How the 2020 Pandemic Reshaped Wedding Receptions, Anniversary Parties and More
It’s no secret that the 2020 pandemic changed the way people view and plan large-scale events, including wedding receptions, anniversary parties, family reunions, conferences, and more. However, the pandemic didn’t force people to cancel events all together, but rather challenge planners and event hosts about how to throw these events in unique ways. In this month’s blog, our talented event team explores how to host large-scale events, while ensuring guests’ comfort and safety without compromising fun, memorable moments.
Hybrid Events Are the Norm: The fact of the matter is, no matter how many safety protocols you may put in place for your event – wedding, family reunion, business conference – there will always be a handful of people not willing to attend in-person events for the foreseeable future – and no judgement here! However, this means that hybrid events – in-person and virtual attendees – are going to be incredibly popular moving forward. So, what does this mean for you? Have your event planner work with the in-house production team to ensure that:
Visible screens are present and easily seen by guests at all times:
Seating is strategically placed so virtual attendees are able to see the entire room, and not miss important moments
Pinpoint specific moments that virtual attendees can participate in – a special toast, a speech, or game
Make sure that sound quality is pristine heading into your event and have virtual attendees sign-in early to ensure they can hear and see everything they need to
Have a special virtual attendee kit sent to participants ahead of time – maybe it’s a charcuterie and cheese board with a split of champagne, box of chocolates, or slices of cake and party favors – something to ensure your virtual guests feel included during your event
Indoor-Outdoor Spaces: When planning your wedding, wedding reception or other event, try to pick a venue that has flexible indoor-outdoor space. By having indoor-outdoor space options, more attendees will have an extra layer of comfort knowing they can step outside for a breath of fresh air, or an indoor space to warm-up or cool down. This is a very simple way to ensure guests comfort, without compromising your event.
Health & Safety Measures: Everyone’s comfort levels are different when attending large (or small) scale events. However, there are some very simple things you can do to ensure everyone is comfortable at your wedding or event, including:
Provide hand sanitizer throughout your event – have hand sanitizing stations, or place small bottles of hand sanitizer on tables
Encourage Social Distancing – you don’t need to have signs that say, “Social Distance,” but it’s easy for you and you wedding/event planner to space tables properly, have floor markers for bar lines, and clear signage for food, drink, and restrooms, so guests are not up and about looking for these important event services
Offer masks for guests and staff – similar to the hand sanitizing stations, have masks available for guests and staff to use throughout the event. Even if guests don’t use the masks, it’s a considerate option to have available
For your convenience signs – make it clear if guests need to wear masks, sanitize, or take other precautions at your event. It’s easy to create signs that have language like, “While masks are not required at this event, we have provided them throughout the space, in addition to hand sanitizer, for your comfort”
Food for Thought: Buffet vs. Family-Style vs. Seated Meals: While buffets and family-style meals are still options following the pandemic, we have seen an increase in requests for seated meals. As you plan your event, food service should be top of mind. There’s no wrong way to serve food at your event, pick the option that makes you and your guests most comfortable.
Consider an Anniversary Reception: If you are one of the thousands of couples that are unsure of having a large wedding in 2021 or 2022, an Anniversary Reception may be right for you! Growing in rapid popularity following the 2020 pandemic, Anniversary Receptions are a wedding reception taking place on the first anniversary of your wedding. So, if you’re tying the knot in a small ceremony in 2021, you may choose to have a large-scale reception on the one-year anniversary of your wedding date. It’s a great way to continue to celebrate your love and mark your one-year anniversary in a unique way.
No matter when you decide to host your next big event, our expert team is here to assist with everything you need and ensure you and your guests’ comfort.
For more ideas, information or to learn about Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa’s wedding and event capabilities, packages, and spaces, please visit our wedding page.