COVID-19 and Alaska Events
Updated: Oct 6
UPDATED: Hello there! By now you have probably heard about the impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 world-wide. In light of the ongoing updates I wanted to assure you all that my business and I are prepared. I also wanted to share with you what we are doing to ensure your safety and ours.
ALASKA IS CURRENTLY A LOWER RISK
Currently Alaska is a lower risk than many other areas of the country and we were one of the first states to start opening our economy back up. Our local government has taken the issue very seriously, and is doing everything they can to help keep the COVID 19 from spreading here. You can see Alaska statistics and data information at https://covid19.alaska.gov/
At this time it is our intention for each of us (Rebecca, Laura and Sarah) to fulfill our roles as event planner or coordinator for our 2020 event clients.
As of today, June 4, 2020 the original "shelter in place" order has been lifted; however, there are some specific guidelines for Alaska events and gatherings of multiple households. I am relieved to announce that we are now able to gather at 100% of a venue capacity. For these gatherings, there are quite a few state and national recommendations to keep events safe, which I will go through below, along with my own recommendations to maintain health and safety.
EVENT TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Keep in mind that we are not doctors or lawyers, but here are some basic recommendations on things you can do for your event that might minimize risk, encourage health and safety, and put your guests at ease:
1. Pivot your initial plans for a larger wedding or event and consider a smaller, more intimate setting with local friends and family. Like a "staycation" but better! Avoid asking people to travel into the state, when they are currently required to quarantine for 14 days (mandate in effect through May 19, 2020 and reevaluated weekly)
2. With stores running out of hand sanitizer, the government issued recommendation includes frequent hand washing. Do what you can to encourage hand washing at your event with signage. Consider getting an automatic hand soap pump for restrooms and at a minimum supply soap, disinfectant, hand sanitizer, and paper towels.
3. Hand sanitizer: shop local! Many of our local Alaska distilleries are now making hand sanitizer. Here is just one of several local companies offering hand sanitizer that is available for pick up: https://alaskaproofhandwash.square.site/
4. Make sure your venue is posting the required signage and their mitigation plan, per State requirements. Review with your venue their plan and brainstorm additional safety protocol. Ask your planner for help.
5. Some of our popular Alaska event venues do not have running water or water is limited. We highly recommend that clients rent or make temporary hand washing stations. Talk to your planner and brainstorm creative and safe solutions specific to your unique situation and location.
6. Per our Governor, it is strongly suggested that when individuals from multiple households gather, everyone wear face masks. Consider offering face masks to guests. One Alaska Nancy on Etsy is selling locally made face masks, among many others selling on Facebook marketplace. Ask your planner about other resources.
7. Look at your floor plan and map out a one-way traffic flow where possible, with people entering and exiting through different entry points.
8. For your ceremony and at the reception, when people get up to give speeches and especially when they are singing, make sure those individuals have at least 10' of distance from guests as they will be projecting their voice and will need even more space.
9. Hire a professional catering company who is properly trained and licensed on proper food handling.
10. Forego the double sided buffet. Ask your caterer to offer a one side buffet with staff scooping and serving each item to guests as they walk through. Better yet, skip the buffet all together and offer a plated meal.
11. Forego the traditional receiving line. Instead give a welcome speech to guests. Take the time to look around the room at each guest and thank people for coming.
12. If it makes sense for your event schedule, consider walking around visiting with guests while they are seated at tables to minimize hand touching and hugging.
13. It is a cultural pastime to shake hands with business associates. Address with vendors ahead of time that it is okay to not shake hands or hug each other or you. Set clear expectations on social contact and how much distance you prefer.
14. Work with staff to schedule hourly touch point sanitization, wiping down surfaces that are being commonly touched such as door knobs, restrooms, equipment, guest book pen, etc.
15. Seat fewer guests at each table, and preferably, seat households by table
16. Spread tables out, with a minimum 6' distance
17. Make it a grand occasion and hire staff to hold doors open for guests, the fewer doors and surfaces people touch, could help to minimize the passing of germs.
18. Consider providing live streaming for guests who are unable to attend
19. Check in with your vendors about their sick policies and have a back up plan
20. Consider having planning meetings with your event planner or vendors over the phone or virtually, instead of in-person
21. Buy locally! No matter where you are in the world, there will be supply chain disruptions since many of our goods are produced in China. For weddings and special events, many high end materials such as fabrics, leathers and materials are produced in Italy and other parts of Europe. Additionally, we could expect some disruptions of goods traveling through parts of the US. This is a wonderful opportunity to support locally made goods.
22. If you made purchases that are shipping from other places, or plan to - you will want to make purchases early and will want to double and triple check delivery timelines, especially for things like wedding dresses.
23. Keep tabs on wedding guest count and travel. Plan to reconfirm RSVPs regularly as new mandates come out and a few days before your final guest count is due to vendors to avoid surprises.
24. Wedding and travel insurance - check what is covered with the insurance you have already purchased. If you haven't purchased travel or wedding insurance, consider purchasing, but be careful and read the fine print. Canceling over FEAR of contracting the coronavirus is likely not covered.
25. Consider taking your event outside, talk to your planner about weather and set up
26. Talk to your guests ahead of time and establish a clear sick policy for your event. Government recommendations include 14 days quarantine if exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and to stay home for a minimum of 72 hours if showing symptoms or after fever has subsided.
27. And if all else fails and you just can't deal, then elope to Alaska! Check out our elopement services
HEALTH AND SAFETY
I want you to know that the health and safety of you, your guests and our team, are very important. Laura, Sarah and myself, are certified in first aid and everyone who works with us at La Boum Events has their food handlers certification. We have always and will continue to actively wash our hands regularly throughout all events. Each of us has years of experience with events and you can expect safe habits.
For now, we will be holding off on hugs and handshakes for a friendly wave and smiles and maintaining a 6' distance as much as possible. Additionally, we are available to conduct meetings virtually instead of face-to-face if need be.
OUR SICK POLICY
It is very rare for any of us at La Boum Events to be sick. As a collaboration of planners working together, we have the ability to substitute another experienced and highly qualified planner as a back up should any of us get sick. For now, we will be limiting the amount of additional events we book for 2020 and one of us will be assigned as a back up planner to your event, just in case.
In closing - we often say "hope for the best, plan for the worst." Right now, we are hoping for the best and continuing to work. Just know that we are definitely working on a "plan for the worst" in the back of our minds. It is our hope to always offer our clients comfort and relieve any stress. Wedding planning is stressful enough without also having to deal with the spread of viruses.
We are here for you!
If you are a current client and have any concerns about your event or a potential client and would like to talk in more detail, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love and hand waves!
I hope I have given you some reassurance for a happy, safe and healthy event in Alaska. Would love to hear your comments. I always try to respond directly and I would love to work with you on your Alaska event big or small! Until my next blog post, here's to making your next event YOUR BEST BASH YET!
To book me fill out our CONTACT form to get started.
xoxo - Rebecca .
Hey there! I am Rebecca Kopperud, a born and bred Alaskan, as well as the owner and chief designer behind
La Boum Events.
I began my career in event planning organizing conferences and meetings. In 2012 I had the opportunity to strike out on my own and start my own company. I choose the name La Boum Events because it is slang for "the party!" I was looking for a name that reflected my love of french culture, my bubbly personality and above all, my love for entertaining. La Boum Events was born and we absolutely took off planning Alaska's best weddings and celebrations.
Since then I have invited other super organizers and decorators to collaborate with me to offer spectacular event planning services throughout Alaska. Meet our team on our ABOUT page.
To book La Boum Events for your event, fill out our CONTACT form to get started.