How to Prepare a Safe Event Site as Live Events Return - with The Event Ally

How to Prepare a Safe Event Site as Live Events Return - with The Event Ally

Episode-BannerPodcast speakers: Savannah McIntosh (Purplepass Marketing Director) and Andrea Ramsey (Principal at The Event Ally). Jump to the show notes below. 

 

The EventBuzz podcast: The Event Ally

presented by Purplepass

 
 

Show Notes

Topic markers:

10:05 - Keeping up with emerging restrictions

17:58 - Understanding your demographics and their safety concerns

21:35 - Planning a sustainable event 

26:41 - The sustainability and safety connection

28:40 - Conducting health screenings (medical records)

32:25 - Crowd management 

 

Links: 

The Event Ally

Training series for planning live events during COVID-19

  

Quotes:  

"The big tip I would give people that they aren't thinking about or that I've seen most people aren't thinking about is we have to kind of rely on is medical records. People are writing things down or writing a name and saying temperature...and it's it's very unclear right now with OSHA as well as legally, what is constituting a medical record. So don't write down things. Just don't you know, don't put it in an email. Don't put it in a DM just don't write things down.It's very strange. And it's definitely one of those where we may be carrying really far on the side of caution to avoid that. But if you have created a medical record, with an employee or an employee, you have to retain that record for like, 30 years, according to OSHA."

 

"The wild card is human behavior. And so we've really delved deeply into understanding what crowds look like, what the makeup of that looks like, and how do you address that? How will you make it work? What can you do to connect people and make sure they understand that this shared experience is also a shared responsibility?"

 

"I think that sustainability and safety can go hand in hand in many ways. One of them that I don't like is a lot of people look at both safety, and sustainability as just sort of a checklist. Like, oh, I just have to fulfill this. But if you actually truly care about them, it does make it easier for you to institute safety for your people and safety for the earth." 

 

 

Podcast Transcript: Purplepass +The Event Ally

Savannah (Purplepass):

Welcome back to another episode of our podcast series for event planners. My name is Savannah McIntosh, marketing director and host of the EventBuzz podcast by Purplepass. I am so excited to be introducing our next guest, Andrea Ramsay, an executive producer with 20 plus years of experience activating large scale b2b and b2c live events.

Activations have spanned from Super Bowls to national political conventions and clients, including Google and Nike. Through her years in live events, she has become a vocal advocate for event safety not solely focused on this current pandemic around the world but across all possible risks on site. While the industry shut down, she also founded a consultancy on health and safety for live events with another experienced producer.

In this episode, we will be discussing the new health and safety guidelines emerging that are leaving event professionals unsure of how to move forward as events open back up. Plus concerns over safety when it comes to experiential marketing events, and the progression of events in the era of COVID-19.

Thanks for coming on to the EventBuzz podcast. How are you doing this morning?

 

Andrea (The Event Ally): 

I'm great. Thanks so much for having me.

 

Savannah:

I am super excited to talk with you today. I think what we're going to cover is something of interest for all our event planners so let's get started. Can we just have you give a little bit of background about yourself, tell the listeners who you are, and maybe touch on what your professional journey has been like during the pandemic?

 

Andrea:

Sure. So I began and events like a lot of people when it was a little bit newer, sort of by accident, I just fell into it. I had a summer internship at a production company that they focused on concerts and music. And they also had an arm that was doing this strange thing called live events. Their live event team did marketing tours. So it was sort of over the road tours, sampling, things like that.

And I was in grad school and kind of kept going back and forth and helping them out. And then once I finished grad school, they had me come in and work on a an event they were doing that was very unexpected. It was the pastoral visit of Pope John Paul the second in St. Louis, Missouri. And so they made me be assistant director of protocol. And they had been planning for something like four years for a three day event. I only came in in the last maybe six months.

 

Savannah:

Yeah.

 

Andrea:

But it was great fun. And it was very eye opening for me. And so when it was finished, they said you have an aptitude for staying call home in chaos. We have this event marketing arm, you should work with them. And they recommended me to someone and I ended up on my first event marketing tour. So.

 

Savannah:

Wow

 

Andrea:

Yeah, it was it was crazy. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. You realize that no matter where you go, if you're on a marketing tour, people have basically five jokes that they will say about whatever your product or your vehicle is.

And they all think of coming up with it right away at the same time. So it can get tedious but when you're, you know, young, you're 24,25, that was way fun. I remember they gave us $25 a day and in per-diem and I thought I was rich. Yeah, I really did. And we had to share hotel rooms. So it was it was just it was a big deal. It was really fun.

And then I started working with some other companies and did some programming that was not core based, not sampling based, started doing bigger, b2c events and did some, you know, do some meetings, you do some conventions, you do all kinds of different things. So I worked for agencies for quite a while I did get recruited from one of my clients, I worked on the client side for a couple of years.

And then I decided to go freelance. And so I've been freelance ever since. So it's been, a it's been great fun. And I feel like there's always something new to learn. It's um, and I don't know your experience, but I'm sure that you have the, have multiple times had to really drill down and explain to people even maybe like, your mom, what you do.

 

Savannah:

Oh, gosh.

 

Andrea:

And they don't really quite get it, right? 

 

Savannah: 

I totally can relate. I've just like, Is it worth it, I'm like, yeah, it's just social media. There you go.

 

Andrea:

Exactly. I at one point, heard my mom tell someone and I had just done something huge at the Super Bowl. And she was like, well, she, it's like driving the Wienermobile. Uh huh. Driving the Wienermobile is that's a great gig and I'm not going to knock it. But, that's not what I do. And thank you so much, ma'am. I just moved on.

 

Savannah: 

Yeah, I totally relate. It's it's really hard. It's so complex.

 

Andrea:

And you know, it is also in the middle of a pandemic. It's also hard to explain to people when you are not doing anything, it really is marketing. Like, I'm really just trying to get you to buy something. Okay.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, exactly. And how has it been this year, you that you've been doing a lot, since the pandemic. So can you tell us a little bit about that?

 

Andrea:

So I mean, as a freelancer, the pandemic definitely, you know, it shut everybody down. So like many people, I got a random phone on March 13 that said, 'Could this be your last day of this contract?' And I did not fault them. I wasn't upset about it. I just said, yea, you know, like, yeah, finish expenses, I get this.

And so everything's sort of dried up. And my business partner and I, Hillary Cartwright, we have, when I did my stint on the client side, she was my agency contact. And so that's how we met and then we had worked for multiple agencies together on multiple projects, we became co workers. And we had always talked about doing something together.

And suddenly, I definitely had the time to focus on it.

And we did know that every time we did a project together, we noted that we were the only ones that cared about sustainability, or at least the passion level that we had to really try to make things work. And we also seemed to be a little bit more concerned about safety than a lot of other folks that were activating around us.

So it just seemed we have been talking about this, and it just seemed really natural. To then, kind of move that into, hey, let's take some classes together, let's do some training, let's do all of these things. And we started doing research. And through research and training, we got introduced to some medical professionals, and you know social epidemiologist, just some people that were so generous with their knowledge, because they were interested in what we did.

And so we were really able to kind of translate what we did with their expertise and start kind of figuring out, you know, what we could do is this, what we could do is that, and so we learned quite a bit about what we could be doing in safety and not just pandemic focused. Although the pandemic certainly heightened our interest in that area.

But we were able to really kind of get really deep into what does it look like to be safe on an event site, on things well beyond just, you know, respiratory safety. And so we decided, let's make this, this is a consultancy, this isn't just interest. We had lots of friends calling us and saying, hey, what do you know about this? What do you know about that. So we were able to give some information. And so it was just it was very natural. I was a freelancer so I had the time to do it. Hillary actually was very safe in a job, I think, you know, relatively unlikely to be laid off in the current climate, but decided to make the leap and so actually left her agency world so that we would be able to focus on this full time.

 

Savannah:

Awesome. And what is the organization called? I just want to make sure people know.

 

Andrea:

Oh, sure. Our company is called The Even Ally. And we call it TEA for short. But it's interesting how many people don't understand the word, ally, a.l.l.y as you get the event alley quite a bit. And I'm like, no, it's that word is ally.

 

Savannah:

That's funny. That's awesome. It's so important. Exactly what you're saying like we need it, even though the pandemic might have brought it to our attention. It's so important to have even beyond once we move past COVID and everything.

 

Andrea:

Exactly.

 

Savannah:

And with that in mind, since we're talking about everything you guys are doing, I wanted to touch on things currently. It seems like as we move forward, and it does depend on the state and where you're at and what you're planning all this stuff. We constantly are seeing new, emerging safety guidelines released every day. I wanted to ask if you've noticed I've seen some of the biggest challenges for event professionals when it comes to these safety guidelines?

 

Andrea:

Sure. The emerging safety guidelines? Well, one of the things that I think is easiest to remember with people is that a lot of people may say, well, this safety guideline says this, this safety guideline says that. What they're really talking about are restrictions. So this restriction in this geography says, I can't do this, this one says I can.

And a restriction is not the same as a safety guideline. So go with the experts. And for better or worse, and I think for better, they're a great organization. I mean, the CDC really sort of needs to be the north star in the United States. What their guidelines are, their guidelines may be restrictive. And sometimes they're a little convoluted. They try to allow for interpretation in certain areas, but it's really the difference in the guidelines is really the difference between what you can do versus what you should do. They're trying to push things to a lot of it is personal responsibility and choice.

We'll allow for that. And so that is what can be difficult for us as professionals to say, Okay, well, you know, the CDC is saying, people should still wear masks in these situations. And again, the information can be very convoluted. It's very, it's starting to get very granular, right, how far away if you're inside or if you're outside. So again, I know that that can be difficult.

But if you read their restrict or their guidelines, then you get to a place like the state of Texas, which says no mask mandates. That doesn't mean, you should do that. It means you can do that, if that makes sense. And so then you start to get into, okay, so I have the freedom legally to be able to do something that science or the experts are saying, you know, it's it's not the safest option. And that I like in that to you know, there are some states that don't have seatbelt laws. There are some states that don't have helmet laws if you're on a motorcycle. You are allowed to do that. That's your personal choice, but it is. It's, you know, regarding safety, we all know it's safer to wear your seatbelt and wear a helmet.

So then you you really have to get into. And I think this is something that we as marketers, we do know, which is two different identities, which is what is the brand's identity, and what is your agency identity? And I think if you as an agency have an existing client, you probably already mesh with them pretty well on, you know, we agree on how far we want to go on certain things.

So your identities probably match, but they may not. So you need to understand, as an employer or employee, here is where I want to be, I am nervous to go out, I am not nervous at all. I am I want to be as safe as humanly possible. I want everybody around me tested. I want to stay in my room, whatever it may be, understanding what that is as an agency and what you expect your employees to do.

And then understand what your brand is asking to do. If you have a brand that says, hey, you know what? There's no mask mandate in Texas and we are thrilled with that. We want to be somewhere we want no one wearing masks of our staff. We don't want you know, we don't we don't like that. Look, we don't think that that's the best. And you kind of as an agency have to say, well, that is a can, is it a should? I tend to lean towards public health and the experts and go with the what you should do. What is the safest.

And we as the event ally, always lean towards the most restrictive safest recommendations, and then talk that through with our clients and say, Okay, this is the most restrictive option that you know, it is showing your duty of care is really taken care of and that you have been as restrictive as possible to keep people safe.

But legally, you are allowed to do A, B and C. And so this is how you can back out of it. But you know, I think that we've seen what the slowdown in events, you know what happened over the past over a year. I think we've seen that most brands or at least really big brands went with caution. I we will continue to do so.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. Yeah, Texas is a good example. I actually, I'm from California, but I currently live in Texas. So I understand it's like two different worlds. I'm visiting home right now. And so I, yeah, it's different. But it's funny you bring that up, because I just talked to an event planner, actually. And they just hosted an event in Texas. And I didn't realize this, but he was saying that they wanted to do masks, and they had it on all their promotional stuff. Okay, masks required. And whoever they talked to told them a representative in Texas that they cannot say required.

It's, you know, they can't make mass mandatory, I guess now in Texas, which...

 

Andrea:

I would have to...yeah, I have to verify that with some research. But yeah, in my understanding, if you're hosting private event, you're allowed to make it restricted.

 

Savannah:

That's what I was thinking to.

 

Andrea:

Yeah. I don't understand that. So possibly, it was a public I don't know.

 

Savannah:

I don't understand it. But like, that's something that they would say in Texas.

 

Andrea:

Yeah. And that's partially what is such a problem for all of us in the events right now. Is that well, I guess I heard that. Yeah. And we do have to investigate every individual claim like that. Because it seems to be sort of this Handbook of so there's the safety stuff, but then there's also just like, the legal 'What can I do?' And that, you know, that's, that's a big bummer.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, so it's like, it's really confusing. And I feel bad for everyone trying to navigate all this stuff. because like you said, everyone's saying different things. And definitely changing.

 

Andrea:

The safety guidelines, actually, they can get convoluted, but they do remain pretty consistent. So the CDC, the WHO, etc? They're pretty consistent. It is when you get into the legality of things, and these are not, these are not scientists, these are not medical experts making these rules.

And so, you know, then then you have to start getting into that. And that's something that we've found is, we're also guiding so many of our clients to include people that they just never thought to include in their production planning phase. They are talking to their insurance agents, their lawyer is attached at the hip with them now. And then, you know, people like HR, I would never have considered. I needed staff, keeping HR really heavily involved. But when you start talking about things like vaccines and medical records, you have to have them on your team. So it's a it's a larger team, that's required. To figure all of this out.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. And, but and again, back to Texas, I think about brands, and like, what would you say for a brand that wants to be safe and wants to do everything as restricted and safely as possible, but then it's hard, because that's going to turn off people in that state that don't, you know, want to be like, that's not what they believe in. They want to don't want to wear masks, they don't believe they should be mandated. Like, what do you how do you kind of how would you market? Or what would you give advice for that type of brand or event?

 

Andrea:

And I would say that's kind of your third thing. So you know, your agency and your your client, you know, your brand ID, understand your demographic. And if you're going to be as restrictive as possible, and try to do an event in Austin, Texas, that's really different than literally anywhere else in Texas.

And if you want to do an event in St. Louis, and be very restrictive, with distancing, yeah, masks, you will probably be more successful, although not perfectly. So then you would be in more rural or southern parts of Missouri, which are incredibly resistant. They have very different. There are differences in lives and in demographics, you know, that you need to understand. So, as long as your client really knows their, their clients, you know, their demographic of coming. And that will also probably be a guide, not so much how you activate the event. But just the, you know, the starting point, the risk assessment, should we even do it. Because if you want to be really restrictive, and you're going to go to a place where people just will not adhere to that, then you're just going to be antagonizing your audience. And it's, it's not you know, the juice is not worth the squeeze on that.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, that's a good point. It's crazy. Just from this past year. Now, we do have to do our demographic research, but the research is, is so much more complex, and we're looking at different things like you said, who's willing to go and who's going to be resistant and just so that your team is growing like we are, there's so many different roles now that people have to play?

 

Andrea:

Absolutely, absolutely. Like I said, one of the specialists that we work with is a social epidemiologist. And I could legitimately listen to her talk all day, she just the poor lady is probably like these guys stop calling me. But she does, you know, updates and educational points for us. And yeah, I know what she's doing. And by social epidemiology, she really studies what people are doing in response to this, and what the, you know, her point has been in disease progression.

The wild card is human behavior. And so, you know, we've really delved deeply into that understanding what crowds look like, what the makeup of that looks like, and how do you address that? How will you make it work? You know, what, what can you do to connect people and make sure they understand that this shared experience is also a shared responsibility? And so, you know, you work through that with your clients. And there are lots of little tips and tricks to kind of do, again, based on who your demographic is.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. Yeah. And for everyone listening, you guys have amazing resources on your website, which I'll link to this so people can check it out. I was just scanning through it quickly. And you guys have already made so many points that I see come up a lot, a lot of different questions that come up, because people don't really know how to look at it, the safety standpoint. Yeah, you guys have awesome resources.

And I also wanted to touch on because you mentioned in the beginning sustainability, you guys are not really people talk about sustainability concerns, especially when it comes to events, which is really important. And I was just wondering if we can talk more about these sustainability issues that event planners should consider when hosting their events, or what they should think about that they might not, you know, think about when planning?

 

Andrea:

Absolutely. Sustainability is, is so difficult in what we do, because it's like, we're building an entire city, in some cases, and we're building it for a night, you know, or two weeks or three weeks, you know, we are building something, not just a society, which has a culture and expected behavior, which is the safety side of things, but also there's real structure to it. And then what do you do with it when it's done, especially if it's something that only happens once, maybe once a year, or once ever.

And so we work with folks to just try to reduce the waste. And this is very difficult. Again, right now, in the pandemic era, you know, we were moving towards lots of reuse, on items, like know, if you can have a bubbler on site instead of water bottles, simple as that, yeah, everything needs to be single, packaged, you know, individually, this little serving type of things. So for the moment, that is very much out the window, but there are still things that you can do to reduce that.

But, you know, when you look at sustainability, don't forget things like your signage, or your just your set that you built, or, you know, the tables that you bring in, you know, are you keeping them forever? Are you are you donating them are? You know, and thinking about things from from the side of, okay, I only want to do this once. So I don't need to reuse any of this. And you as a company, keep it and reuse it for another client. Can you donate to someone who will reuse, you've gotten as granular on things.

And this is funny, but years ago, Hillary worked on a program where she could not find someone to take all of the building elements that she had on a program and it was all just going to go into the trash. And it was killing her. And she ended up finding of all things, a high school that she could donate everything to and they turned them all into their like all, you know, fall play set.

 

Savannah:

That's cool.

 

Andrea:

It is, it really is and we're so happy to help. Yeah. But beyond that, we know that that will probably also continue to be reused again and again in different forms. So it made a lot of sense. And it's you know, we often look at at donation it is kind of difficult, it ends up making you angry, sometimes they can't come when you need them to come they don't respond. Like or they will actually pick over your items and you'll be like, oh my gosh, you're beggars and choosers. But they really are so you have to really what can be reused and recycled and in what format. And so we found some interesting partners. There's one that's in the southwest that I love.

They they would take vinyl banners and they would turn them into sunshades. That's genius. Great that, so things like that. But then on the flip side of that, we also know sometimes it is really close to the same price if you rent versus purchase. But again, if you are not going to be using those things, again, maybe rental really is a smarter way to go.

Just you know, don't mess around with having to get rid of these things, or maybe even the carbon footprint of having to transport it somewhere far away to be stored. So it's kind of working through all of those. And sustainability can get incredibly granular.

And we can drill down into some things. And you know, is it A or B or C or D, that is the right choice at this moment. But it it takes a lot of work. And that one's you know, that's also why it's so difficult to get people to pay attention to it. You know, we all know as producers. Now if you have one job, you already have five, yeah.

 

Savannah:

It's so it's so much easier, just not think about it, you know, and do the easy route. But it really is. But I think a biggest trend, a trend that's emerging, it's been emerging for a while, is people are really starting finally, to think about our planet and think about our carbon footprint. And they notice. Your your consumers, customers, guests will notice it, especially if you advertise that, hey, we're a sustainable event, recycle, we don't use plastic, blah, blah, blah, they will notice what you're doing and appreciate that..

 

Andrea:

And it for me, I think that sustainability and safety can go hand in hand in many ways. One of them that I don't like is a lot of people look at both safety, and sustainability as just sort of a checklist like, oh, I just have to fulfill this. But if you actually truly care about them, it does make it easier for you to institute safety for your people and safety for the earth.

You know, just being sustainable. There are ways to make it work without having to feel like oh, this is just another thing I have to do.

 

Savannah:

And there's a reward to it, you feel good after you feel good knowing that, you know, you didn't contribute to waste on our planet that at least you minimize what you could. 

 

Andrea:

And if in any way you can also sell that to a client as a cost savings. Even better. High five! 

 

Savannah:

Yeah, so I really like that you guys focus on sustainability. Because it's again, it's so so important. And finally, we're starting to make our way to where we can we actually are becoming more aware about it. And so I wanted to just ask you about that, because I love that I love that you do that. I'm definitely a no plastic person. So that's why I'm like, yeah, I really with the cash with the pandemic, the it kills me, I we have to do it. But it kills me like, you know, all the takeout orders or even when you eat out and you have to throw it away. I'm like, noooo.

 

Andrea:

Absolutely. You know, on the one hand, you really want to save a local business. On the other hand, can I just show up with some Tupperware. 

 

Savannah: 

Yeah. And now you see the masks everywhere on the ground now.

 

Andrea:

I know, it breaks your heart.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, so I want to touch on that. The other thing I wanted to ask you quickly is because I've talked to you a different, I've been talking to different promoters and kind of getting their take on how they are doing health screenings for their guests entering the event space prior to the event.

So I wanted to ask if you have seen or found anyways, any health screenings that have proven be really effective before going to an event or any tips when it comes to conducting health screening at an event?

 

Andrea:

Sure. So the one big tip I would give people that they aren't thinking about or that I've seen most people aren't thinking about and we have to kind of rely on is medical records. People are writing things down or writing a name and saying temperature or hey, so and so is vaccinated I don't need to worry about this or that. And it's it's very unclear right now with OSHA as well as legally, what is constituting a medical record. And it may be less so with your audience than it is with your employees actually so the back of house and so it I just cringe when I see people writing down a name and a temperature next to it or something of that nature. And it's very easy to avoid creating these medical records.

So don't write down things. Just don't you know, don't put it in an email. Don't put it in a DM just don't write things down. I just was working with someone this morning where they wanted someone to be on site and we said you know if they are cleared to do this not quarantine with this travel because they're vaccinated, we just want to know that they are cleared not to quarantine. We don't want, you know, don't write the words down that they're vaccinated.

Like, that's just its semantics. But, again, to be incredibly safe on that side and careful about creating a medical record, let's not do it. And they wrote back, you know, great. This person is cleared not to quarantine after travel and that so we know, we know, in essence, that means they're vaccinated, but we have not written down specific about any sort of medical procedure, which makes very sure not a medical record.

They will continue to move forward in defining what does turn into a medical record, but you are having people at a health check. And you're writing down a name and a temperature that is a medical record, or I have seen people also hire nurses to do their health screenings and checks. And I understand the inclination to want a medical professional to do it. But when you have a medical professional handling these things, that turns it into a medical record.

So that is why, for example, my local hospital, which is a nationally recognized institution, they actually use, they converted their valets into the people do to do the health check acts in a building filled with medical professionals, so that they avoided any sort of whiff creating a medical record.

 

Savannah:

Interesting.

 

Andrea:

Yeah, it's, it's very strange. And it's definitely one of those. Yeah, we may be carrying really far on the side of caution to avoid that. But if you have created a medical record, with an employee or an employee, you have to retain that record for like, 30 years, according to OSHA. Now, it's always better to be super cautious, I think, take the extra step. And it's so easy to do everything verbally.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, save your time. Save do the time now to save yourself the time later, of dealing with it.

 

Andrea:

Exactly.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, that's a good point. And then my last question before I let you go, because I can imagine you're busy, is I wanted to quickly ask, I'm assuming I wanted to quickly ask about crowd control. That's another issue that and you know, managing social distancing at events. If you had any tips or advice when it comes to handling crowd control, and where to even start when you you kind of maybe it's thinking about your layout or your event design and your space?

 

Andrea:

I know, right. Okay. So there are some great guidelines about how much square footage you need to have per person for capacity. And that is rapidly changing, as people start to say, hey, outdoors, you can do this type of capacity and indoors, no. So but there are some great there are some great calculations as far as what you need to do. What it used to be before people started. When I say used to be what it was in, let's say January was 113 square feet per person, inside outside, whatever that may be. It is changing. But that one is a good example of what it used to be.

 

Once you then ensure that you have enough space for people, it's the reality of, okay, how do we make them pay attention to that, though, and there is a certain level of you have to, you know, let it go. You know, you have to decide how you want to enforce that. And so there are, we have seen you know the pods marked on the ground, we have seen, you know, in stadiums where they have the seats, that fold up, you know, literally sort of locked into place, so people can't move around. So they bought a ticket pod. And that's how many people can sit in a row or section. We've seen a lot of that.

And again, you have to determine how you intend to enforce it. COVID compliance officers, I don't know if you're familiar, I think most people are now but they kind of came to us from the film industry. Where they were monitoring sets. Yeah, I'm sure they will eventually be called something else for events. You know COVID COMPLIANCE OFFICER or CCO. I'm just gonna use that term right now. And a CCO is really helpful and a for staff just to kind of walk around and gently remind people, hey, you agreed to this.

You will be, hey, you need to play your part or are you guys in the same household things like that?

I also recommend giving people signals within, you know, kind of in their own crowd. And what I mean with that is, I always think of the example of a music festival. You think about that and you say, okay, it's a wide open space outdoors, let's pretend and it's very easy to have sections for people that are feeling comfortable and great. And what a squishing together a little bit closer. And people that are really uncomfortable and want to be back a little further, giving them their own area.

And people that may have, you know, maybe even more uncomfortable than that, or identifying them somehow with a wristband that says, I'm just really not comfortable with this yet. You know stay away from me.

 

Savannah:

Oh, that's a great idea, wristband, the color coding.

 

Andrea:

Yeah, so color coding and letting people kind of determine where they want to be in that. And you know, you you try your darndest, there will be people that will break it, and you do your your best to kind of provide them what they can do and remind them of their obligations. And then it goes back to your identity, who you as a festival want to be? Do you want to say, hey, if I have to warn you, literally once, I will kick you out?

If I have to warn you, endlessly, I will do that. You know, we will take that on. So it's kind of up to you to decide how you want to do that enforcement, but giving people, I think giving some people the ability to really choose their own adventure as it were in a crowd will make this easier.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, and that's what I think communication prior to the event is so important, whether it's on your registration page or your marketing material, letting them know what type of event it's going to be. If it's, if it's going to be okay, we're extra cautious, we're going to be separating you like this, or it's going to be more relaxed, or you'll have the option to have the wristband and color code it.

I think that the communication prior to the event and just and do it like months out leading up to your band constantly. So people know, they understand how the event is going to be prior before they get there. So either they're not afraid or they're not confused when they get there. And someone's telling them, hey, you need to watch your space.

 

Andrea:

Yeah, and be consistent in that communication. Yes, you know, don't change it up on them. Because we all know, every time CDC changes something us we get confused. So imagine how they feel then having to drill down into just this one particular event.

 

Savannah:

Yeah.

 

Andrea:

There's also that, you know, you said you mentioned you were looking at the resources on our site. I don't know if we still have it up. I actually don't remember. But we used to have something up noting a social responsibility pledge. Have you heard of those?

 

Savannah:

Um, no, actually.

 

Andrea:

They're very interesting. And that is a way to, you can do this, both with employees, as well as with your audience. Employees gets into a whole thing about their legal contract, etc. So I will talk about this just sort of focused on the audience. But it's not a legal binding agreement, but you can make them sign a social responsibility pledge, noting, I know what the rules are. I'm reading this right now and I'm acknowledging it. I'm saying I'm going to do you know, I agree to do all of this on here to make everybody here feel safe to share this experience with them.

It does make it a little bit easier and enforcement simply. Simply because, you signed to this. Yes, you and then you put signs of it all over the place. And you can remind folks, Hey, remember, we talked about this? Like, you just make sure oh, yeah, it is just, they're not purposely trying to break it and just forget, or it's just not, you know, we're all learning this new way to be out in the world.

We're all a little weird right now. So it's just allowing people to remind you, you know, right, you're right. I did say that. Great. Thanks. I did see that. Thank you.

 

Savannah:

Yeah. And there's always gonna be those people that even the amount no matter the amount of signs you put out, or whether they sign something, you're gonna be confused. So just be prepared for that.

 

Andrea:

And that's one of my things is, I would say, he doesn't need a ton of patience on site. It's been, you know, we get back on site. And every time it's weird again, you know, it's just like, wow, something really happened to us. And so it's a little bit weird. We're all a little bit wonky right now. And so I need some patience from them, and I will extend the same virtue to them. 

 

Savannah:

Yeah. Yeah, it does take a lot of patience. Bless your soul. Yeah, it could be a lot sometimes. But yeah, it's just so weird because you're right is like an awkward thing now. Especially transitioning more into in person events are like people. What?

 

Andrea:

Exactly. I know, I did something really weird. I was reading something the other day that you know, it was just a joke on Twitter, but this one was saying I didn't know what to do when my you know, I went to a restaurant outside and the server came up introduced when I told her my name and tried to shake your hands.

Who does that. Did I never have a server or forget how to interact with someone at a restaurant.

 

Savannah:

Funny. Yeah.

 

Andrea:

People are funny. We'll get there.

 

Savannah:

We will. And and before I leave, I did want to ask you. If for people interested that listen and maybe want to get in touch with you guys and work with you guys, what should they do? Should they get in touch with you on your website? Or?

 

Andrea: 

I think our websites the easiest way, honestly, if you reach out on the info button on the website, it goes to me, so I will answer it myself. But yeah, it's theeventally.com. And, you know, there's, there's always a lot of resources there. But that's also, you know, it's the quickest way to find us.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, it looks like you guys have do trainings, and you have a bunch of stuff.

 

Andrea:

So yeah, we sure do. We try to offer a lot of resources for folks. We get a lot of questions that we are, I mean, you know, you hear me gabbing on so we're always happy to talk. But, you know, if they just want to quietly, you know, learn a few things on their own time, at their, you know, at their own pace, our trainings are great, a great way for them to look through things.

You know, understand, we do have a live Q&A coming up for the folks that have taken our training in case they want to follow up and do more. So that is always a really nice thing too, for them to get get some access to us and just pick our brains. We're always around for the folks that need us.

 

Savannah:

Yeah, well, what you guys are doing is so amazing. It's probably crazy to think before, like last year, you probably didn't think you would be where you are today or doing what you're doing.

 

Andrea:

No, I totally right. Totally. I actually I was like, you know, I hate to say it, but I would love to get back to the days where our biggest safety concern was like weather. You know?

 

Savannah:

I know. Now it's a whole new ballgame. So, but what you're doing is so important, so it's amazing. Keep it up.

 

Andrea:

Well thank you! It was so nice to speak with you.

 

Savannah:

You too. And um, yeah, I look forward to getting this out there and providing the resources to our clients because they're gonna really love it and they need it. It's so important. Again, I can't like emphasize that enough. It's so important.

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