It feels really close, doesn’t it? We’re hoping that normality - in whatever form that takes - is approaching for the UK.
Speak to anyone in the events industry and you’re likely to be met with plenty of overdue optimism. It’s been a tough time for the sector, but with lockdown finally easing, parties, events, and delayed weddings can finally re-enter the diary
You may be one of the countless people who had to delay a big celebration. If so, this is what you need to bear in mind before you re-book....
A reminder of the timeline
Earlier this year, the government set out a timeline for exiting lockdown and the gradual easing of restrictions. The plan, we were told, was for there to be next to no restrictions later this summer.
At the time of writing, these are the most important milestones to keep in mind if you’re planning an event.
- From 17th May, up to 30 people can meet outdoors, hospitality can serve guests inside, and indoor entertainment can resume. Outdoor events will be allowed for up to 4,000 attendees or 50 percent capacity (whichever is lower), and weddings of up to 30 attendees can take place.
- From 17th June, the government is hoping to scrap the two-metre rule and the wearing of face masks. It’s also hoped that larger venues will reopen at full capacity.
- From 21st June, the government is hopeful that all lockdown measures will be lifted, and life events such as weddings will be completely unrestricted.
It’s also important to note that, from 17th May, social distancing and close physical contact with others will be “a matter of personal judgment”, which of course makes planning events far easier (and more enjoyable).
Of course, all of this is subject to change, and it’s been made clear that this plan is dependent on various factors, but let’s work on the basis that it’s going to happen, shall we?
Are there any new risks?
It isn’t much fun continually repeating the safety guidelines for a pandemic, but they may have an impact on the planning of your event.
Despite this, we should keep in mind that we hopefully won’t be in a pandemic for much longer, therefore the following advice will largely be a personal choice and used at one’s own discretion.
Once the restrictions have lifted beyond June, you may still want to focus on:
- cleaning processes for hired rooms and accommodation;
- event food safety practices for handling, preparing, and serving;
- availability of PPE and cleaning products, should certain guests feel more comfortable with their presence.
Thankfully, the previous risk of having to cancel your big day is diminishing rapidly. We don’t know what’s ahead, but that’s true in all walks of life. Therefore, you can certainly book with much more confidence this summer.
Switching to an outdoor event
Good news: we’re probably going to see a surge in alfresco dining in the post-lockdown world, and that might benefit your event or wedding - big time.
If you were planning on holding the event indoors, why not opt for one of the warmer months and stage it outside, instead?
There are so many benefits on offer for doing this. You’ll be able to welcome more guests, the risk factor will drop considerably, and everyone will gain a much-needed dose of vitamin C.
2021 could be the year we all attend far more outdoor events, whatever the weather. And that’s no bad thing at all.
Keeping in mind your guests
Everyone has adapted to life under COVID-19 differently. Many have eased their way back into their own form of normality, while others are still cautious about mixing in public.
It’s important to be empathetic about your guest’s thoughts and concerns over COVID-19 - even when the pandemic has long ended.
When building your guest list, just give this factor some careful consideration. Although, thankfully, you’re likely to find that confidence rebounds pretty quickly after those crucial June dates.
So… what are you going to do?
We hope we’ve given you plenty of food for thought about your event. The takeaway today really is this: there hasn’t been a safer time to rebook your event during the last twelve months.
So, if you’re up for it, remember to get in touch with the Plato team to ensure all of your catering needs are taken care of!