7 Expert Tips to Designing a Safe In-Person Meeting

By now, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all become accustomed to meeting virtually, logging onto our laptops, and joining a video call instead of gathering in person in a conference room. And although this type of digital gathering is necessary in many cases, it has also created a whole new scourge—Zoom fatigue.

Of course, there’s no denying that in-person meetings are more effective (and exciting) than virtual ones. Live, in-person events provide the chance for spontaneous run-ins and networking opportunities with potential clients or business partners. That’s something that digital can’t really offer or replace.

The good news? If you plan responsibly and safely, you can bring back the energy of in-person events. Keep in mind, gathering restrictions and guidelines still differ from state to state and city to city. Still, it is possible to host an in-person meeting or event in some markets—especially if it’s outdoors—by adhering to local health and safety protocols related to COVD-19.

Want to design a safe yet visually inspiring meeting? Read on to learn some of CORT Events’ best practices and decor ideas for in-person events. Plus, their team is available for consultative calls to help you develop innovative, socially distant designs for your future events and meetings.

Take a sanitized seat

Similar to assigning desks in a classroom, allow your attendees to select their “sanctuary seat,” which will be theirs for the meeting duration. Also, be sure to space out seating according to CDC guidelines and label the “off-limits” chairs with social-distancing signage. CORT Events’ Safety Collection includes “Please Sit Here” and “Please Do Not Sit” decals that adhere to almost any seating surface, making it easy for attendees to claim a seat safely.

Adjust for a flexible headcount

Because guest counts and room capacities are fluid at the moment (for example, is the venue currently at 20% or 30% capacity?), plan your event budget on a “per person” basis, which allows for flexibility and adaptability.

Mix up the furnishings

To account for a more open, spaced-out floor plan, try using several different chair and table combinations in the same meeting area for a more interesting and dynamic look. Also, high-back seating offers a built-in barrier to help make your attendees feel comfortable and safe.

Customize dividers with logos or graphics

Strategically placing physical dividers—from minimalist transparent ones to lifelike greenery walls—around the event space helps provide an extra layer of protection for attendees, as well as an interesting decor element. For example, CORT Events’ freestanding clear, acrylic dividers can be personalized with your branding, so they blend in beautifully.

Make things easy to clean

When decking out a meeting space, consider using cafe-height tables since their hard surfaces can be easily sanitized, plus they allow enough space for a plated meal or boxed lunch.

Keep guests charged up

To help keep interaction to a minimum and to avoid unnecessary clustering of attendees, equip each guest with their own power source, such as CORT Events’ Tech Tablet Chair, so they can keep their devices charged while keeping their distance.

Design a safe stage setup

Use side tables and greenery to fill the 6-foot space between speakers on stage. Or, if space is limited, use clear dividers to keep them safe. And if you’re planning a hybrid meeting, make sure your staging looks as good to the folks tuning in virtually as it does to those in person.


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