The Business Design Centre (BDC) is ready to receive visitors safely as soon as the government lifts the current restrictions on events taking place.
Kate Simpson, the marketing and communications director at the mixed-use venue told EN that the venue had to act quickly to ensure it was safe for the businesses using the office spaces, and that such measures would give organisers a glimpse of what Covid-19 secure events may look like. She said: “We are bringing the initial movements of post-lockdown life back into the building for the companies who operate from the many permanent offices surrounding our conference and exhibition space. In implementing the measures to make the venue safe, it also gives us an early opportunity to observe and refine the way our procedures work, giving our event clients a chance to come to the venue and envisage how they could operate under the current guidelines too.”
She added: “It has been an important challenge for us to address how we can reassure those returning to the BDC that we are doing everything in our power to make the building both safe and comfortable without the monotonous repetition of the words we have been hearing for the last few months.
“Our new signage and communications have been developed with this in mind, leaning on the BDC community to not only follow the advice, but to be mindful and show kindness when moving around the building.”
Simpson explained what had been introduced. “The new measures begin as you reach the venue, with thermal imaging technology that is currently being installed in the reception area to detect body temperatures of those arriving into the building,”
“Although there will be measures to ensure distancing upon entry, the software can process large numbers of people simultaneously, alerting the team to those presenting with a temperature of over 38°C. We are creating an area for the commuters who may have run or cycled to cool off before entering the building and can manually take temperatures again with an acceptable distance in place if required.”
The BDC has also introduced a one-way system on every floor, including two metre reminder chevrons and directional signage in stairwells with waiting points for safer passing on landing areas. Perspex screens have been mounted on all counters around the venue, including reception desks and the organisers’ office. More touchless features designed to reduce the need for contact are to be installed. The number of hand sanitiser points has been increased and so too has the number of hot water basins.
Simpson added: “Our continued rigorous cleaning schedule of high-volume touch points, communal areas and other amenities has been increased to include the deployment of newly purchased ‘fogging’ machines. These machines allow us to use chemicals approved by Public Health England in treating the Covid-19 virus and can sanitise large areas quickly and efficiently.
“We will begin using these to ensure all office spaces are safe for staff and tenants to return to, as well as communal areas, extending this to our event spaces prior to their use. As an example, overnight cleaning with this equipment allows us to seal rooms before an event organiser arrives in the morning giving them the comfort of knowing they’re using a secure and safe space.”
Simpson explained that there will likely be two sides to events going forward, with a combination of both live and digital becoming even more prevalent. “We have been preparing for this with our in-house support team, Granite, and on-site AV partners Aztec to provide cost price high, speed connectivity and affordable live streaming to all events taking place this year. This will mean our events can deliver their content via their own websites or social channels, with a minimal impact on valuable event spend.”