Last updated: January 16, 2024
If you want to make sure your event stays COVID-safe, here are a few easy things you can do:
- Pick the right venue
- Set party safety measures
- Meticulous party planning
COVID Party Venues
Before the invitations are sent, thorough preparation is the first crucial step in hosting a COVID-safe party.
Not everyone realizes this but COVID actually spreads through the air, sort of like smoke. You catch it by breathing it in.
Outdoor spaces offer superior ventilation and significantly lower the risk of virus transmission. This is the best choice and you can ensure everyone will get home safely with no virus.
Party Tip: Notify your guests in advance that the gathering is outdoors and to bring a jacket. If it’s cold, build a fire pit or use heat lights. An outdoor event ensures everyone’s safety and accessibility.
We can follow these guidelines by choosing the right venue that you think would be best for your event.
- Park: A local park offers a natural and relaxed setting. It has open spaces for activities too. Check if you need a permit and if there are facilities like restrooms available.
- Backyard: A spacious lawn will do. It provides the comfort of home while allowing for a customized experience. The convenience of being at home, you have control over the setup and adherence to safety measures.
- Rooftop Terrace: Stylish and elevated space with panoramic views of the city. This provides a chic atmosphere and the open-air setting allows for good air circulation. Consider getting a retractable roof for flexibility in case of unexpected weather.
- Garden: The open-air environment allows for natural ventilation and ample space for social distancing. Ensure pathways are well-lit.
These are alternative ways if it’s too cold to host outside:
- Open as many windows as possible for a cross breeze. Let your guests know ahead of time that they might want to wear a sweater or grab some cheap space heater off Amazon if you want to keep things toasty inside with windows open.
- If you can’t open the windows, running an air purifier with a HEPA filter can make a huge difference. They can be $60-$80 bucks, but it’s worth having one or two around to clean the air even just on a daily basis.
Fun fact: Radiators in NYC are often built to run extremely hot because they were built to run with the windows open in the winter! This was a result of the 1919 flu pandemic when they realized the flu virus would dissipate with fresh air.
Party Safety Measures
Your guests’ safety should be your top priority.
The key to hosting a successful COVID-Safe party is ensuring everybody feels safe and having fun at the same time.
Here are some practical safety measures to consider:
- Wearing masks: Encourage or require your guests to wear masks. You can also provide this yourself at the entrance for added precaution. (Remember, surgical masks don’t work well for airborne viruses, but KN95s or N95s will do the trick).
- Outdoor or well-ventilated spaces: Whenever possible, choose open-air venues. Avoid small apartments where it’s impossible to have social distance.
- Testing: Encourage guests to take Covid tests ahead of time. Asymptomatic transmission is common, especially among kids. Testing can help ensure Covid positive guests stay home.
- Physical distancing: Make sure there are areas of the party that aren’t too crowded and people have enough space to spread out and breathe fresh air.
- Contactless food and beverage service: Opt for individually packed snacks and drinks. Steer clear of shared serving utensils and opt for single-use items when feasible.
Planning Your COVID-Safe Party
A well-structured party is your key to managing crowd flow and safety during the event. To do that, you need to follow these basic tips that I mentioned on my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party:
- Pick a date three weeks from now, ideally on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. These are non-socially competitive days.
- Before sending invitations, limit the number of attendees in accordance with local regulations. Consider inviting a smaller group of close friends or family members or neighbors.
- Create your RSVP page and ask your guests to confirm their attendance. Make sure to include a note outlining the safety precautions you’ll be putting in place.
- Send out three reminder messages with relevant information about your party, especially the COVID safety guidelines. Also include a short questionnaire and ask your guests to conduct a self-assessment of their health before attending. If anyone feels unwell, encourage them to stay home.
When you send out the invites or ask for RSVPs, just give a friendly heads-up to folks who might be dealing with stomach issues or cold symptoms to take it easy and stay home. What might be a little sniffle for one person could hit someone else harder.
During your event, do these four things to make it a fun experience:
- Use name tags: This will help you big time! People are wearing masks so it might be harder to remember people’s faces, so you need to remember their names. Write their first names and have them pick it up and put it on their chest themselves to prevent contact for everyone’s safety.
- Facilitate icebreakers: Arrange standing areas to allow for at least six feet of distance between guests before you facilitate the icebreaker. Use markers or tape to indicate safe distances which will be useful when your guests start to form on a circle.
- Take a group photo: This is one of the most high-reward activities that you can do at your party. It’ll be a happy memory for everyone to keep, especially in these challenging times.
- End your party on time: Make sure to set your party for two hours only. Having a set start and end time will leave your guests wanting more.
Ensure your event has the best ventilation you can or lots of fresh air.
By opting for an outdoor venue, enforcing physical distancing, encouraging masks, and observing other safety measures, you can create an enjoyable and safe gathering for your guests.
Always keep the health and well-being of your loved ones at the forefront of your plans! But if there’s anyone feeling sick, encourage them to stay home.
By following this article, you can create cherished moments while safeguarding the health of your guests.
Hello, My name is Nick Gray. In my book, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, I provide helpful guidance on how to host a great party for any event. I wrote this book to support anyone attempting to meet new people and develop closer bonds with their community.
When is your party? Send me an email and I will give you some bonus tips, including a pre-party checklist that you can print out. Plus I’ll answer any question you have, free of charge. I love talking about parties and I’m on a mission to help 500 people host their first party.