As the world shifts to a new “normal” after COVID-19, so do in-person events. Bringing people back together for trade shows and conferences is a must, but we’ll need to do some prep work in order to assemble safely.

Meeting room design is one key aspect of in-person events that needs to be updated. Meeting spaces include environments like stage-and-audience setups for conferences, and areas within trade show exhibits for sales staff and prospects to meet in private.

Here’s how to keep your staff and attendees safe and healthy while gathering during a trade show or conference:


1. Nail the pre-planning

A safe event begins long before the doors open:

  • If you’re putting together a conference, finding the right private event space is essential. You’ll need a meeting room rental that is spacious enough to adhere to six-foot social distancing recommendations and equipped with good ventilation.

  • If you’re participating in a convention, find out what precautions the event host is taking. Most conventions will have stringent regulations, such as temperature checks for attendees. However, you may need to implement additional safeguards.

  • Keep your staff up to speed. Let them know what measures will be taken to protect them, and make sure they’re aware of social distancing and mask-wearing protocols.

  • Prepare those involved in your event or conference for questions and objections regarding health and safety guidelines. Your staff and event participants should be prepared to answer questions that may stem from a variety of viewpoints. They may even need to de-escalate situations, should attendees not agree with a specific policy.


2. Implement smart meeting room design

With stringent plans in place, it’s time to actually set up your meeting space.

  • Start with an intelligent layout. For conferences, create attendee seating that adheres to social distancing guidelines. Also be mindful of aisle space so that traffic flows in one direction without obstruction.

  • For trade show meeting room spaces within an exhibit, partitions are your best bet. Create an area where you can communicate in private, with both parties feeling secure and comfortable.

  • Use floor stickers, signs, and verbal instructions to help event attendees understand and adhere to the established safety precautions.

  • Enable your staff to keep areas sanitized, conduct social distancing demonstrations, wear and distribute masks, and assist participants.

  • Utilize technology to enhance communication while keeping staff and attendees at a safe distance. For example, you may need additional screens to maintain visibility for spread-out seating.

Also, be mindful of surface transfer risks. Instead of passing a microphone for conference panel questions, create an online space for attendees to digitally submit their comments and queries to moderators.


3. Keep it clean

On the day of the event, bear in mind that all the energy you put into planning and enforcing safety measures are fundamental to the success of your conference or exhibition. Being the epicenter of an infection outbreak is not great for your brand!

Provide hand sanitizer and PPE to staff and attendees, use cleaning agents deemed effective by the CDC, and don’t hesitate to firmly enforce safety guidelines when necessary.

Exhibit Options is proud to provide event solutions that are safe, stylish, and functional. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any trade show or conference needs, from custom COVID-safe exhibits and partitions to beautiful meeting room design and furnishings.