How to Keep Attendees Safe at In-Person Events

Here are the top questions planners should ask hotels and venues, according to new health and safety guidelines from the Events Industry Council.

To help organizations get back to holding in-person events, the Events Industry Council's APEX Covid-19 Business Recovery Task Force has begun publishing a series of guides that curate best practices throughout the events industry, providing a framework to help planners adapt to the new protocols necessary to keep attendees safe.

The latest of these guides, "Accepted Practices Guide for Hotel Health and Safety," outlines a series of measures that planners should consider taking at the hotel where they are holding their event. For the full publication, visit the EIC’s Industry Resources page here; the following questions were designed by the task force to help planners evaluate their facility choices.

Questions for Event Organizers to ask Hotels/Venues

Health and safety

1. What can we expect to see as health and safety protocols at each stage of the attendee’s journey?
2. What health and safety practices are in place for hotel/venue workers?
3. Will the hotel be providing health screenings?
4. What protocols are in place to limit cross-contact between attendees of different events?
5. What accessibility protocols are in place to meet the needs of people with disabilities?
6. Are there wayfinding considerations for directing attendees to the meeting rooms to support social distancing, and are accessible routes clearly indicated?
7. Is the hotel complying with any existing protocols, and how is this being monitored for quality and performance?
8. If a guest or attendee tests positive for Covid-19, what is the protocol for the individual, and what meeting-space and guest-room recovery policies will the hotel implement?
9. If a hotel employee tests positive for Covid-19, what measures are in place to protect other workers and the group, and how will you initiate contact tracing?
10. For larger events, have you designated separate entrance and exit points for all your ballrooms/meeting space, and is this also established for staff accessing back-of-house areas?
11. What room setup options do you have in order to keep the group physically distanced?
12. Do you offer linenless tables and how are your chairs being disinfected?
13. What food-and-beverage safety protocols has the hotel implemented?
14. Can we do a safety-related site inspection of the hotel, and is there an option to do this virtually?
15. Where possible, can you share an experience where you already implemented all of these health and safety measures


16. Can you share your crisis response and communication plan?
17. Is there online information about the hotel’s practices that can be shared with guests and attendees?
18. What information, and in what formats (e.g. digital, print, large print, braille), can the hotel provide regarding health and safety protocols that will be in place during the event?


19. What is the technology infrastructure to support a hybrid meeting model?
20. What are the digital capabilities (bandwidth, etc.) for hybrid events? Can we use some of your meeting rooms as studios?
21. Is the audiovisual equipment built into the meeting room, or portable and installed for the event?
22. What sanitization protocols are in place for cleaning high-touch AV, including controllers, between sessions and overnight?
23. Are paperless flipcharts available?

Sustainability and social impact

24. What measures will the hotel implement to reduce landfill waste due to increased use of single-use items?
25. What other CSR actions is the hotel/venue taking during these times, and how can the event participants be part of these?