As if event planning wasn’t already stressful, the 2020 pandemic gave rise to the ultimate party foul: the super spreader. Now, with the “new normal” settling in for 2021 and beyond, party planners are looking to new and better ways to keep their guests happy, safe, and stress-free. Here are my top four tips to make sure your post-COVID weddings, corporate events, retreat getaways, and celebrations are nothing short of exceptional!
Tip #1: Be Mindful of Guests’ Feelings
I recently assisted with wedding planning for a couple with a bit of a timing issue: They had originally delayed their wedding due to the 2020 lockdown and rescheduled for summer ‘21, but as the Delta variant crept up, they were apprehensive about moving forward with celebrations. Knowing most of their guests were vaxxed and ready to socialize, they decided to throw the party with a few simple precautions.
To ensure their guests felt prepped and comfortable, the bride and groom focused on sending regular communications before the wedding. They used an invite management platform to keep track of RSVPs and announce updates, such as:
Letting guests know there was no obligation to attend. This is a great message for friends and family who are worried about risk exposure, group politics, and scheduling issues. You could also mention that attendance can be brief and simple: Guests can stop by, take a photo, and be on their way—minimal risk necessary.
Explaining precautions, requirements, and options. It’s important for guests to know if the wedding is indoors or outdoors, if you’ll be requiring masks or proof of vaccination, or if they should get tested before the party. This is a great opportunity to help guests know what to expect coming in. The last thing you want is surprises!
Keeping track of virtual attendees. Some guests will want to Zoom in for a ceremony or speeches. Be sure to prep your broadcast by sending out a calendar invite and link.
Once you’ve got everyone in the loop, you’ll be on your way to a zero-hassle event planning!
Tip #2: It’s OK to Require Precautions
If you’re event planning post-COVID, you have every right to ask for reasonable safety measures from your guests, including:
Proof of vaccination
Proof of a negative COVID test
Use your communications method (website, flyer, social media, etc.) to make sure everyone’s on the same page. Get yourself an official door person to check everyone’s proof and mask usage—so much easier if you don’t have to be the one to stress about it!
Tip #3: Embrace a Smaller Celebration
Anxiety and frustration aside, there’s actually a silver lining to post-COVID event planning. With a small guest list, thoughtful details, and a low-key venue, you have everything you need to make a truly memorable and high-style event.
Event planning tips for small celebrations:
Hire a customized events planner. Hosting a more intimate party frees up budget per guest, giving you more flexibility to hire the pros. Check out Social Hall Production’s events packages in the link!
Level up wedding planning with unique accoutrements. Customized events can include intimate performances, ultra-stylish decor, gorgeous bar and catering packages, and even travel. Turn what would be a 5-hour “traditional” wedding into a weekend extravaganza or multi-stage production!
Take it international (safely!). Whether you’re planning a destination wedding, family getaway, or corporate retreat abroad, a small guest list can mean a more ambitious events schedule. (Be sure to research COVID traveling tips to make sure you optimize your destination planning, travel restrictions, and safety precautions.)
Tip #4: Don’t Delay Your Reservations
My last tip: Don’t hesitate! With things getting back to normal, event planners, vendors, and venues are getting snatched up fast. Get ready for tons of holiday parties, spring and summer corporate events, and destination celebrations in the coming year... Summer weddings are in full planning swing, and company retreats are already in the works for the warmer months and beyond. (Call it a mass FOMO reaction to quarantine… Everyone’s making up for lost time!)
If you’re looking at peak-season booking, you may have tight competition for your preferred dates, locations, and vendors. If you’re getting married and planning a wedding, it’s important to take time and enjoy your engagement, but not so much you miss out on a great event. Book now to get the best for your budget and vision, or hire a professional to get everything squared away with a full-service checklist.
Ready to plan your perfect wedding, party, retreat, or anniversary? Get in touch to make it something extraordinary!