Event Planning in the Times of Covid

2020 has been quite the year for anyone who planned to get married, host a gala or fundraiser, or just generally likes to celebrate special occasions with family and friends…

As the Operations Manager of Sound Wave Events, I have navigated many situations as COVID-19 has changed the event world in its entirety. We have had many comforting sessions with Brides who have had to change plans for their wedding, worked with non-profits who have had to  radically adjust strategies to reach fiscal goals and contribute to the important causes they represent. And most of all, we have seen dozens and dozens of small businesses in the event industry in our community suffer.

So what is the answer? Is this the end of social gatherings as we know them? A RESOUNDING NO! Things may look a little different, but human connection and celebration will always stand as a vital component of happiness and fulfillment in day to day life. We, as humans and businesses, are resilient! Here are some tips for event planning during these crazy times:

  • Adjust Your Location: If you are planning an event indoors and weather permits, move outdoors. This can go a long way to create space and help your guests feel safe. If you can’t move outdoors, seat less people at tables and consider a larger dance floor for dancing later in the night.
  • Offer Fun Gifts: Personalized hand sanitizer for each guest, specialty masks, and even a few people in full on hazmat costumes can add a little fun to the
  • Embrace the Joy of Decluttering Your Guest List: Just ask, does this guest spark joy??? 😉 Although cutting down your guest list may not be easy, it may be necessary based on local restrictions and health concerns. Review your guest list carefully and communicate openly with the guests that may need to be removed from the list. Share your love for them in other ways that won’t risk the health of you or your close family and friends.
  • Go Virtual: We have seen great success with many of our non-profits hosting their events and auctions virtually this year. What a shift! There is a local company called Valiant Productions who has mastered the digital experience complete with speakers, musicians, and auctions. This has created new opportunities for organizations, and they are seeing great success. There are also ways to live stream other special occasions that can be shared through mediums such as Facebook, Zoom, etc.
  • Hire Professionals: Event vendors are WARRIORS this year. We have seen it all and navigated some very tricky situations with events since restrictions began in March. Utilizing event professionals (event planners, caterers, DJ/MC, rental companies, etc) will reduce your stress immensely. Additionally, there will be an added amount of security knowing additional precautions have been taken by pros. Plus, professionals will have your back if any tricky situations come up.
  • Lean In: At the end of the day, none of us can change the situation we are in with this pandemic. The best this we can do for ourselves and others is to lean in. Understand what matters most – the moment you are celebrating. There is a silver lining in every dark cloud and what good can come from changes that have been made? Focus on those things.

There is hope for events now and in the future – and working together to make special moments memorable is the goal. The celebration will go on!

Carley Hibbard
Operations Manager
Sound Wave Events