10 Tips to Safely Prepare Your Nonprofit for In-Person Events
The past year has undoubtedly transformed the way you will host events in the future and in 2021 especially. As the world opens back up with more events and activities, it’s going to take some extra planning to ensure your event is safe and successful. We’ve compiled a list of tips on how your nonprofit can safely prepare and accommodate for in-person events when the time comes.
- Follow the Rules
To start, make sure you are following all CDC guidelines and specifically those put in place for your state. This ensures the safety and health of your community. Being as safe as possible will help comfort your attendees as this might be one of the first events they attend this year! If you are having your event at a venue, confirm that it’s following all health and safety protocols to keep your guests and community safe. The best way to ensure your guests are 100% safe is by verifying vaccinations or having them provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
2. Provide Open Communication
Before your event even begins, make sure all the rules and precautions your organization is taking are very clear to attendees. Explain and allow attendees to visualize how each step of your event will work from checking-in to dining. Be flexible and update your attendees on any changes before the event takes place. During the event, make sure you have signage that reinforces any rules in place so people remember to stay safe and distanced.
3. Keep it Small & Short
To keep things as safe as possible, your upcoming events will likely have to be downsized compared to past years. It’s important to keep your guest list at a safe and comfortable size to ensure you can keep social distancing in place. If you are at a venue, verify the capacity numbers put in place and make sure you don’t go over by setting a limited number of tickets. On top of cutting down your guest list, it will be important that your event is shorter as well. The longer your event, the higher you could put attendees at a risk.
4. Make it Hybrid
Some people might not be comfortable attending your event in-person yet, or maybe you have supporters out of town who want to participate. Either way, this is a great way to maximize your efforts and get people involved with your event safely from home. There are many things you can do to make your event hybrid.
- Have a live stream of your event on YouTube or Facebook to allow those at home to feel a part of your special event.
- Keep your followers updated on your event by posting live event updates on social media. A great way to get guests involved is by giving your event a hashtag like #HelpingHandsGala2021
- Encourage guests to give a donation in place of coming to your event if they aren’t comfortable with attending in-person.
5. Mask Up With Your Brand
As a token of your appreciation and to ensure guests are masked up, hand out masks with your nonprofit’s logo on them to each guest as they check-in. This is a great way to not only stay safe but also market your organization.
Bonus tip: have guests send in mask selfies with the event hashtag to social media for some extra exposure about your event and organization!
6. Host Your Auction & Bidding Online
You don’t have to cut your annual auction or raffle. Make it possible by having guests bid on auctions items and raffles online utilizing DonorView. You can set up a preview page of each of your items and allow guests to bid online or even on their phone at the event! All guests will be notified when they have been outbid or selected as a winner. Anyone participating will have to have a card on file, so at the end of the event you can easily process these payments automatically in DonorView.
7. Take it Outdoors
Summer is conveniently coming up, so if the weather permits, host your event outdoors! This is a great way to ensure more comfort and airflow at your event. This also allows you to increase your space and allows guests to be more spread out during the event. Here are a few outdoor event ideas to get you going:
- Picnic or BBQ
- Golf Outing
- 5k or 10k
- Outdoor Concert
- Car Wash
- Outdoor Talent Show/Movie
- Community Yard Sale
8. Skip the Buffet
If your event revolves around food, avoid crossing germs and having people up out of their seats by having pre-boxed or plated meals already prepared for your event attendees. This will help minimize unnecessary foot traffic and allow people to feel more comfortable while dining at your event. To make things easier when it comes to sorting out meal options, DonorView allows you to ask attendees what their meal preferences are when buying event tickets.
9. Stay 6 Feet Apart
Filling up tables of 10 will be a thing of the past for now. Create an open floor plan that is distanced for all of your guests to attend comfortably. Make sure your tables and seats are grouped six feet apart to ensure the safest event possible. You can group your tables and seating by families or groups by planning out seating arrangements right in the DonorView software and verify with guests right at the door.
10. Keep it Clean
Make sure you increase your cleaning measures before, during and after your event. This is essential to ensure your space is up to par on your event day. It will also be important to have hand sanitizing stations at every table or spread out around your event. This is another simple way to ensure the cleanliness of your space and guests.
For more information on hosting events and gatherings, check out this article from the CDC.