Plan For It: 2020 Event Planning Preparedness

So, it’s 2020. Hi. We’re here. Events have never been more daunting to plan, with so many added pressures and requirements to factor in. Here at A Spice of Life, we’ve always prioritized being able to help our clients be guests at their own successful event. What does that mean in 2020? First of all, safety is key! A little extra preparedness goes a long way, and we’ve got your comprehensive checklist of sanity-saving to-dos right here.

Prepare your space:

– Have plenty of sanitizing agents at hand in potentially high-traffic areas (bathrooms, entrances, the bar) as well as convenient locations to dispose of Clorox wipes, paper towels, etc. The less people have to move throughout your space, the better.

– Keep an open floorplan with as much space between tables as possible. 6 feet is the minimum, but more doesn’t hurt!

– Limit the number of guests per table, and try to group people to minimize distinct numbers of households per table. Yes, unfortunately sometimes this might mean that it’s safer to split up your bridal party so they can sit with the people they live with, rather than at a head table.


Prepare your guests:

– Be sure to check in with your guests for their safety beforehand, to gauge how they are feeling and answer any questions they might have.

– Know where your guests are traveling from, how they’ll be traveling and how they’ll maintain their safety and the safety of those around them. Ensure that you trust each individual who will be present, and be thoughtful about your higher-risked guests when planning your guest list.

– With more + more states across the US requiring face masks be worn in public spaces, help your guests by adding them to your dress code, or even provide them to your guests! Masks can be a chic statement piece and a great takeaway favor.


Prepare your vendors:

– Ask your vendors what they are doing to accommodate safe event protocols, and ensure that your comfort level is being met by them. See what event vendors of all stripes are saying about their visions for the future here.

– Lean into socially-distanced meal choices that don’t require guests to share serving utensils. For now, we heavily discourage family-style or self-serve buffet meals in favor of plated meals, multicourse small-plates tasting menus, or chef-attended stations. Still so many options, while keeping things safe!

If you’re working with an established venue (as opposed to a private property), make sure you remain apprised of their rules and regulations regarding capacity, rescheduling, cleaning protocols, etc. Not sure what your venue’s policy is on, say, packing the dance floor? Don’t hesitate to ask!


Prepare for change:

– State regulations change frequently, and as such, so might the way your event functions and flows. Keep a steady eye on what’s most important to you and be prepared to pivot quickly as the world around you shifts.

– Create a flexible plan that includes remote-accessible options for guests who cannot attend because of heightened risk. Fortunately, 2020 is a great time to rely on technology for this!

– Consider hosting entire pieces of your event virtually. Check out this breakdown of how to best engage your virtual attendees.


Prepare to make things memorable:

– With smaller guest counts and shifting timelines, the event landscape as we know it is inherently more communicative and interactive than before. Use this to your advantage in incorporating special elements of interconnectivity in the lead-up to your event. Send out relevant updates to your guests, host a Discord server to increase hype, and open a group Spotify playlist for your guests to contribute to!

– If you’re planning a wedding postponement, be sure to celebrate the original date in a commemorative way. Consider holding a group Zoom call on that date with your wedding party and any VIP guests, to mark the date and get some face time with your favorites. And definitely pop some champagne; it’s still your day and you deserve to celebrate your love!

– Communicate, communicate, communicate! Your vendors and attendees are all sure to treat your situation with compassion; this year has been hard on everyone, and the traditional promises of events are all being thrown out the window.

We know it’s tough; cheers to you for undertaking such a big task! Ready to start planning your event? We’re here to help! Give us a call or drop us a line!