From music festivals to trade shows – since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, such events suddenly became a taboo. Meanwhile, these restrictions have been relaxed in many places. Nevertheless, caution is required. Where it’s allowed, you have to ask: How is event planning during COVID-19 even possible? What social distancing and safety measures need to be taken?
Physical distancing rules are supposed to ensure that people do not endanger one another during the pandemic. In particular on occasions where many people come together – in countries where regulations even allow such gatherings. Recently, German scientists from the University of Halle organized a test concert to see if large events in enclosed spaces might be possible again.
Events and trade shows despite the pandemic?
Indoors or outdoors? Event planners are considering different options how events, gatherings or trade shows might work. Already under discussions are concepts for theater shows; concerts with limited audience; and Christmas markets in the coming winter.
No matter what kind of event, hosting it will require major adjustments. Event planners need new concepts in order to implement strict regulations such as the maximum number of visitors, distancing rules, and hygiene measures and thus to guarantee the safety of their guests.
Central questions in event planning during COVID-19 are: How many people can participate in an event? How should entrances and paths be designed? How should common rooms and waiting areas be designed and dimensioned? Where will bottlenecks be formed? Where do you have to count on and plan for wait times? And how can you ensure that the maximum permissible number of people is not be exceeded?
Jörg Uhlig of PTV Group explains: “With software for pedestrian simulation, you can answer all of these questions and create reliable concepts.” Part of his job is to advise and assist organizers with his specialized knowledge. The software allows social distancing and safety rules to be considered according to current regulations. Evaluation possibilities identify potential hot spots, such as hurdles or temporary bunching-up of people that would cause minimum distancing rules to be broken. This helps optimize entrances and paths on the event premises.