#2020isover is not just a hashtag on social media. It is a dream, a vision, a want, a prayer, a wish, a hope and a NEED! Small business owners, events, venues, restaurant, and most importantly all our customers are missing the open doors living and fun we had in 2019. In my 25 years of tenting, I never imagined that one day I would be writing a blog, let alone a blog during a global pandemic with advice on how to plan a party during one! We all deserve to let loose and enjoy a birthday, anniversary or a wedding with our loved ones! This can happen. Perhaps a few beer gardens would tickle your fancy! I know I can’t wait to be in a public venue, enjoying a few beverages while listening to a local band with friends and family. So, the main question is, Can I throw a Party in a Pandemic? The answer is YES!
There is ongoing concerns about crowds and continued urging to maintain safe social distancing practices during the pandemic. Renting tents can be a solution to your party needs. You can make the best choices for a safe and fun gathering by understanding how to best rent a tent. Many companies have shut down or stopped taking calls. Some have adapted and learned how to stay safe and essential while providing Tent and Event Rentals to their communities. This blog is to be used as my personal guidance and suggestions to help you Party in a Pandemic, but obviously you should first follow your local & state health dept. guidelines to assist with your decisions. After all, you and your loved ones are most important! Below are some steps to take and consider when Planning your next Party:
Choosing your Location:
Many venues have closed, or restricted attendance based off their State & County Health Dept. Rules. In 2020, Weddings were canceled, deposits lost, or dates were postponed. What we are seeing in 2021 is Love is Essential and life cannot wait. It is particularly important that you find a venue or location to fit your wants and needs. If you want a large party, it will need to be outdoors for multiple reasons like less restrictions, fresh air, social distancing, and more. There are many options available for your location. Local parks, church properties, backyards, farm pastures, neighbor’s lot, relative’s yard, etc. Don’t leave any rock unturned, some event companies may have a list of potential venues they work with. Many churches, parks, and fairgrounds have not utilized their properties for months and may be looking for some additional income to offset lack of patrons. In most cases an outdoor tent would completely replace typical indoor venues, not only with more room to move, but also providing better natural air circulation. The next step will be important when deciding your location.
Knowing your Guests:
This is a 2-part assignment. Part 1, I may seem cold, but you need to evaluate each guest. Do you want to have a fantastic memorable event? Then make sure you are inviting the guests that will support what you are doing, enjoy the moment, and will in fact show up. In this time, opinions and politics get in the way of feelings. Know your guests, means you will have to ask yourself and them some important questions. I am open for adult conversations regarding anything and everything, without causing a scene, but not all people are open or willing to listen or be cordial. Now is not the time to invite your unfiltered loud classmate, drunken cousin, or super hygienic coworker. We all want to have a great time at our personally funded, pandemic proof, safely planned event. Part 2, you need to know the quantity of guests early, have a maximum number in mind. The location of your party and the quantity of your guests corelate. You may choose your location based off your guest count or you may choose your guest count based off your location. These times are tough and for many reasons people may choose not to show up to your event. It is important to call your guests, over communicate your event by emails, save the date cards, and make a Facebook group to continue the communication.
Finding your Event Provider:
An important task during the planning of any event is finding the right vendor or provider. There are many factors that can contribute to who you hire. Prices, Customer Service, Quality of Equipment, Years of Experience, Reviews Online, and the Inventory they may have available. These are important, but you will need to find out one more thing. What are the procedures or guidelines that the vendor follows to keep their company safe and essential? The American Rental Association offers a Safe. Essential. Training course for Rental companies to keep their equipment and staff operating during this pandemic. If you want your event or party to be safe, make sure the vendors or company you hire communicate with you their solution for providing a safe environment for you, your loved ones, and patrons. Don’t assume they are all doing the same. #nwitents
To keep your loved ones and patrons safe, you will need to setup some simple rules for safety during these times. Social Distancing, masks, hand washing stations, vendor cleanliness, temperature station, symptoms, etc. Follow the local guidelines and what you feel will best protect you and your event. You will need to set some rules and post them. Perhaps try a Pinterest idea of a decorative chalk board or old door. You could send the rules on social media, maybe even a waiver to sign at the entrance of event. Once you know your guests and the local safety guidelines, you can determine some simple rules. Some areas are opening up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have some simple safe rules for your event.
Enjoy the Party:
Finally, go on and Enjoy the Party! You worked hard planning this event and stressing over the details. So, make sure you have help. Whether it is an event planner, assistant, parent, friend or employee, you need support. Positive, appreciative, responsible and helpful support. You should enjoy the event that you just planned. So, make sure the day of, you have the people there to take the questions and problems that arise off your plate. I suggest doing a pre-walk of the event with the support group and vendors. This should include a timeline, layout of event items for the vendors, ownership of different parts of the event, and weather-related contingency plan, for example sidewall, heaters, or fans. Everyone should be on the same page. Now go out there and enjoy the Party in a Pandemic!
Thanks for reading! I hope that this can help you plan your next event.