After pulling through the most devastating pandemic of our lifetime, most of us will never look at public gatherings the same way ever again. Where warmth, exhilaration and excitement accompanied most public meetings in the pre-COVID era, the meetings of the future will undoubtedly cause varying degrees of anxiety, fear and unease in a lot of people.
That’s a reality that event organizers will have to contend with moving forward. And as more venues begin to open up after months of lockdowns, we are beginning to see the beginnings of a tech-driven revolution that will considerably change the events landscape moving forward. Some of the notable innovations to this effect include:
With the WHO warning that COVID-19 may be with us for the next foreseeable future, diagnostic tests for the virus will be the new norm in entrances to public events. This may be greatly enforced by government regulations as a virus control measure, but it will definitely benefit event organizers as their attendees will be more at ease knowing that everyone present is safe.
Nonetheless, there’s still lots of work to be done to make diagnostic tests suitable for larger events. In particular, rapid testing kits that can produce results in minutes will be the preferred method of testing at events. As it is, the most viable rapid test kit is ID NOW from Abbott, which can produce results in under 15 minutes. The downside is that the test accuracy is questionable, with false-negative rates said to be as high as 15%. This will hopefully improve as the key medical devices companies try to outdo each other.
Social distancing is one of the buzzwords that have defined the COVID-19 world. While it sounds easy on paper, having attendees remain 6 feet away from each other for the entire duration of the event will naturally be a very tall order.
With targeted technology, however, organizers can maintain social distancing easily and efficiently. The pioneer technology in this case is ‘Geofencing’, which basically comes in the form of mobile apps that event attendees will have on their phones. When the recommended social distance is breached, the app will alert the concerned people through vibration and a worded word of caution.
Smart Air Purifiers
With COVID-19 being an air-bone virus, air purifiers are increasingly being used outside of the usual hospital environments as the UV rays they emit have been proven to inactivate the virus. Once events come back in full force, there’s a likelihood that most of them will have ultraviolet air purifiers at strategic locations to complement other safety measures.
One of the symptoms of the novel coronavirus is fever, which drives up the body temperature above the normal levels of between 36.5 – 39.5 degrees Celsius. For this reason, most businesses that can’t afford PCR diagnostic tests have been using contactless infrared thermometers to scan people coming through their doors. These thermometers, along with other tools, such as thermal scanners, will definitely be used in event venues to diagnose people with fevers. They may then be asked to leave the venue or undergo more advanced tests to make sure their high temperatures are not caused by COVID-19.