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4 pillars of physical distancing at events

Blog Vol 2 – Density and Traffic Management

Return to In-Person Meetings Series – Part 2

Meetings and events bring people together to increase knowledge, inspire new ideas and offer new opportunities. The synergy that’s created by in-person events is unique to any other platform. 

But in today’s world where face-to-face interaction can pose health concerns, managing density at meetings and events is essential. Because social connection is more important than ever, we like to call it “physical distancing” rather than “social distancing.”

When putting your physical distancing plan into place, remember to address these four things.

You may need to increase your contracted meeting area to allow for optimal space. Restrictions and guidelines are ever changing, but the Exhibition Services and Contractors Association (ESCA) provides a formula to help maintain distances of 6 feet when possible. This is equal to 36 square feet per person. The simple formula is:

total room square footage / 36 square feet = room occupancy

However, with a variety of room design options, partner with your venue to design a safe layout for each room.

Weather permitting, use outdoor spaces for air movement and extra square footage. Getting outdoors also has some great neuroscience behind it, as fresh air and a change in environment stimulates the brain’s ability to retain information. 

Modify your meeting schedule to transform a single large general session into multiple smaller sessions.  Plan for some attendees to participate in a meeting while others visit the exhibit hall or enjoy refreshments. Consider staggering break times to reduce traffic during transitions. Eliminate the need for all attendees to be in one place at the same time by offering meeting tracks and breakout opportunities.

Density Management
Consider limiting booth personnel to one company representative at a time in each booth during open exhibit hours. Assign staff to monitor congregating and remind attendees to maintain safe distancing.  

Traffic Flow
Identify high-traffic areas and eliminate any obstructions that could impede flow. Institute signage and floor stickers encouraging attendees to “keep it moving.”  Implement one-way traffic flow with marked entrances and exits for the building and individual meeting rooms. 


Overall, the keys to successful physical distancing at your event are advance planning, clear communication and onsite support for questions that arise. Your sales and catering team will be a valuable resource for this, as well as for room capacity limits and current local regulations.  

Find more tips on physical distancing and exhibit hall floor layouts in the Part 1 of our Return to In-Person Meetings Series, and stay tuned for the next post about best practices for registration and check in.


A Very Special Thanks to Valley for their continued Support

A Very Special Thanks to Valley for their continued Support

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