate the fact that we are into this together, the better for the industry.
• We also have to look at our rest rooms by keeping them well cleaned and neat always.
• For the drink vendors, it’s important we invest on screen reading which would allow our clients and guests to see what we have without necessarily coming in contact with us asking for what we have.
• There is need for menu board which shows what the vendors have in an event.
All the vendors need to come together to think on what we can do together in order to achieve a specific goal. One person cannot do it alone.
Event vendors should have more of ZOOM meeting before an event. This helps to reduce physical contact.
SAFETY SMART AFRICA
• Improving our perceptions. People/public have to see and understand that we are committed to the health and safety of people, which could be done in our social media handles and websites. This will enable the public to trust and entrust their event in our hands.
• Pre invite should be send to people that are coming for an event in order to get their ages, names and health histories. They would as well be told that the information would be destroyed at the end of a successful event.
It should also be made clear to them that it is for their own safety and also that is what the government requires.
• Plan ahead with everybody involved in the event, both the MC, DJ and all vendors.
• There should be a preparedness plan like how to get everyone in the venue out in case of emergency, while maintaining social distancing.
• Detailed assessment of your job and steps to be taken to ensure that the job is well done.
Access the risk associated to some of the things you will be using and find measures to eliminate them. Example is the risk of having hand sanitizers around fire.
• Make sure your staffs are aware of the measures to be taken in order to keep safe. Even if they do not believe in covid-19, make them know that your customers believe in its existence and that they are to work in accordance with what the customers believe because customers are always right.
• Assigning an infection mitigation coordinator who will be like a supervisor that manages everyone.
• For event managers, it is safety smart that you have a picture of your venue with the plan to show the sitting positions. Show what the event would look like if there should be 6ft apart in place.
Use videos to show online that your venues are properly cleaned and disinfected.
• In the venue, people that are meant to stay at the gate must be well kitted with their PPEs and ensure that guests wash their hands properly before going into the event hall.
• You might also let your guests know that they might not be able to enter into the hall with their bags. Even if they have to enter with it, it must be properly checked.
• We must ensure that physical contact is at its minimal.
• There should be sick beds kept in a room where someone who suddenly falls ill during an even could be moved to. There should also be PPE prepared for such person. Then, you can communicate to the public health personnel or NCDC about the situation at hand in case someone shows some certain signs. The person can either be carried home or taken to the NCDC. To that effect, there should be a stand by vehicle for that.
• Portable hand sanitizers should be kept on the tables for the frequent use by the guests.
• Sharing of microphones in an event should be minimized or rather, they should be constantly sanitized.
• Vehicles used in carrying food from one point to the other should be disinfected.
• Those people who carry equipment should always try as much as possible to limit physical contact. If a team is required, ensure that that they put on their gloves and which would be disposed once they are done with immediate washing of hands.
• The contact areas should be regularly cleaned. The high contact surfaces like door nubs , handles, tables, dispensers, towels, light switches and others are sanitized and cleaned at intervals.
• Guests should be served food one at a time in the sense that a food will be placed on a small tray well covered and served to a particular guest at a time.
• We can as well limit people from coming to disturb for food by having a number on each table that the guest can easily send the food they want to eat via the number.
• The food menu can be shown on the screen, or the Mc/DJ can state it using the micro phone. This limits physical contact.
QUESTION AND ANSWER
JUDE ODIAGBE OSAGIE
How are we going to handle a guest who refuses to obey a security operative?
Answer to Question A
• Bouncers already know the normal way of getting an unwanted guest out of the premises. In doing that, it is advisable that the bouncers should be properly guarded with their PPE for their safety.
If someone proves stubborn, the person should be carried out. But then again, everyone should ne treated like a covid-19 patient, so there is need for the bouncer to be fully kitted,
There should be two bouncers who are going to be in charge of bouncing people out while others should be handling the other guests.
Right from the gate, access should be restricted to one person at a time, and when someone tries to be difficult, those in charge of bouncing people out should do that putting on their PPEs.
• Can event planners in the industry engage professional policy control officers like they do in the production industries where they produce food?
• Would event center owners be advised to put sanitizing boat in front of their event venues like they do in other countries?
With this, everyone who is coming into the event must go through the sanitizing boats and it will save us from the huddles of hand sanitizing and temperature checks.
Answer to Question B
• In as much as we are geared towards ensuring that our event centers are safe and that patrons are clients are encouraged, we also have to look at the risk factors involved.
For now, we should just wait a little while for the government to give us guidelines which will serve as our frame work.
• Taking from the event centers point of view, we should know that all these suggestions and ideas cost a lot of money.
The clients should be ready to pay extra money for our services.
• For the security unit, what are we doing to ensure that people are wearing facemasks and how are they supposed to be dressed?
Answer to Question C
• To ensure that people are putting on their face masks, There is need for proper training about health and safety measures.
Everyone is meant to be fully kitted with his/her PPEs.
SUGGESTIONS AND OTHER OPINIONS.
ROSANWO suggested that we should go through our stocks from time to time and ensure that the things we are bringing out to the public is good enough.
BOLA AWOSIKA opined that waiters should stop the habit of dancing/misbehaving whenever there is a side attraction during an event.
She was also of the view that small chops Vendors should always come to the event venue with their fridges because it is another way of maintaining a proper hygiene.
She stated clearly that event center owners are not to charge less, rather they are to charge more because they have to provide the event venues with thermometers, hand washing equipment, clean the toilets after every use, fumigate and clean the venue. And by the time the government should give their conditions to the event center owners, it won’t be easy for them because they would be asked to pay more.
Therefore, event planners should be ready to inform their clients to double what they’ve been paying before for their events.
Again, she suggested that event planners or practitioners should come together as a group and do a test run and then call the government to see. This eventually can build the government’s trust in the event industries.
QUAIL EVENT reacted to the last suggestion of BOLA AWOSIKA. She was of the view that everyone has their own organizational structure which is different from others. Lagos has something different from Abuja.
The individual need of both client and company should be considered. Individual companies should go further and break down their standardized structure so that it will not just be a blanket role.
VIVIAN EMOKINIOVO was of the opinion that chatterers are to keep themselves safe together with their staff by providing towels, face masks, hand gloves and sanitizers for all their stewards. They are also to enter event halls with hot water buckets for washing of hands at intervals.
She also suggested the use of trolley services.
In conclusion, the most mentioned points that were made by the speakers are:
• Training and retaining of the staff.
• Educating the clients and the guests on health and safety procedures.
• Being fully kitted in/with the PPEs
• Providing TV screens that would display instructions, how the event would be run and it’s procedures, menu charts for everyone to see which also helps to reduce physical contacts.
• Regular washing of hands by the vendors
• Vendors taking their bath immediately after setup.
• Guest entering the event hall strictly on invites only.
• The Importance of Guests list and sourcing for their details/information before the event.
• Health and safety procedures are to be enforced starting from the entrance of the venue.
• Adhering to the safety procedures and social distancing.
• Maintaining a proper level of hygiene by the vendors for their own safety and that of the guests at large.