The COVID-19 pandemic has created lots of different hiccups for anyone looking to have normal events. The bad news is normal as we knew it prior to the pandemic isn’t returning for some time, but thanks to research and scientific advancements, we now understand how the virus is transmitted. This means we can take extra precautions and do in-person events the right way for networking. The good news is these events can also be hybrid events as well. Ultimately, if the goal is to hold in-person events, the key is to have the proper considerations in place going forward.
There are several things to consider about holding these events. When it comes to the different considerations, what was once simple is now complex. Regardless of whatever path is chosen for holding networking events, the key is to be patient with everyone involved. Participants may be very excited for in-person events while others would be less enthused. For network leaders, the key is making sure everyone on the network feels satisfied with how everything is set up. Never let the desire to hold an in-person event lead to the degradation of the network. It is always important to listen. Here are the things to consider for holding in-person events.
Location, Location, Location
The biggest issue facing folks looking to have in-person networking events is where to hold these events. According to the CDC, the problem with indoor events come from having multiple people inside and the air not circulating as robustly as air circulates outdoors. Therefore, when considering an indoor location having ventilation is critical. If there are windows, the best thing to do is have them open and letting the breeze come through. Setting up fans would be a great option as well. The goal is making sure the air is circulating.
The alternative to indoor events is outdoor events. There’s much to enjoy about being in the outdoors. Things to think about with outdoor events are where exactly will they be. The goal is making sure everyone is in a quiet, comfortable place where network members can interact without any issues. Another very important consideration is weather. If it’s too hot or too cold, too rainy or too sunny, these could be massive issues. The goal is always making sure the setting is conducive to meeting. If meeting outdoors but under a covering like a gazebo, this could alleviate some issues as well. Many parks have pavilions that can be used for a meeting. Check them out because they’re a good solution for in-person meetings.
Set Firm Rules
One of the keys for in-person meetings is how people conduct themselves. One of the keys is to wear a mask. According to the CDC, everyone should wear a mask when out in public. This must be the standard for a meeting. While some attendees may bristle at wearing masks, it should be a requirement and it is on the leader of the network to enforce the rules. Make sure masks are worn correctly. Social distancing needs to be in order as well. Make sure people are not on top of each other. Have hand sanitizer ready and require people to use the sanitizer before sitting down. Make sure people who have conditions exacerbating the risk of COVID have an alternative means to attend the meeting. Having firm rules shows how seriously a network leader takes the pandemic.
Create an Orderly Entry Process
People should not pile into the room or to the outdoor location. Figure out a way to have masks available for attendees to wear long before they get near the other attendees. Maybe a box of masks right next to a box of hand sanitizers near where everyone parks would be a great option. Think about the area in which the event takes place. What are the ways in and where would people need to go? These questions will inform the safety decisions taking place. Ensuring the process to attend is orderly – including how to sign up to attend – means the event will go off smoothly.
Create a Virtual Option
Even if meeting outside, having a data plan allows the meeting to be streamed via Zoom or some other system. The virtual option is important because many people are still not comfortable attending networking meetings in person. Set up these options and make sure connectivity is a go. Don’t exclude people because they are cautious, otherwise they will search for another network. Having a wealth of options is going to ensure a network remains close and the people feel included, even if they can’t all be together.
Getting back to work is very important, and any chance there is to safely give normalcy to the people in the network it should be taken. Think about these different issues and it will help make sure that any networking events go well. Learn more @ NETWORKLEADEXCHANGE.COM.