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What to Consider

Patron Education

“We’re all in this together” describes the essential role patrons play in allowing live events to resume safely. Because coronavirus is highly contagious, everyone – patrons as well as workers – must do their part. This section focuses on ways to educate patrons to maximize health and safety compliance and minimize disruption of the event.

Managing Expectations. Consistent and widespread messaging by arts organizations can accomplish two essential goals: (1) teaching patrons that the new rules are for the protection and those around them, which will eventually lead to greater compliance; and (2) showing new safety practices will coax nervous patrons back to public places.

What to Explain. The concept of explaining rules to patrons is hardly new. Many events or venues already have codes of conduct with lists of prohibited items and behavior. Before reopening, they must add their new health procedures and expectations, such as longer wait times. There is no exact amount of information that is best. Rather, as with all safety messaging, the goal is to be positive, practical, and proportionate.

How to Message. Use website, social media, and email to communicate with audiences, visitors and participants in advance of any changes. Consider a general marketing campaign about the actions put in place to assure guests that safety measures that are being taken. Clearly communicate closed areas or exhibits, reduction of amenities, etc. or changes that may impact visits. Create a hotline, automated text messaging system, social media, or dedicated website. Identify and address potential language, cultural, and disability barriers associated with communicating COVID-19 information to event staff and participants. Information should be easily understood by everyone.

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