Georgia’s Governor Kemp released an executive order last week for “Empowering a Healthy Georgia.”
In the executive order, he lays out 21 specific requirements for servicing meeting and convention customers. You can read the full executive order, or read below to see the list of requirements.
We’ve had a lot of people ask us about how to proceed now that Georgia has lifted its stay-at-home order and loosened the restrictions on events. Now we have a roadmap.
Requirements for your next event
Here is the official list of requirements, taken directly from the executive order:
That in addition to the applicable requirements above for non Critical Infrastructure, Conventions operating during the effective dates of this Order shall implement additional measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Such measures shall include:
- Placing signage at any entrance to instruct patrons that they cannot enter if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have exhibited Symptoms of COVID-19, or had contact with a person that has or is suspected to have COVID-19 within the past fourteen (14) days;
- Placing signage at any entrance and throughout the facility providing information regarding enhanced sanitation procedures, Social Distancing, and other instructions and limitations, as applicable, set forth below;
- Requiring all Workers who have frequent contact vvith patrons to wear a face covering while at the facility, provided, however, that such Workers shall be permitted to remove their face coverings while eating and drinking, if due to warm weather, or because other extenuating circumstances the face covering is causing difficulty breathing;
- Providing other Personal Protective Equipment to Workers as available and appropriate to the function and location of Workers within the facility;
- To the extent practicable, screening all individuals at entrances and preventing any person from entering that exhibits Symptoms of COVID-19;
- Requiring that all individuals exhibiting or experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19 at any time while at a Convention be isolated and leave the facility as soon as practicable;
- Providing training to Workers on how to identify Symptoms of COVID-19 in any individuals present, the proper processes for assisting a potentially ill individual with exiting the facility, and the appropriate infection mitigation procedures to perform in such an event;
- Providing an isolation area or areas for individuals experiencing Symptoms of COVID-19 that are unable to immediately leave the Convention;
- To the extent practicable, utilizing contactless parking systems, registration, check-in, check-out, security checks, and/or sales;
- If transportation to or from Convention events and activities is provided to patrons, to the extent practicable, conducting all transportation in such a way that maintains Social Distancing and regularly sanitizing the transportation vehicles
- To the extent practicable, eliminating the need for patrons to touch surfaces by implementing systems that may include, but are not limited to, opening doors for patrons and operating coat/bag checks in a contactless manner and ·with cashless transactions;
- Providing Hand Sanitizer for use by all individuals present, using contactless hand sanitizing stations when available;
- To the extent practicable, utilizing physical barriers such as pa1titions or Plexiglas at registration and check-in stations, refreshment stations, and points of sale;
- To the extent practicable, requiring pre-registration for all seated events to be held as part of the Convention;
- Implementing staggered registration and attendance times, as practicable, for patrons by using virtual queue systems or grouping patrons by name, registration level, or other variable;
- Reconfiguring all queues so that patrons must adhere to Social Distancing while waiting, which may include floor markings;
- To the extent practicable, implementing one-way aisles to guide patron traffic through large areas of booths;
- Discouraging handshaking, hugging, and other unnecessary person-to-person physical contact between patrons;
- Requiring all dining facilities to follow the criteria for restaurant dine-in services set forth in Section IV of this Executive Order titled “Restaurants & Dining Services”;
- If the facility is open to multiple groups of patrons or is hosting multiple events at one time, to the extent practicable, prohibiting contact between patrons of separate events and requiring sanitization of high contact surfaces within the facility between each patron group use of any shared area; and
- Requiring Workers to clean and sanitize bathrooms and all frequently touched surfaces regularly throughout times when patrons are present at the facility in addition to the regular cleaning schedule.
How will this affect my event?
The impact this will have on your event is hard to say. Social distancing is a big part of these requirements, so that limits the space you have for attendees.
Signage is a new requirement, but that shouldn’t add much cost to your event. It seems like printing a sheet of paper is enough to get the job done.
Parking and transportation to the event space will require a lot of cleaning, so keep that in mind when you’re setting your budget.
Staggering event times seems strange, but that could work if you’re hosting a job fair, or something similar.
How can I get around these restrictions?
If you’re planning an in-person event, you can’t. Honestly, the restrictions aren’t as bad as I expected, but there is another option – a virtual or hybrid event.
If the thought of having everyone spaced out scares you because you can’t have as many attendees, you might consider doing a hybrid event, where you have your in-person attendees and offer a way for other people to follow along at home. You can sell tickets to both, but obviously, the in-person tickets will be limited.
The event world is entering a whole new world. Social distancing, sanitizing everything, and masks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
If the executive order seems too restrictive for you, it might be good to look at virtual options to engage your audience.