The coronavirus epidemic has cast a long shadow over the events industry and hospitality industry as a whole and created much uncertainty as to how event planners and businesses, including event venues and restaurants, should address this public health crisis.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and the public health agencies for many other nations have provided guidance on how restaurants and bars, large and small events and various other businesses should seek to keep their attendees, customers, patrons and staff at a safer distance from each other so as to suppress the spread of COVID-19.
One of these guidelines is to recommend that people in public places (especially indoor rooms and spaces) maintain a distance of at least 6 feet or 2 meters from other people.
Our event and venue floor plan software tools give you the ability to create socially distanced event layouts that are to-scale and enable you to quickly and efficiently build event floor plans that abide by the 6-foot/2-meter social distancing recommendations.
A few tips to consider when building out social distancing venue layouts and event floor plans include:
- Building in aisles and ingress/egress routes where attendees, guests and patrons can maintain a 6-foot separation from other guests/patrons.
- Adding clear space or open space around tables so that seated guests are at least 6 feet away from any other guest.
- Creating tables or chair rows that will accommodate for "coronavirus cohorts" (that is, couples, families or small groups of people who have already been exposed to each other or have been in sustained contact with each other and hence feel comfortable seated together). For example, this may mean that you need to create options for guests/patrons that attend as singles, couples or small groups/families (6 people or under).
- Providing pathways and areas for staff and team members to comfortably serve guests/patrons while maintaining social distancing to the best of their abilities.
Here are four key tools in our event floor plan software that are discussed in the videos above that will help you quickly set up accurate socially distanced layouts:
1. Multiple Tables and Clear Area Options When Setting Up Tables
When you drag a table onto the canvas, a modal form opens where you can add items like labels, table numbers and chair counts. In addition, you can also:
Add Multiple Tables in a Grid - By selecting the "Add Multiple Tables" option in the form, you can designate how many rows of tables and how many tables in each row you want to place on the canvas.
Designate Clear Area Around Tables - In the "Clear Area" field(s) in the form, you can designate how much space is allotted between the tables that you add in your multiple table grid. If you wish to position tables 6 feet or 2 meters apart:
- For round tables - Add 6 feet (or 200 cm) to the diameter of the table and enter that amount in the the Clear Area field. For example, if the table is a 5-foot diameter round table, then the clear area should be 11 feet.
- For square or rectangular tables - Add 6 feet (or 200 cm) to both the length and width of the table and enter those amounts into the Clear Area fields. For example, if the table is a 8-foot by 2.5 foot banquet table, then the clear area should be 14 feet long and 8.5 feet wide/deep.
2. Multiple Chair Row and Clear Area Options When Setting Up Chairs
When you drag a chair row onto the canvas, a modal form opens where you can adjust items like number of chairs in a row, space between chairs in the row and chair type. In addition, you can also:
Add Multiple Chair Rows in a Grid - By selecting the "How Many Rows" option in the form, you can designate how many rows of chairs you want to place on the canvas.
Designate Clear Area Between Chair Rows - In the "Clear Area" field(s) in the form, you can designate how much space is allotted between each chair row that you add in your multiple chair row grid. If you wish to position chair rows 6 feet or 2 meters apart, in the "Clear Area" field, select 72 inches (182.88 cm).
3. Shapes Elements
If you need to create aisles or clear areas/spaces in your layouts, use the Shapes elements (the rectangular shape may be the most useful in many circumstances) and set the parameters for the shape you select so that it allows for the clear space you need. Once you have created that, you can position it precisely to the area of your layout and use that to position other elements around it.
4. Ruler Element
Our ruler tool lets you create custom rulers of whatever length you wish. If you are manually positioning elements 6 feet or more apart from each other, you can add rulers and adjust them to 6 feet (or whatever length you choose) and then use those to measure how far apart elements are from each other.
Social distancing table layouts and social distancing seating charts each have their own particular challenges and best practices, as shown in the videos above, but by following the guidelines set out by your local government and public health agencies will help ensure you are part of the solution in limiting/suppressing the transmission of COVID-19.