COVID-19 has led to a new norm of social distancing that will play a major role in how people gather at events in the coming months and years. As sporting games, live theater productions, conventions, and other events slowly return, many of these venues will need to adapt their settings to accommodate new social spacing requirements and requests.
“When it comes to staging and seating, in many cases it is no longer business as usual,” said Cindy Albrecht, director of sales and marketing at a provider of portable staging solutions. “Our clients are coming to us with requests for solutions that allow for additional social distancing, and we are continuing to take steps to plan for future changes and accommodations that venues will seek for the comfort and safety of their guests.”
Examples of potential future design and staging requirements will likely include:
- the addition of more VIP sections at stadiums and arenas;
- the use of temporary platforms, ramps, or stairs in stadiums and arenas;
- increased demand for camera platforms/media risers;
- the addition of inserts or tables at theaters and other venues;
- the installation of more barricades and guardrails; and
- the use of more temporary and custom staging equipment, such as rolling staging platforms, risers and portable seating.
According to Albrecht, key factors for staging and designing seating areas at venues will be flexibility and modularity.
“These non-permanent solutions will give architects, designers, building operators, and facility managers the ability to install and test solutions at their venues and then adjust or change them if needed,” she said. “Flexible options also are less costly than permanent solutions that require pouring concrete.”