SEATING ARRANGEMENTS. A safe celebration for an intimate gathering to remember. Photo courtesy of Events and Concepts
ANGELES CITY — Past troublesome 2020, a new hope, new beginning in the now new normal for the as-devastated-as-everyone events industry finding its bearing, slowly as surely, to recovery.
Events and Concepts Voltaire Zalamea said events under the new normal are a challenge, albeit easier to implement as organizers, suppliers, and guests fully participate in the mandated IATF guidelines, Pampanga remaining under MGCQ status.
The renowned events organizer noting the city government even stricter in the enforcement of protocols thus, the adoption of further guidelines.
“Initially the city government did not allow social events to happen. That was why I took the initiative to seek an audience with Mayor (Carmelo) Lazatin to allow intimate social events to happen in this city,” said Zalamea.
“I asked the help of my colleagues in the Philippine Association of Wedding Planners particularly those in the provinces that allow intimate social events to share with me their respective guidelines. I collated them andmade a presentation to the city council in one of their regular sessions where some of my colleagues in the events industry in Angeles City were also present,” he shared. “They adapted mostly our suggested guidelines, with few revisions from his (mayor) office.”
Zalamea also said that Covid-19 test results were not usually required and noted that if the client asked events organizers and suppliers to undergo Covid-19 tests, it would be at the expense of the client.
With live events under the new normal subject to stringent measures, organizing private gatherings and functions require more than the usual ocular visits and standard protocols to assure the safety of everyone in the events.
“One major challenge is how to strictly follow the guidelines set by the government. For my events, I make sure that we always follow all the guidelines. It is better to be strict than to be sorry since clients and guests are not used to these guidelines, we make it a point to remind them as much as possible,” he said.
“Personally, I am still scared to accept events that’s why I make sure that there are only a few guests attending and the venue is big enough to practice social distancing,” he added.
Zalamea already had two virtual and four well-executed live events and intimate gatherings since the events industry resumption including the 4th Philippine Sports Tourism Awards which was also greatly commended by the guests.
“We make sure that the guests are only few. Fifty percent of the venue capacity and with guests not more than 100 as much as possible. Seats per table are also distanced appropriately,” he said. “While buffets are discouraged, we encourage a plated service. But if inevitable, it should be a managed buffet with stations.”
Zalamea and his Events and Concepts team took initiatives in handling events and social gatherings while minding the social distancing and safety protocols.
“There are some initiatives I made during events such as being an emcee. I made sure I brought my own microphone head cover. I also brought with me my own UV sanitation box to sanitize our radios, pens, cards, microphones, etc. I provided bottles of alcohol spray to all my staff to make them feel protected as well as face masks and face shields,” he shared.
“I also made my own slideshow with reminders to observe social distancing, wearing of masks, and hand sanitizing which is played most of the time on the screen. I even asked my clients to provide a guest list with pertinent information for easy contact tracing,” he furthered.
Zalamea advises his colleagues to strictly follow the guidelines set by the government: “If you are not confident, do not do it. If you think it is risky for you and your staff, then don’t do it. If you are doing events, make sure to strictly follow the guidelines set by the government. If you are not sure, ask. Remember, this is something new for all of us and no one is an expert on this.”