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How to Host a Safe Celebration

By July 1, 2020September 25th, 2020No Comments

How to Host a Safe Celebration

We are all social creatures and the ritual of coming together to mark meaningful events is extremely important.  Special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, milestone birthdays, and celebrations of life are truly once-in-a-lifetime celebrations where you want to bring your closest friends and family together. While all gatherings during the pandemic contain some element of risk, there are steps to follow and ways to host an event safely. We are ready to help you navigate all of the ins and outs so you can host a safe event.

While there are a number of things to consider, we have simplified our approach into the following four steps;

1.  Planning
2. Communication
3. Preparation
4. Celebration

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1. Planning

Thinking through your party from start to finish was important before and is even more important now. Taking time before your event to map out all the details will ensure you are prepared. Knowing what to do before and after guests arrive will ease your mind so you can enjoy your party. Your guests will also feel less nervous and be excited about your celebration when they know what to expect. Devour can help you with all of this.

Can you host you party outdoors?
If yes – then please do. It is much safer to have an outdoor party than an indoor one.  Plan for a bad weather scenario by renting tents or create a plan for how you can host the party safely indoors. If the weather looks like it won’t cooperate, you may want to consider postponing the party.

Decide on what your safe and physically distanced guest capacity is and stick to it.
While you may not want to make your guest list smaller, we do recommend that you decide on a safe capacity of guests and stay within that number.  When building your guest list, consider the groups of people from the same household, who will not need to stay physically distant from each other. Thirty-five guests who have no connection will take up more physically distant space than seven families of five.

Keep the timeline of the party shorter than ‘normal’ with a clear timeline or schedule.
Making sure guests know what will be happening at the party is a great way to help guests feel prepared and confident to attend. Depending on the size of your event, you may want to stagger the start time for groups of guests so not everyone is arriving at the same time.

Come up with a plan and layout for food stations, beverage stations, bathroom protocols, and common areas.
Instead of servers or food circulating amongst guests, servers will now serve items from each station on to individual plates that they will present for guests to pick up from the station. Beverages will also be pre-poured or available in one-serve cans or bottles. Guests will need to clean their hands before picking up a plate or beverage.  All food preparation areas must be kept completely separate from guest areas and fully sanitized before, during, and after the event. All Devour servers will be wearing masks. Again, we are happy to look after all of this for you.

We recommend designating a bathroom for guests and including instructions and supplies for sanitizing all handles, doorknobs, and faucets before and after each use. You will require a garbage can both inside and outside of the bathroom for the used wipes and/or paper towels.

Once you have decided on a guest list, the layout, and a timeline for the party it’s time to invite your guests.

2. Communication

When inviting your guests, it is important you make it clear you will be following all recommendations to keep everyone safe. Remind your guests that you will be thrilled to see them, but be explicit in your expectations that they too will do everything required to keep everyone safe.

Include a clear start and end time for the party as well as a timeline if appropriate. Again, managing everyone’s expectations will help everyone relax and enjoy the party when they arrive.

3. Preparation

Before guests arrive, make sure all stations and areas have been clearly laid out and that there are several hand sanitizing stations and garbage cans available.

When guests arrive, we recommend a designated ‘greeter’ who can welcome all guests and explain the protocols for the party. A Devour team member would be excellent at doing this! You may want to even consider a small map at the entrance indicating guest tables, food and beverage stations, as well as the location of the bathroom.

4. Celebration

A. Hand hygiene is essential
Making sure everyone is able to clean their hands at all ‘transition points’ is a helpful way to think about this. Sanitizing your hands several times during the party, especially before and after you pick up drinks or food plates is essential. Sanitizing your hands breaks the chain of possible contamination so ensuring your hands are clean before you touch ‘common’ areas will make sure everyone stays safe. This is also very important both before and after using the bathroom.

B. Stick with your group and create a ‘home base’
Assigning tables, either cocktail or small seated tables, based on your guest groupings or ‘bubble’ is a great way to keep everyone organized and make it easy to maintain physical distancing recommendations. Let your guests know they have a designated space where they can sit or where they can put down their drinks and food. If you are planning to host an open house style event, you can assign a table number to each group as they arrive and then, when they leave, take their table number back, then reset and fully clean that table again before assigning it to a new group. We can help look after this for you as well.

C. Sharing is not caring!
Similar to guests sticking with their group, it also very important that guests do not share food. Grazing boards and platters of passed hors d’oeuvres will not be offered for a while. Instead we are recommending small plated items that can be picked up from a table with a Devour team member making sure guests clean their hands before picking up the plates. Assigning a group ‘host’ to bring items back to each home base is also a great idea. We also recommend a separate area for the collection of used plates and glasses.

D. Make sure you remind your guests that if they feel unwell in any way they must not attend the party.
We have all heard this advice many times over the last few months but it does bear repeating.  Please graciously accept last minute cancellations from guests who may not be feeling well enough to attend.

E. Ask your guests to let you know if they feel unwell within 14 days following the party.

For more information please reach out by email or give us a call.  We are more than happy to talk through any aspect you are considering for your celebration.

Your safety during a celebration is our highest priority.  Without that – there is truly nothing to celebrate.

These steps were created using the following Alberta Government Guidelines. More detailed information can be found in the following links.

General Guidance for Re-Launch (as of June 10, 2020)

Guidance for Restaurants, Cafes, and Bars (updated as of June 29, 2020)

Guidance for Outdoor Events (updated as of June 30, 2020)