According to Twickenham Stadium, stadia venues could provide a ready-made option for event organisers looking to implement social-distancing measures for their delegates. The home of England Rugby has released its post Covid-19 regulations and believes that the natural flow of these venues, combined with the size and the abundance of smaller spaces, allows for more options for event organisers.
As part of its guidelines, the venue is introducing audience traffic and flow management, with dedicated entry and exit areas for guests, on a smaller scale to its match day operations. The stadium is also introducing ‘wave-based’ catering, and staggered start, finish and break times, to ensure delegates can stay socially distanced, and that different meetings around the stadium are kept apart. The venue is also allowing increased access to the stadium bowl, to give event planners more outside space options.
“This is something we have a lot of experience of during match days, from access to the stadium via car or public transport, to the management of people around the venue,” comments Nils Braude, managing director, Twickenham Experience. “We have multiple entrances and exits to different stands and floors so people can be kept separate. We can also get delegates moving in the same direction within the stadia, meaning distancing is easier for rest rooms, reception and catering.”
The stadium is also upweighting its digital meeting capabilities to cater for the increase in hybrid meetings as well as those with a large ‘out-of-room’ audience. Nils continues, “We’re seeing a number of planners looking to break up a bigger meeting into a series of smaller rooms, linked together digitally. Again, this is where stadia can really help, we have lots of small rooms in our hospitality suites, all with screens and AV that can link easily to a central display.”
Jon Davies, Managing Director, Levy UK, agrees with the sentiment: "The nature of stadium-based hospitality, and its design, has always been around getting people fed quickly and safely, managing the flow of crowds in a relatively small amount of space. These skills are very easily transferable to hygiene safe food and food service, something that should give event organisers and their delegates added confidence for their next events."
Debbie Rigney, Marketing & PR Manager, Stadium Experience, added: "Stadium venues really are the ideal choice for all events, particularly during these unprecedented times. The expanse of space these venues boast make maintaining the social distancing measures more possible than many more traditional venues. Stadium staff are also experts at adapting their spaces from meeting matchday requirements to catering for the next bespoke event. Many stadium venues are happy to explore and customise a range of options that might work, including linking into virtual opportunities across rooms, stands or even venues. It's also worth noting that stadium venues have many smaller spaces available for hire such as prestigious executive boxes with stunning pitch views and away from other visitors if required."
Twickenham is sharing its operational procedures with all event planners, as well as making additional information available to delegates wishing to attend events at the stadium, in order to give both event planners and their delegates confidence in holding an event at Twickenham.