“Furniture and Décor to Keep Events Stylish and Safe”
This post is part of a series, “Pivot, Plan & Remain Poised,” where The Event Group team explores how to manage events currently and post-COVID-19.
While in-person events may look different as we navigate forward, we’re excited to explore what new and innovative solutions event rental companies have already developed to show how we can have the same stylish, fun, and functional environments while utilizing furniture and décor to keep guests safe and satisfied. With a plethora of options to suit varying styles, group sizes, and levels of intimacy, furniture, and décor companies, like CORT Events and Party Rental Ltd., have items to assist with creating a safe, sanitized, and socially distant event without sacrificing environment and ambiance.
The Event Group team is actively exploring options and never-before-seen furniture and décor groupings from our event partners to ensure that we have solutions to implement for virtual events and when in-person events return, no matter the scope or size! Two of our team members, Kate Caffrey and Erin Hildebrand, attended Catersource + The Special Event Conference and Tradeshow at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas in March where they were able to experience the newest, hottest, and most abundant displays of furniture and décor available nation- and world-wide! Having as much information as possible about inventory now will best position us for swift planning once decisions need to be made.
New items are already being developed in order to meet guidelines for in-person events of any size moving forward. Expect to see plexiglass dividers, tasteful signage and reminders about sanitization, social distancing, and more. Additionally, partners like CORT Events and Party Rental Ltd. are developing specific responses (viewed here and here) to COVID-19 to ensure everyone’s safety.
First and foremost, no matter the style, size, or type of furniture and décor, prepare to have a larger amount of tables, chairs, and square footage in your event space than in previous events with the same number of guests. For example, CORT suggests at least 500 square feet of space for every ten attendees. Classroom-style seating will be spaced and/or replaced to ensure appropriate social distancing, and set-ups such as the one seen below, including individual charging stations and/or side tables, provide style and safety. It will also be important to consider style and spacing of presenters on a stage or in the front of the room; a table-top podium with one table and several panelist chairs will no longer suffice! (In a future Pivot, Plan & Remain Poised post, we will discuss updated floor plan specifics for many types of in-events, so stay tuned!)
To ensure sanitization and safety for all guests, a chair and table or table-top space exclusive for each attendee for the duration of the event may become the norm, as will the rental and implementation of hand washing and sanitizing stations and signage.
Plants, stanchions, boxwoods, and other elegant dividers will add to the décor but also serve as functional ways to safely segregate guests. To further implement safe but stylish and functional set-ups, you may see set-ups such as:
Utilizing six- or eight-foot bar or dining tables with a chair or barstool at each end and a floral centerpiece in the middle (to indicate space barriers
Scattered cocktail tables with one chair each, creating a personal aura of 36 inches
Curved or oversized seating with built-in barriers to encourage fellowship at a safe distance
Custom, branded pillows are a great alternative to traditional signage to politely request social distancing
Staying current on not only the offerings available for furniture and décor, but also the guidelines for each location and venue will so very important moving forward. Trust that The Event Group team will continue to seek new information and stay up-to-date – so stay tuned!