The coronavirus pandemic has impacted multiple industries in more ways than one, with society pivoting in the direction of stronger public health and safety guidelines, including social distancing. Even as specific aspects of normality slowly seep their way back into daily life, masks are still worn, and social distancing is still enforced. For those in the events industry, how do you keep people safe with in-person events during this pandemic?

Laura Hammarstrom, the founder of Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, is a professional events manager as well as a travel director and entrepreneur. Her organization, Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, provides a comprehensive suite of professional, customer-focused, on-site event management services. Over her ten plus years of experience in event management and communications roles, she has had the pleasure of serving in positions including Senior Event and Project Manager for the Walmart International President and CEO, Director of Special Projects in the United Kingdom, Director of Global Associate and Executive Communications, and Events and Experiences Manager for the Walton Enterprises Family Office. Now in the midst of owning her own event management company, she must keep everyone she serves safe at in-person events to keep her business afloat. In receiving her certifications in Pandemic On-Site Protocol and Cvent’s Diagramming and Seating, Hammarstrom learned firsthand about what safety procedures are required to keep attendees safe at one of her events.

Why Preparation Matters

During the pandemic, a wedding in Washington was found linked to cases of COVID-19 from people who did not even attend the wedding. The coronavirus was spread at the wedding, but the people who had it or caught it spread it to others that reacted more seriously to the virus. In this case, what is an event manager to do? Not all things can be controlled, but Hammarstrom points out that this case reflects why it is so vital for professional event managers to do everything in their power to keep guests safe at events during this time, including preparation through certification.

Pandemic On-Site Protocol Training

Professional event managers are one step closer to protecting their guests after going through Pandemic On-Site Protocol Training with the Event Leadership Institute. This training teaches event managers how to identify and suppress risks, how to approach self-safety appropriately, and how to handle non-compliance issues if they surface. Event managers are taught skills in regards to COVID-19 screening protocols, crowd flow, guest services, and setting expectations on-site. By the end of the training, participants know the ins and outs of what they have to do to monitor and manage a socially safe atmosphere for all parties involved and present.

Cvent’s Diagramming and Seating

Cvent’s Diagramming and Seating Certificate educated event managers on how to properly utilize Cvent’s Diagramming and Seating (formerly Social Tables®) tool. An individual’s pandemic planning skills are taken to the next level through this certification for designing seating that meets the safety requirements for social distancing and overall generates a safer, more proactive event environment.

About Laura Hammarstrom

Laura Hammarstrom is a professional event manager, travel director, and entrepreneur with a diverse skillset and professional background, including domestic and international initiatives for Fortune 1 executives, high-net-worth families, and the Northwest Arkansas community. She spent over 10 years in event management and communications roles at Walmart Corporate. Notably, she was Senior Event and Project Manager for the Walmart International President and CEO, Director of Special Projects in the United Kingdom, and Director of Global Associate and Executive Communications. Pursuing her passion for events, she received her Certified Meeting Professional designation and served as the Events and Experiences Manager for the Walton Enterprises Family Office. In 2017, Laura started her own event business, Laura Hammarstrom, CMP, LLC, to provide a comprehensive suite of professional, customer-focused, on-site event management services on a global scale.