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How to Plan A Socially Distant Corporate Event

By: Rick Farrell


Group of cheerful young friends having fun at backyard barbecue party, grilling meat, drinking beer, playing badminton and relaxing on a sunny summer day outdoors

Now that the pandemic is, hopefully, in its last stage, we can finally enjoy some of the pre-pandemic social events. The ongoing health crisis has made us all more cautious when out in public, but it has also spurred many creative ways to socialize.

So, if you’re thinking of organizing a social event to give your employees a well-deserved break, there is a way. However, you still need to consider some precautions to ensure everyone is safe. The safest way to do that is to follow the CDC guidelines. But if you want some additional information on planning a social distancing corporate event, as well as some creative event ideas, just keep reading!

Hand Hygiene

At this point, it hardly makes sense to say this, as we’ve all heard plenty on the importance of washing our hands for at least 20 seconds. But it’s essential to know that if you plan on hosting a corporate event, you need to make sure your employees have soap and water readily available. If, in some cases, that’s not possible, make sure that your employees have access to a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Greetings and Face Masks

Before the event, remind your guests that handshakes and hugs are still off the table. Instead, encourage them to try out alternative ways of saying hello, such as fist bumps or air high-fives. At the event, put up the signs that will remind everyone once again to avoid physical contact during the event.

In addition, make sure to notify the attendees that face masks are still a requirement. CDC did announce that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks. However, unless you can check everyone’s vaccine cards, it’s better to stick to the masks for a bit longer.

Food Service

A buffet used to be a go-to option for corporate social events. However, that would not be a smart choice right now. Instead, consider serving pre-packaged boxes or bags to your guests. In addition, try to use disposable utensils that are also neatly packaged before use. Make sure to also include a way to safely dispose of the used utensils, as well as leftover food.


Make sure to put up the sign on the bathroom door that clearly states the number of people who can be in a restroom at one time. Also, post signs or markers signifying the 6 feet distance in front of a restroom to avoid crowds and lines.

Creative Corporate Event Ideas

Company Picnics

We know that it’s difficult to have everything under control with so many rules and regulations currently in place. That is why a picnic might be the best option to organize a social event for your employees. It’s safer than events indoors as it allows for easier social distancing. However, everything we said about hand-washing and face masks also applies here.

Company picnics are a nice way to energize the employees after such a long time in the lockdown. With proper sanitation and social distancing, it can be a safe and fun event your employees will greatly appreciate.

Outdoor Hiking

Another outdoor option that makes it a bit easier to follow all the rules is hiking. You can check out which trails are available nearby and provide your employees with a thrilling event that will also allow them to reconnect before potentially returning to the office.

To minimize the risk of exposure to the virus, you can even distribute your employees to two or more hiking trails. And even in nature, remind everyone that social distancing and masks are still necessary.

Rent a Nearby Restaurant or Venue

If you want to throw an old-school corporate mingle, it might be a good idea to partner up with a local restaurant or venue. They probably didn’t have much business during the past year, so they are likely to give you a good deal. In addition, a restaurant will provide food while following the regulations, so that’s one less thing to think about. Still, consider booking a restaurant or venue at reduced capacity, so that everyone can social distance.

A Factory or Museum Tour

While we’re at it, why not introduce some culture back to our lives? After a year of virtual tours and concerts, your employees would surely love to attend an in-person one. Touring a factory or brewery is always a lot of fun, as it shows how some of the things we consume every day are actually made. But if there aren’t any in your area, some museums have started organizing tours at reduced capacity again.

For this event, you will be needing a guide. It wouldn’t make sense to just walk around a factory or museum looking at things without knowing what they are. Luckily, you can hire a guide and still follow the COVID-19 regulations. Just make sure to use a tour guide system that will provide the guide with the necessary technology, such as a microphone headset and a transmitter. That way, everyone in the group will be able to learn something without breaking the social distancing rules.


Although everyone’s excited for things to go back to normal, that doesn’t mean we’re completely off the hook with prevention measures. You can finally organize social events to show your employees how much you appreciate them. But you also need to make sure everyone is safe at your event. Hopefully, with our guide on safety precautions and ideas for safe socializing, you have everything you need to start planning your next event.

Published: June 7, 2021

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Rick Farrell

Rick Farrell

Rick Farrell is President of Plant-Tours.com. Rick is North America’s foremost expert in improving manufacturing group communication, education, training and group hospitality processes. He has over 40 years of group hospitality experience, most recently serving as President of Plant-Tours.com for the last 18 years. He has provided consulting services with the majority of Fortune 500 industrial corporations improving group communication dynamics of all types in manufacturing environments. Plant-Tours.com manufactures the most reliable, easy to use, highest quality headset communication systems for the manufacturing, industrial and institution markets.

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