As event professionals, we are all wondering when we’ll be able to reconnect in person. We’re also asking when there will be a way to make gatherings feel like they once did: comfortable, safe, and exhilarating, rather than weary, threatening, and unfamiliar.
As venues look at their options to slowly re-open and increase their capacity limits, there are multiple technological innovations being put in place around the world to help get the gears turning.
The technology you might see as event centers begin to re-open their doors:
Diagnostic TestingOn-site medical professionals may be the new norm for events in the future. Testing event attendees for COVID-19 before they are allowed to enter will give eventgoers more peace of mind. However, to do so, quick and accurate testing will be a must.
Currently, medical device companies are working on developing rapid diagnostics tests for situations that need fast results. These tests could potentially produce a result within five minutes. This short waiting period is something that event venues would have to figure out logistically as attendees test and then must wait for a period of time to be in the clear. Where will they make attendees wait? How will they tell sick attendees that they are not allowed to enter the event? When will they be refunded? These are all questions that event venues need to plan for if implementing on-site diagnostic testing.
Currently, the main concern about this type of rapid testing is the accuracy of the tests. Medical device company, Abbott, offers Abbott ID NOW, showing results in less than 15 minutes. However, this test is currently shown to be the least accurate form of COVID-19 testing offered, shown in a study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. With a false negative rate of about 15%, venues would be unknowingly allowing 15 out of 100 sick guests to enter the event. However, as more companies compete to make this technology readily available, we should see the accuracy in these tests increase.
Vibrating Tools That Enforce DistancingKeeping people consistently distanced at events will be one obstacle for big venues to overcome. It would be pretty difficult and overwhelming to constantly have to remind attendees who are too close, to spread out.
Technology is offering us ways to ensure that people at events are staying socially distanced. This distancing technology is similar to the devices and technologies that are able to alert people with a vibration when they start to slouch and have bad posture. This technology is referred to as ‘Geofencing.’ Apps on phones or on event-specified bracelets can alert attendees with a vibration that they are too close to one another.
This simple reminder can be a quick and efficient way of ensuring that event guests are keeping the required distance from each other.
UltraViolet Air PurifiersThe same air purification technology that is offered in hospitals will likely be present in event venues. UV light rays can incinerate bacteria as well as keep microorganisms from reproducing. Deactivating the cell’s ability to replicate has been proven to inactivate viruses.
This ability to kill germs in large event areas will likely be a common way that we see venues taking extra steps to ensure the safety of their guests.
Thermal ScanningScanning attendees for their temperature upon entering a building is already a procedure taking place in some smaller businesses and venues.
With many COVID-19 carriers being asymptomatic, notifying someone that they have a fever will be a helpful way of catching some cases. People with temperatures over a certain degree, typically 99.5F, will likely be asked to take health safety precautions and possibly leave the event.
Will these extensive safety measures make people begin to feel better about large gatherings? Will extreme precautions change people’s perspectives about their safety in public? How will people react to being turned down to an event that they paid for? There are many questions that we will only be able to answer with time. Hopefully eventgoers will be on the understanding side of the precautions taking place as events are rescheduled and people begin resuming pre-COVID activities.
If you are already brainstorming the measures you plan on taking with your future exhibit to create a safer space for your guests, reach out to Skyline Exhibits and let us know how we can help make your vision become a reality in your booth design!