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How to organize safe events during a global pandemic?

Being an event planner during a global pandemic might be the worst nightmare that you can ever think of. However, these are things that we have little control over and require us to adapt accordingly. As we get used with living under imposed government restrictions, we can see several precautionary measures being removed from our daily lives.

Unfortunately, this new virus is directly related to mass gatherings, which are at the forefront of hosting events. Among the first precautionary measures imposed by governments was to restrict and put on pause the world of live events. During these challenging times, members of the meetings industry create complicated scenarios and endless debates on what it takes to organize events in such a global pandemic.

Therefore, this article is going to focus on different measures that can help our beloved world of live events to get back to normal during these unprecedented times. It is important to keep in mind that precautionary measures are extremely important, and we will only succeed by following strict guidelines. As we speak, an increasing number of events are either cancelled or postponed. Those that are postponed will soon have to take place and event organizers should be prepared to host them accordingly.

Pre-event safety measures

  • Implement attendance policies and restrictions

Stay up to date and determine which countries may experience an upward trend in terms of Coronavirus cases. The John Hopkins live-tracker is a great tool that keeps you updated in real time. Try to impose restrictions and limit potential attendees that visited in the past 60 days countries with a high-risk of infection.

  • Filter participants based on country of origin

It might be a good idea to require international attendees to bring their passports for an additional layer of safety. Those participants that visited a high-risk country in the past 60 days should not be allowed to enter the event premises. However, make sure to consult local travel restrictions and guidelines before taking such decision.

  • Provide flexible cancellation policies given the current situation

If for some reason you decide to postpone or cancel your event, show that you care and enable participants to use tickets for future editions or apply refunds if there will be no future editions anytime soon.

  • Consider hosting a Hybrid event

In our previous posts, we’ve talked about the benefits of hosting hybrid events. Given the current situation that we all deal with, that of a global pandemic, hybrid events might be the answer to deliver events to a broad audience. This way, those failing the screening process can attend the event virtually from all over the world. Streams.live is a streaming solution designed to accommodate the needs of a hybrid event and it can keep your audience engaged with little to no effort.

  • Public health tracking through data collection waivers

Follow global privacy regulations and collect necessary information from your participants. If any incidents occur during your event, public officials should at least have a name and a contact number from those attending. In the given context of a global pandemic, this information is required to conduct epidemiological investigations. With Oveit, relevant data can be collected through registration forms (GDPR compliant) and attendees are required to fill those details before they receive their electronic tickets.

The form setup. You can choose from text, dropdown lists, email, dates and file uploads
  • Keep attendees updated with special event rules

Make sure that participants are well-informed and aware of any uncommon precautionary measures implemented. It can take the form of a newsletter and most organizers send these updates two-weeks in advance, one-week prior, three-days prior, one day prior and a small recap during the event day.

Impose day of event precautionary measures

  • Temperature screenings at the event venue

As you already know, one common Coronavirus symptom is high body temperature. Therefore, before entering the event premises, staff members should screen attendees with thermal scanners to decrease the risk of infection. Those with temperatures higher than 37.8C must be escorted to an isolation room for additional investigations.

  • Designated isolation holding room

Together with health agencies, event organizers might have to prepare an isolation holding room for suspected cases. This room should follow strict disinfection procedures and medical staff must be present.

  • Regular deep cleaning throughout the venue

Contract an experienced cleaning team that gets the job done. Make sure that high-touch areas, such as door knobs, stairs handrails, chairs, registration areas and bathrooms are cleaned more often. Appropriate disinfectant substance should be used for deep cleaning.

  • Display health notices at the venue

Place health notices throughout the venue, especially in areas where attendees tend to crowd. These should include social distancing reminders, frequent hygiene practices, and other relevant precautionary measures.

  • Safety measures for Food & Beverage providers

Communicate with food vendors well in advance and educate them on best practices on how food should be served during your event. For example, instead of open buffets, advise them to serve individually wrapped food. If your F&B providers insist on using open buffets, make sure that they use splash and sneeze guards or other relevant food safety measures.

  • Hand sanitization devices around communal areas

Forcing people to use bathrooms for hand hygiene is not a good option since it compromises social distancing rules. Instead, a good backup plan is to place hand sanitizer dispensers in key areas, especially nearby meal, and beverage stations.

Follow-up after the event

  • Post-event surveys

Use these surveys to analyse your event’s success, but also to find out if any of those who attended are feeling unwell to avoid the spread of the virus.

  • Prepare attendee data if necessary

If public officials need the attendee data to conduct an epidemiological investigation, make sure that you have it handy and ready to go. Time is extremely important in such investigations.

In summary

Remember, these are general guidelines and before applying any of them make sure to double check with local authorities. We hope that events will get back to normal as soon as possible, but before that, better be safe than sorry.

At Oveit, our mission is to help event organizers accomplish their goals, even during challenging times. We try to find innovative ways in which our technology can be used in force majeure situations. Hopefully, these guidelines will help you get back and running.

Stay safe!

We pledge our tech against Coronavirus: 8 ways to fight the disease

More and more people are being reported as infected with the COVID-19 virus which causes the Coronavirus Disease. As many communities all across the world are being challenged by this epidemic we, as citizens of the world need to stay united and ask ourselves: what can we do to help?

This is the exact question we’ve asked ourselves. Can our work fight against this epidemic? Can we use tech against Coronavirus?

The answer is yes, we can. We are already a company dedicated to supporting local communities. Now we pledge our technology and support to any community affected about the Coronavirus outbreak. No strings or costs attached.

Photo credit by CDC on Unsplash

Here’s how we can help:

1. Use cashless and contactless payments to avoid spread of the Coronavirus disease through cash

The most common way for coronaviruses to spread is through person to person transmission. You can check details here . Don’t forget when getting your news – always trust verified sources, especially on health issues.

However, Covid-19 can survive on different types of inanimate objects for up to 9 days, as estimated by a March 2020 study published in the journal of Hospital Infection. This, in turn, allows inanimate surfaces such as money to become sources of infection.

Our contactless technology has been developed for usage in closed loop environments such as events, venues and hospitality resorts. This means places and areas where many, many people congregate.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? You can use Oveit Pay to allow cashless and contactless payments in areas that are not yet accustomed to these new means of payments, thus reducing potential dangerous interactions.

Contactless payments tech against coronavirus
Contactless payments tech for everyone

If you want to reduce the exchange of currency in your community, thus reducing infection chances, we are here to help. Do reach out. We are ready to help without any cost.

2. Access control to quarantined areas

Oveit was designed to manage access to very large events or venues. Therefore it is built for speed, reliability and flexibility.

Access control tech against covid-19 virus

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? Quickly set up an access management system to quarantined communities.

The system can operate either using NFC cards (the same technology used in contactless payment cards) or biometric facial features, if you need a higher level of security and less contact.

While we are not experts in the field we assume that just as with all large gatherings, you will need different access rights and roles. This can be easily set up for let’s say medical professionals, logistics personnel or general public.

3. Use tech to manage patient history and tracking in improvised treatment spaces

Given its mild symptoms, longer incubation and high infectivity rate, Coronavirus infections tend to spread very fast. This leaves public health facilities stretched and new treatment areas have to be added fast. With high stress and lacking sleep medical professionals need technological help to maintain patient data and trace-ability.

Our system is based on an infrastructure of managing visitors access, interactions history and journey. It is also built to run anywhere, in the cloud, with mobile interfaces.

NFC wristbands tech against Coronavirus infections
Medical NFC wristband for patient tracking and history

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus? Deploy the patient tracking and history system anywhere, without complicated hardware and software setup.

All that’s needed is NFC wristbands which can be shipped fast, mobile devices which are probably already available to anyone and an internet connection.

We can also help you connect the collected data to external, more specialized health management systems.

4. Tech against Coronavirus: rationing for goods, services, medical supplies and fuel

We’ve developed a system where any person that joins a specific group (whether it is an event, venue or community) can get access to specific items. We call these things add-ons.

The add-ons can be fixed (let’s say everyone gets a certain quantity of food) or it can be changed according to needs.

Let’s say everyone is entitled to the same amount of goods such as food or water but some specific cases need a bit more medical supplies.

US Gas stamps
US gas stamps for the 1973 oil crisis. They were printed but never used.

In times of crisis or disaster relief, the community used to issue specific tokens, such as the 1973 oil crisis stamps (see right).

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus effects? Access to the rationing can be done as previously mentioned via cards, wristbands or biometric usage. It can also be built into citizen apps where they can track usage, remaining ratios and more.

Historically the issuing of such tokens used to be cumbersome as it entitled certain logistics that were hard to manage, such as printing, shipping, distribution, managing identities and more. Now everything is digital and can be used in an instant.

5. Edge economies for communities that don’t have access to internet

All of the above are fine and all but sometimes crisis bring down core infrastructure such as electricity or internet.

Our technology is used in places that are usually unreliable, have a high technological stress and where deployment has to be done fast and securely and people are sometimes under the influence of unknown substances. Namely: festivals and large venues.

We’ve developed a system where areas that are either not connected to the internet or have unstable internet connections can have a local economy based on local hardware. They will hold a distributed ledger of value, transactions and allow monetary and value exchange until core infrastructure is restored.

We packed this into a hardware-software product we call the Edge Box and it looks like this:

Edge technology for affected communities
The Oveit Box helps communities that are disconnected from the internet and need a local way of managing value transactions. We think they’re especially useful in crisis situations and during festivals.

How can you use this tech to fight against Coronavirus caused outages? Using the Edge Box we can help you set up edge payments in your community that can operate as independent value exchange media for your citizens, local businesses and allow life to continue until life returns to normal.

Why is it called edge? Because it operates at the edge of the cloud.

6. Build a local economy that can operate even if disconnected from the outside world

In times of need communities tend to create economies naturally but they are usually unsustainable because of the usual underground distribution and analogue means of trading.

We think that in such extreme cases the community can still operate like a closed economy where specific actors in the economy can exchange with one another. Basically businesses can be onboarded and citizens can access their goods via virtual payment tokens that can be purchased either with traditional currency or with government issued credits.

Basically this shrinks the overall concepts of the open economy (the one we are all accustomed to) and offers it to a local community.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus caused economic distress? This will allow the natural flow of goods, money and services that exist in that economy to operate in a quasi-normal way, all while being digitally connected to the financial system (bank, card payments and such)

7. Setup time banks

As Investopedia notes “Time banking is a system of bartering various services for one another using labor-time as a unit of account […]. Labor-time units can be credited to a person’s account in the time bank and redeemed for services from other members of the time bank. Time banking can be considered a form of community currency.”

This idea has been around for quite some time but it hasn’t really gained much traction outside of small communities. The reason? Scalability and safety issues when managing these types of ledgers.

How can you use this tech against Coronavirus caused economic problems? In closed environments such as a quarantined community, this can work as a very good exchange medium. Imagine the bakery providing bread and its value being accounted by the time being spent to manufacture the bread. The currency, time, can be exchanged afterwards into goods from other local sources.

Here’s a brief video describing the concept:

In quarantined communities exposed to Covid-19 work becomes a problem. Large gatherings are stopped and the trading of basic goods can move in the underground economy, cause supply issues and increase criminal activity.

8. Enable crypto payments to ensure economic continuity

This doesn’t necessarily affect the communities infected with Covid-19 but in times of crisis the financial system can be overwhelmed. For example in the case of the Yes Bank bankruptcy in India the cash withdrawals have been blocked.

In troubled financial systems such as Venezuela’s ecosystem, even very large institutions such as the Central bank and largest gas company are contemplating switching to Bitcoin as means of payments. The failure of financial policies has left the country unable to manage financial flow and has lead to civil unrest.

In extreme cases pandemics can bring the economy to its knees. In such cases the social structures are overburdened by existing efforts in disease containment. The disease is treated as an war effort and everything outside of it becomes second. Cryptocurrencies can work as stable coins in times of high economic stress and alleviate stress on governmental structures.

If you think these solutions can work for your community, we are very happy to help and we are always on the call to offer advice, help or our pledged services.

And again – this pledge means using our solution is free for any community affected by the COVID-19 virus and any help requested is confidential and on a need to know basis.

Stay safe!