How to host a safe and fun Halloween, according to an expert

Principally, renowned celebrity event designer, Edward Perotti wants readers to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic is not the death of communal gatherings.

In uncertain times celebrating comes down to clarity and ingenuity.

“Keep punching at the transparent conversation,” Perrotti told Ladders. “Do the necessary homework on the front end to come up with creative, transparent solutions to promote safety. If a guest needs to decline it’s okay.”

Perrotti’s aspires to organize events and experiences that his clients will remember. SARS-CoV-2 may have rearranged the means that facilitate this outcome, but it hasn’t stifled it.

Going forward, the coordinator is confident that some of the precautions he employs in his profession on behalf of transmission concerns, will continue to impact the event industry long after the novel coronavirus has been contained.

“People want to gather differently,” Perrotti continued. “Thanksgiving has looked the same since the Pilgrims. Chefs get more creative in how they serve. People are using glass tables so they can tell if they’re clean or not, in addition to plated meals, and serving trays mounted on pedestals. Covid-19 is forcing us to look at things differently.”

If you are planning an event in the coming months, consider the conditions below to keep your guests and staff safe.

Reverse the process of Halloween during coronavirus

After you have decided upon a safe number of guests (here for the formula used by researchers to assess risk based on masks used and space size), be sure to send out a mass email informing attendants of actions you require of them to feel protected. Include a disclaimer for those who want to discuss terms privately.

“Personal needs should be spelled out,” Perroti added. “Your health and your family health needs to be a priority. We’re gonna wear masks and space out the dining table.”

More discreetly this email should include directions for guests who need to enter your home to use the restroom, seating arrangements (Perotti recommends seating friends and family together to reduce risk and hostility), as well as for instructions for those who will be attending your event virtually like how to prepare the table and where to place your laptop to mimic a shared meal experience.

How to have a safe Halloween during a pandemic

With respect to Halloween specifically, hosts should do everything in their power to hold festivities outdoors and update themselves on regional outbreaks.

“Just like we check the weather on Halloween to see what precautions and extra gear might be needed, knowing the current state of COVID-19 in your community will be important in determining if it is safe or not,” Michelle Barron, MD, medical director for infection prevention and control at UCHealth in Aurora, Colo said in a recent release. “Follow the current rules and guidance being given at the state and local level, and do a risk/benefit analysis based on the health of the individuals trick-or-treating and those who live in the household and decide if the risk of getting potentially exposed to someone with COVID-19 is worth the bag of treats.”

Dr. Barron additionally recommended individually wrapping up candy before placing them out in your yard or on your stoop so that there’s space between the bags for people to easily pick them up.

As for Perroti, he’s done with horror themes this year. 2020 was en route to be a grim year, even before the most destructive pandemic in recent memory.

“Halloween can be fantasy-themed and light and frivolous. Weave in safe ways to incorporate COVID-19 gear. Use sharpies to decorate latex gloves and masks but don’t cut a hole in them for straws.

As a high-risk candidate himself (Perroti recently beat cancer), the event expert understands how disarming transmission risk can be in a public setting. The only way to console yourself during high-risk scenarios is too seriously to review all relevant parameters.

“I tell myself repeatedly that I can’t control other people. It’s not my job to shame them or get upset at them. I am responsible for myself. If the situation feels remotely unsafe be self-aware enough to take yourself out,” Perroti told Ladders.

The future is hybrid events

Hybrid events are here to stay. Perroti correctly points out how strange blowing on aa birthday cake will be in a post-pandemic world. Even if successful vaccine trials are administered before the end of the year, gatherings will need to be appreciated as high-risk events for some time to come.

“What’s getting to me is I’m watching people and they’re really looking for the information that they want to hear. I have to be safe I am high-risk. If you think a COVID-19 vaccine will eliminate all risks you’re fooling yourself, barely half of the country gets a flu vaccine, 60% maybe. Unless it’s 100% there is no guarantee. It’s gonna take at least a year for the mentality to circulate. I have to be safe I am high-risk.”

After nearly 30 years in the event industry, Perroti is still dedicated to sparking the imagination, inspiring creativity, and “taking the aspirational and translating it into the attainable.”