Inside Events & Festivals - April 2020

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Inside Events and Festivals The official publication of the Washington Festivals & Events Association

A Conversation for Post COVID-19 Healthy Lifestyle Events : Page 11 •

4 Steps to Rebuild Event Confidence : Page 4

Special COVID-19 Sponsorship Section: Page 7

2020 WFEA Conference Rescheduled: Page 9

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


The Lineup Rebuild Event Confidence During COVID-19 Event rental expert Robin Denny outlines essential steps to get special events rolling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Self Care for the Event Industry How to cope with E.A.S.E (Event Anxiety Separation Experience) as a result of sudden or anticipated isolation and limited outlets to perform and assemble.

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WFEA 2020 Conference Rescheduled October 13-15, 2020 Red Lion, Bellevue WA

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Post COVID-19 Healthy Lifestyle Events Thinking about what changes we might encounter as we enter the new normal so we can begin planning for future race operations

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WFEA Membership Directory View WFEA’s first ever membership directory

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Inside Events and Festivals April 2020 Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020

3 Washington Festivals & Events Association

Four Steps to Rebuild Event Confidence During COVID-19 By Robin Denny, CORT Party Rental

Robin Denny Contact Information

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020

CORT Party Rental Contact Information


Event rental expert Robin Denny outlines essential steps to get special events rolling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


t’s inevitable that the events will change as we gradually start to emerge from our COVID-19 lockdowns across the country. The emotional toll that the quarantine and life changes have taken on our society will be imprinted on our collective psyches for years to come. However, we live in an interconnected world that still needs our energy and contributions to the economy, along with the joys and reasons to celebrate occasions in our lives. As event professionals, one of our first challenges in the new world is how to rebuild the confidence of our event attendees so they feel comfortable interacting and attending events. So how does an event professional ensure biosecurity in the new normal? 1. Attendee health screenings: While temperature checks vary by person, time of day, and general accuracy of the equipment used, setting up a healthscreening station before the entrance to the event tells the attendee that the organizer takes individual health and group health seriously. This can be as simple as a station with a thermometer temperature check and a few general health questions before the start of the event. 2. Greater attention to sanitization of the venue and food preparation: Event professionals will need to have a comprehensive cleaning plan that is openly and frequently communicated to clients and attendees. This can include expanded janitorial services, additional sanitizing stations throughout the event space, and ongoing signage and communication to help attendees recognize changes in health that could impact others. 3. Options for social distancing: Again, event professionals will need to have a comprehensive plan to provide space to help people separate, which is the polar opposite of how events have operated in the past. Some options to consider are creating additional seating outdoors or under a temporary shelter, or repurposing other rooms as smaller gathering spaces. Seating plans will need to expand to allow room between guests and, overall, more space will be needed on the event site. 4. Finding new ways to celebrate: While the explosion of Zoom and Houseparty happy hours has consumed much of our social media space, we are human and we thrive on real-life connectivity. The value of collaborative interactions cannot be understated both as part of our collective society and to our individual psyche. Event professionals will have to reassess company picnics, holiday parties, conferences, and leadership meetings to balance in-person interactions while considering sanitization and social distancing

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020

A sanitizer station from CORT Party Rental

parameters. The focus will continue to be on giving people more space around them and providing clear communication on the steps being taken to ensure a healthy, clean environment. Bonus idea! Bringing back bowing as a form of greeting: In Japan, for example, many individuals live in close quarters with one another and have pretty much perfected the art of limited contact. As a society, they have kept a focus on cleanliness and personal health as a normal part of their lives. The Japanese were also wearing masks when they were sick long before it was cool to do so. So, when thinking about the bow, well, that sounds like a great replacement for the handshake in our new world. Both event planners and attendees will struggle to find our footing as we determine our new operating parameters in response to COVID-19. However, getting off on the right foot to rebuilding attendee confidence in returning to the workplace must begin with a focus on ways to increase space for social distancing and on venue sanitization. Together we will pull through this challenge and find a path forward to reconnect on a personal level.

Robin Denny is the director of sales for CORT Party Rental in Seattle. She holds a BA in communication and a master’s degree in business administration. In addition, she is a CERP through the American Rental Association and a CPCE through the National Association of Catering and Events.


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Self Care for the Event Industry By Michael Kithcart, Caravel Marketing


Caravel Marketing


Caravel Marketing

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Caravel Marketing



vents have become a mainstay in our lives as a way to celebrate, unite, and be entertained. Live events and sponsoring these events, have been steadily on the rise over the past decade. However, the current crisis has caused us to support our events, causes and community in drastically differently ways – including finding different ways to unite and connect while being in separate spaces. While we are all going through similar scenarios, we especially want to wrap our arms around the people who produce, market, sell, and execute events. People who work in the event industry, from cultural arts to state fairs and park districts, are naturally drawn to live experiences. They have chosen a profession built around bringing people together. They thrive on the energy that is created by the collective gathering. And now we are not gathering at all. This has been disappointing to the audiences, participants and sponsors that attend their favorite events, and particularly devastating to those who make the experiences possible. Seasons and annual events have been canceled. Others are operating under best-case and worst-case scenarios while waiting to decide whether to reschedule or cancel. We recently learned that there is likely to be a $9 billion loss in the event industry. In addition to the drastic economic impacts, we are seeing the severe effects of the social and mental health in the events community – from attendees, producers, and supporters. The industry as a whole is perhaps the most extraverted collective around and therefore may also be suffering from, what we are calling, Event Anxiety Separation Experience (E.A.S.E.) – a strain on physical and mental conditions as a result of sudden or anticipated isolation and limited outlets to perform and assemble. Here are some way to cope with E.A.S.E.

Engage with Your Audience: 1. Run a photo contest on social channels by having fans send in their favorite photos from your event in prior years. Give away tickets for next year or later this year if applicable.

3. Check in with individuals more frequently. Ask how they are doing and what they’re struggling with. Reassure, help them move forward, address their concerns.

Engage with Your Self: 1. Rest – you’ve no doubt been running on empty for years and you worked double time to make decisions on this year’s events. Hard decisions have already been made and more will come. Rejuvenate now while you can. There will be plenty to do and rebuild soon enough. Naps are allowed and encouraged when anyone is feeling weary. 2. Dwell in possibility – give some space and time to daydream, play out different ways you can reimagine your event for the future. There is an opportunity in this phase to examine all aspects of an event, how audiences interact with it, how people give, what sponsors are going to need in the future. The pandemic has taught us we are experiencing something we’ve never experienced before. What if that approach (not outcome) was applied to your event. 3. Acknowledge the fluctuation of being productive, exhausted, lost and inspired. This might happen over the course of a week, a day or even an hour. Realize there are a lot of other external and internal elements that are factoring into the ability to focus and have energy. Notice where you are and how long you’re staying in any one mode. If it’s for longer than a day or two, be deliberate in changing one or two things to balance out the ebbs and flows.

Michael Kithcart is a Strategy Consultant at Caravel Marketing. Throughout her career, Michael has transformed organizations, created divisions, organized startups and enhanced the effectiveness of individuals and teams. She is a leader in working with organizations to develop strategic initiatives that meet and exceed sponsorship sales goals.

2. Re-release prior year sizzle reels with a message at the beginning and end about looking forward to getting together again soon. 3. Release a sizzle reel of the top moments in the last few years to remind fans how much they love your event/ team/organization.

Engage with Your Event: 1. If you can, go take a site walk, individually or as a team, with proper social distancing. Take notes on what you’d do differently, change, or ideas that come to you. 2. If you can’t do a site walk, lead a visualization exercise with the team on a Zoom call to accomplish the same thing. Engage the whole team so they can bring in their perspectives and ideas. This works for an annual fundraiser, temporary sites, as well as permanent sites.

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020




Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Photo: St Patrick’s Day Dash, 2020 Run Cancelled

A Conversation for Post COVID-19 Healthy Lifestyle Events By Tom Anderson, AndEvents, Inc. Tom Anderson Contact Information

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020



t this time, we don’t know of any specific guidelines that will be provided by public health, or the type of restrictions that will be imposed by our governments when we finally get the go-ahead to gather for fitness and celebration. But, it’s never too early to start thinking about what changes we might encounter as we enter the new normal. With that in mind, let’s start a conversation so we can all begin planning for future race operations. There will most certainly be a new emphasis on health at our events. So, how might the new rules affect your event, and how do you ensure the safety of all participants, staff, and volunteers? Remember, this is just a conversation laying out some ideas for consideration. The answers lay somewhere in the future.

Pre-race Communication Do you have a position statement that clearly describes the risk of attending? Should races do a health screening? Will you survey registrants? 1. Have you had cough/fever in the last week? 2. Will you agree to put medical contact info on the back of your bib#? 3. What is your perceived level of risk for participating (e.g. 1-low – 5-high)? Question: Should you consider sending back information to high-risk participants and those who express concern, suggesting that they participate virtually, or just stay away?

Packet Pickup Events It will remain important to limit crowds in a packet pickup location.

Photo: Whidbey Island Marathon, Rescheduled for September 13th

What are some options for a safe Gear Check? 1. Staff PPE 2. Everything must fit in an event-provided (sanitized) bag? 3. Pre-delivery to avoid crowding – Can participants drop items to a secure location before race day? Training runs – will group runs be impacted by restrictions?

1. Offer scheduled pickup times by alphabet or by reservation at assigned time slots. 2. Make a plan for lines in- and outside the facility adhering to social distancing guidelines. 3. Think about offering an option to mail packets in an effort to eliminate personal contact. Yes, this is an added expense, but it’s also a sponsor opportunity.

Question: If there is an expo associated with packet pickup, how do your sponsors feel about the prospect of less foot traffic, and their limited opportunities to interact with potential customers?

Would you consider limiting the size of your event or restricting activities?

Associated Event Logistics Race transportation – does everyone still crowd onto a bus? •

Can your event transportation vendor assure that the equipment is properly sanitized?

Gear check – does the event still collect, store and redistribute personal belongings?

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020

What is your comfort level for encouraging group runs that may not follow your event-based safety guidelines?

Safety for Staff and Volunteers Events may be required to provide PPE (gloves, mask, sanitizer) for all staff & volunteers. Are you prepared? Do you have a supplier?

The State, County, and City will certainly have some guidelines, and the recommendation of our Public Health authorities will be key to whatever restrictions are imposed.

Communicate with volunteer groups in advance to make sure they are comfortable in a potentially crowded public setting. Would you consider switching volunteer positions with paid labor positions to protect your concerned non-profit organizations & youth groups


Photo: North Olympic Discovery Marathon—2020 Virtual Race

Start Lines Be prepared to space out participants at the Start to reduce crowding. 1. Make corrals bigger or fill with fewer people. 2. Consider adding more waves to create more space between runners, and stretch out the field. Question: if it takes longer to get everyone across the Start Line, will that require events to request the use of City streets for a longer window of time? Will that result in higher permit fees?

Considerations for Course Operation What level of themselves? •






Should you (would you?) run with a mask?

Will you add more medical personnel and emergency medical staff on course? Will you avoid tunnels or places where air may get trapped in your course design? Where do spectators fall into your safety programs? •

Will you restrict spectator attendance?

Huffington Post, April 6, 2020: The likelihood of encountering the virus in this form is low for an average person. The virus doesn’t stay in the air enough to be a risk to people who are not physically near someone who is infected. This is because droplets from someone sneezing or coughing are typically much heavier than an aerosolized particle (1). (1) Tiny aerosolized particles linger in the air, hanging on dust particles. “They can travel long distances and can be easily breathed into the lungs,” Long said. “Respiratory droplets, which pose the primary risk of infection, tend to be about 20 times bigger, and travel around six feet or less before dropping to the ground.”

Post Race Festivals Are you prepared to limit activities to decrease crowding, contact points, and reduce risk? What will happen to food & drink sampling? What can you serve? Will there be different rules from the Health Department regarding food handling? 1. Are you prepared to only provide single-serve, prepackaged items? Will we be allowed to cut fruit or cut bagels? 2. Who can handle samples and post-race food?

What do you think about cup-less water stations?

• Are race volunteers able to hand out items?

• Can participants just “grab a bagel” any more?

Should participants supply their own cup? Or bottle? 3.

Should runners abide by social distancing on the course? •

What are the risk factors to running along-side and behind others ?

Note: Coronavirus particles can remain airborne briefly, but will generally be displaced by natural air movement. Public Health officials indicate that the risk is low (not NO) from being infected by floating particles.

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020

Does the food need to be put into a goodie bag? - Will we need pre-bag all items to reduce contact? 4. Are you ready to have a sanitation team wiping down tables? Question: Just like a scaled-down expo, if we reduce interaction between participants and samplers, does it change the value of sponsor investment and benefits for you post-event celebration?


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Photo: 43rd Annual Seafair Torchlight Run —July 25, 2020

What about medals? You’ve Finished? There are no high-fives, hugs and handshakes. But, can volunteers still drape a medal around a Finisher’s neck? •

How will you distribute and control your Finisher Medals?

Insurance & Legal Consider additional insurance requirements from your on-site sponsors. 1. Many venues already require a certificate of insurance from anyone serving food. Your race should request similar insurance protection from anyone sharing products that could potentially transfer the virus. Have you updated your waiver to reflect current risk factors associated with attending a public event? 1. Include a statement releasing the event from liability due to infection, as well as the normal injury and health risks. 2. Include a force majeure to have some protection from cancellation and postponement due to calamity, natural disaster, or pandemic. 3. Do you have a published position for refunds or deferrals? Make sure your refund statement is on both the waiver and the confirmation email.

3. Have you considered how the pandemic is going to affect fee schedules from your permitting office and facilities?

Public Service Impact Understanding that City/County budgets are also depleted, are you prepared to consider ideas that would replace city services with private vendors? 1. Flaggers instead of police at intersections 2. Private EMT vendors instead of Medic One. Question: Are you prepared to compromise or scale-down your event to reduce the impact to public sector services? Let’s keep this conversation going. The WFEA is happy to work with you to answer questions, and will provide information as government and health officials make their determinations. Thanks also to Running USA for some of the inspiration to create this conversation. Now that the wheels are turning, you can continue to follow public health guidelines, and the Governor’s timetable for reopening our state. We will know more soon. Until then, Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!

Pricing Should event entry fees be higher or lower? Which way does the pricing scale tip? 1. If attendance limits are imposed, your revenue potential will be diminished. 2. Even though your event may have limited activation and less celebratory feel, additional sanitation, new health and security efforts may actually raise costs.

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Click Here to View First Ever WFEA Membership Directory

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


Washington Festivals & Events Association 1015 Georgiana St. Port Angeles, WA 98362

Inside Event & Festivals, April 2020


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