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Social Distancing at Small Indoor Events


With the current restrictions on gatherings, indoor events are changing. Social distancing, sanitising and other measures are needed to ensure your event is COVID-Secure

The last few months have been a very strange time for the live event industry. Normally the build up to the summer season is a busy period. Production meetings, preparation, site visits, last minute changes and more happen at a very fast pace but for 2020 the pace has slowed to a virtual halt. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerts, festivals, meetings, conferences, award ceremonies and much more have ceased to exist.

The Government gave indication of allowing indoor events to resume on the 1st October 2020 but it isn’t as straightforward as that. There is now a vast array of requirements to ensure that your event is COVID-Secure, this is something we’ve been exploring recently, and one of the key measures is the ability to social distance. This does however drastically reduce the capacity of any venue. According to the HSE website, they recommend keeping at least 2m distance between each other but where this is not possible then reducing this to 1m may also mitigate the risk – it is also necessary for face coverings to be worn. We’ve recently been looking at how many people can safely be allowed in a space of 1,638m2 (17,644ft2) with a normal capacity of 1,200 people. If you generally work on a scale of 25% – 33% capacity this reduces the number down to 300 – 400 people. We then have to take into account stage, front of house, catering, staff, exhibition stands and more to be able to work out the actual safe capacity.

It doesn’t just stop there:

  • Are adequate entrances and exits are available (preferably separate)?
  • Is there an option for a one way system?
  • Are there adequate toilet facilities available?
  • How will catering be delivered?

and more…

Hand sanitising stations need to be placed in strategic positions throughout the venue and it may be needed that every delegate has their temperature checked prior to being allowed to enter the venue. The majority of corporate events already have a registration process in place so implementing requirements for NHS Test & Trace is a relatively straightforward task and where the event isn’t normally ticketed then changes should be made to ensure that every guest can be traced if needed.


At the time of writing this there is still little advice from the Government, with regards to gatherings of more than 30 people, and as an industry we are having to dissect information to the best of our ability. In September DSM Productions will be involved in a collaborative experiment with world leading companies to see how events can safely be delivered at a more normal capacity. For the time being its virtual and hybrid events to ensure the health and safety of the public but we’re confident that the world will be meeting again before too long.


If you need any advice or are looking to host a hybrid event then get in touch with our team and we would be more than happy to get involved with your event:




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