As colleges, universities, and other institutions re-open their doors this fall and welcome students on their physical campus, social events will resume. However, no longer is the goal of the social event to gather as many people in one place as possible. With the need to practice proper Social Distancing, there are a number of ways in which to limit/reduce the size of events and re-think how on-campus programs can be managed and presented. Now we must move beyond the “traditional” thinking of simply bringing a performer to campus to do one large performance/presentation.
Offer multiple performances on the same day. Utilizing multiple, shorter performances throughout a day will not only encourage smaller gatherings, but a smaller set up can also provide new opportunities for personalizing the experience ( reserved seating, special decorations, etc).
Offer a virtual stream of a live performance to students who cannot/do not wish to attend in person. Need to provide social distancing options in order to keep your students safe while still on campus? Students can sign onto a Zoom call to watch a performance that is taking place on campus, and even interact, from a space they are more comfortable in. Our game shows and escape rooms offer the perfect balance of social distancing options so everyone can join in on the fun! Whether you want to offer small group gatherings, or virtual interaction or a mix of both, these programs can be tailored to your social distancing needs and offer you the opportunity to maximize the number of people who can get involved.
Virtual Programming. This is an excellent alternative to a live on-campus program. Virtual programs can provide a high level of interaction and engagement along with providing the level of safety needed in these times. These programs can also be more budget-friendly than on-campus programs while still generating strong participation numbers.
Extend the length of a program. Many programs such as novelty/make and takes are typically done as a 4-hour program. By scheduling a program over a longer time frame (such as 6 hours) can be an effective way to spread out the density of attendance.
Offer the program to small groups that have a common interest. For example, offer workshops to spoken word clubs or English classes. This can also provide opportunities for co-sponsorships of certain programs.
Offer novelty programs (Make and Takes) in a mobile format (think: food truck) that would be available at various locations on campus throughout the day. Utilizing appointment times for placing orders and pick up can also be an effective way to reduce crowd density and potential large gatherings.
Be creative in utilizing locations on campus that might not normally be used in order to keep density to a minimum. Popular programs that tend to attract larger crowds (such as the Roller Rink and Ice Rink) can be set up as two smaller rinks rather than one large rink in order to decrease crowd density. Outdoor locations can also help to spread out your crowd, as well as offer a different ambiance. Take the Roller Rink for instance. Perhaps one smaller rink is placed outdoors with a hot chocolate bar nearby in chilly weather and coffeehouse-type music, while inside the smaller Glow Roller Rink is available with Top 40/Dance Hits playing over the sound system.
COVID-19 may have changed many things, but one thing that has remained the same is the need for community. Social events have been a staple on college campuses for years in order to foster that sense of community. Whether your campus will be implementing social distancing policies, remaining on a virtual-only platform, or holding in-person events just the same as you always have, NEON is here to help.
Social Distancing Guidelines for Future Events. Neon Entertainment is committed to being a proactive partner in the transition back to on-campus programming, by providing safe events that incorporate best practices of the client’s protocols, as well as those established by local, state, and federal guidelines for group events. Click here for more information on our social distancing guidelines for future events!