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Covid-19: New year, new kit

IQ looks at some of the latest Covid-mitigation products and services available to venues and event organisers

By Lisa Henderson on 18 Jan 2021

Covid kit graphic

A number of vaccines to thwart Covid-19 are on the horizon, but with the programmes of immunisation expected to take the best part of a year, live events will still need special kit and systems to operate well into 2021. IQ looks at some of the latest products and services available to venues and event organisers…


Events industry web portal and mobile app specialist VenuIQ has recently released SafeWatch, a wearable device and monitoring solution designed to assist event organisers in creating safe, socially distanced spaces for attendees of exhibitions, conferences, venues and membership groups.

SafeWatch is a fully rechargeable, wearable device providing rapid location tracking and heat-map technology, which ensures organisers have a clear view of who is where at an event, as well as numbers per room. This allows action to be quickly taken to avoid potential crowding situations that may compromise current health and safety requirements.

SafeWatch will also automatically remind attendees when they are within two metres of each other with a gentle nudge by emitting light flashes and vibrations. This also allows organisers to offer a robust track-and-trace facility, providing comfort to delegates, and compliance for local regulations. SafeWatch watches are rechargeable and can be safely disinfected between use. Rental prices start from £4 each per event and can be sourced from VenuIQ.

SafeWatch automatically reminds attendees when they are within two metres of each other

During the spring lockdown AnyBrand introduced HeiQ Viroblock, a Swiss textile technology that is added to fabric during the final stage of the textile manufacturing process.

The new treatment, which AnyBrand says is scientifically proven to be effective against the virus that causes Covid-19, has been used on face coverings – which are fully brandable – and surface coatings. According to AnyBrand, tests showed its treated face coverings to be 20 times more effective than untreated products, protecting the wearer and those around them.

While the HeiQ surface coating is aimed at keeping venues clean with an antiseptic application effective against the virus, when applied to surfaces from door handles, bars and seats, AnyBrand claims that the coating lasts two months and removes the need for expensive, recurrent deep cleaning.

“We have spent months having conversations about getting back to business safely, with trade associations and leading organisations, spanning music, venues, sports, conferences, and exhibitions,” says AnyBrand co-founder Colin Graham.

“With vaccines set to ease and remove lockdown measures, preparations to re-open doors safely can begin. We hope the One Industry One Voice campaign can galvanise the industry and the government to create safe pathways, with new products and procedures, such as ours, being part of a holistic approach (with testing for example) to effective risk management. We’re ready to be part of reopening venues and stadia safely, with scalable, cost-effective products and support.”

AnyBrand’s HeiQ-trated face coverings are scientifically effective against coronavirus

Event planning platform OnePlan has unveiled a suite of social distancing tools and calculators, built in collaboration with crowd management experts, that help venues and events respond to Covid. Used by festivals worldwide, including Glastonbury, as well as sports teams in the Premier League, NBA, and MLB, OnePlan enables festival producers to instantly assess capacity, queueing and space requirements to ensure safe and successful events.

Its Crowd Spacing Calculator measures any area with a set distance between each person, providing data to inform risk assessments and suggestions for site design, while the Arrival Calculator works out the wait time and physical space required to manage queues, based on a predicted attendee arrival profile. The Exit Calculator, meanwhile, estimates the duration of egress based on the number of exits, their widths and number of people.

The company has also just announced the launch of its 3D and 3D+ platform, with realistic views of how an event would look in any scenario. It’s set to reduce the need for site visits, with partners and stakeholders able to collaborate in real time, plotting how all aspects of their event will actually look.

OnePlan enables festival producers to instantly assess capacity, queueing and space requirements

Swallow Events
Swallow Events is offering MHRA- and CE-approved 15-minute (99.68% specificity) pop-up testing facilities conducted by government-approved healthcare professionals on any size and scale, enabling large-scale gatherings to be held in a Covid-secure environment. The company also offers a supply-only option and ships worldwide.

Swallow Events also offers a full consultancy service, covering critical information and advice to enable events in all sectors to open safely and compliantly. The company says its consultancy service is in line with UK government guidelines from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and also in conjunction with any local authority restrictions and necessary health and safety precautions.

“Our rapid testing kits used in conjunction with track-and-trace data collection and other Covid-secure protocols will help event organisers in all sectors from large-scale festivals, concerts, stadia, business conferences and trade shows through to agricultural shows and small boutique festivals,” says Oli Thomas, founder and MD of Swallow Events.

“Our mission is to support and lobby for events of all nature, working in close conjunction with local authorities and ultimately enabling organisers to open in a safe, responsible and Covid-secure environment.”

Swallow Events provides MHRA- and CE-approved 15-minute pop-up testing facilities

With increasing news of viable Covid-19 vaccines, there’s hope on the horizon for a return to some kind of normality in the sports and entertainment industries. Turf protection company Terraplas says that while there is “no magic wand” that can be waved to get spectators and fans back in stadiums, there are measures that can be put in place to facilitate this.

The company has designed a number of health and safety-compatible and financially viable products to meet Covid-19 requirements and help stadiums welcome fans back.

TerraPOD aims to remove the cattle-market appearance of group social distancing and maximise stadium concert attendance in a safe environment. The modular design means the PODs are simple to store and construct, are easy to clean and sanitise (manufactured from HDPE with clear perspex viewing panels) and offer an ideal showcase for sponsorship opportunities.

TerraPOD is designed to be assembled in blocks of six – allowing around 420 PODs per standard-sized stadium pitch, which will provide additional revenue to the organisers through the rental of the PODs to concertgoers. This makes events that utilise pitch space for patrons, financially viable.

In conjunction with a stadium app, the PODs can further facilitate social distancing and eliminate the need for unnecessary movement around the facility, with food and beverages delivered to the POD. However, when it is necessary to leave the POD, for example to use the toilets, the four metre-wide walkways ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Terraplas is also offering an all-in-one virus defence station for spectator arrival at the facility. TerraSAN is a sanitising mist gateway with built-in temperature gauge that tests each patron’s temperature before they walk through the motion-activated, LED-lit, multi-nozzle misting decontamination unit.

With terraSAN units at all entry points, and each unit processing up to 700 people per hour, facilities and venues can deliver safe access for patrons, marshals, concessionaires, employees and others. Organisers can also use terraSAN units in conjunction with a timed ticketing solution that will enable streamlined entry into the facility.

Terraplas hopes that terraPOD combined with terraSAN will facilitate stadiums to take the necessary steps to open up for large-scale populated events in a clear, safe way, sooner rather than later.

Terraplas offers TerraPOD to maximise stadium concert attendance, as well as an all-in-one virus defence station

Virtual Crowd
Launched by Fireplay, in partnership with Production Resource Group and Clair Global, Virtual Crowd is a customisable and scalable multimedia technology that allows artists, speakers, and performers to interact with their fans, employees, or clients in real time with “minimal latency,” the company claims.

Last month, Metallica used the technology to interact with their fans around the world during their performances for the Helping Hands Concert & Auction charity event. The band rocked out while surrounded by walls of video screens displaying faces of their fans, some of whom the band engaged with during breaks in the music using Interview Mode.

Interview Mode allows the client or production team to choose one or two guests and interact with them directly. The company imagines this facilitating an interaction between a fan and a performer, a journalist asking a question at a digital press conference, a remote emcee, or a speaker stepping up to deliver a keynote at a virtual conference. Another feature of Virtual Crowd is Moderation Mode, which ensures that moderators have full control over who participates in the event, as well as how they interact.

Metallica used Virtual Crowd technology to interact with their fans around the world

Goldensea UV, a manufacturer of UV-C disinfection products, has released a new Air range designed to cleanse the air of bacteria and viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

The Air range employs multi-stage filtration technology that combats the virus in an aerosolised form. Circulating air is taken in and purified before being returned to the room, with tests showing that 99.9% of viruses are inactivated after just one pass through the UV Air unit, which can be used continuously, even whilst events are taking place. Products can be either ceiling or wall mounted for upper air purification, or freestanding for convenience.

The Air range consists of three models, all of which use Philips UVC lamp tubes – the only lamps certified as effective against Covid-19. UVAIR 72 is a compact and stylish mobile model suitable for medium-sized spaces up to 300m³. The UVAIR 216 is designed for disinfecting spaces up to 800m³ and is wheeled for easy transportation, while the UVAIR 300-F is designed for permanent installations in spaces up to 1,000m³. Its features include high-volume air exchange, variable settings, and three-stage filtration, and can be wall or ceiling mounted. All products are CE, ETL and FCC compliant and listed.

Resysten’s anti-microbial coating kills harmful pathogens, including the new coronavirus, on any surface

Hungarian start-up Resysten is manufacturing an anti-microbial coating that kills harmful pathogens (including the new coronavirus) on any surface with an effectiveness of 99.9% and a lasting effect of up to one year, according to the company.

Photocatalytic coating means that the sprayed solution, upon contact with light (whether natural or artificial), produces hydrogen peroxide, which prevents the presence of pathogens on any surface. It takes under a minute to monitor the presence of activity on a surface. As a non-biocide solution, it allows surfaces to be cleaned without the product being wiped off.

According to Resysten, its effectiveness has been backed up by public and private sector clients in its native Hungary through extensive testing, including Budapest’s International Airport, the city’s public transport network and the country’s own public health system. The coating is also used in restaurants, shop outlets, shopping malls, offices and many more.

Clients include Philip Morris, T-Mobile, Metro Stores, Audi and Vt-Arriva. The company says it recently quoted a low-cost airline where the cost worked out at nine cents per passenger. The coating was developed in response to the SARS epidemic of 2003 as a way to combat hospital acquired infections (HAIs).


Read this feature in its original format in the digital edition of IQ 95.

This article forms part of IQ’s Covid-19 resource centre – a knowledge hub of essential guidance and updating resources for uncertain times.

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