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How to Communicate about Health and Safety at Live Events

Jenny Love
Published:  01/18/2022

woman holding vax card

Many things have changed about hosting events since the spring of 2020, but one thing that is entirely new is the need to tell attendees about both their rights and their responsibilities when it comes to their and others’ health at live events. 

It’s crucial. Communication about Covid policies reassures attendees and informs them of pandemic-related requirements, such as vaccination mandates. 

But it’s also hard. Masking and vaccination remain controversial issues throughout the country. Circumstances change rapidly, requiring flexibility on the parts of event staff and attendees. And balancing the need to inform without increasing anxiety among potential attendees about their safety requires careful messaging. 

I do a lot of writing for my job in content marketing at AHP, and one thing that always gives me a leg up is starting with examples of messaging that has worked for others in similar situations. Alice Ayres, president and CEO of AHP, collected some examples of health and safety messaging from AHP members, and one organization’s success in this area stood out to me. I’m including their exact messaging here in case you, like me, prefer not to start with a blank slate. 

First, a little background on the event. Grossmont Hospital Foundation, one of three foundations of Sharp Healthcare, held an in-person gala in November 2021. Benefiting from the mild fall weather in California, the event took place in a tent with open sides for ventilation, but nevertheless they made the decision to require vaccination to minimize risk of virus transmission at the event. 

The team at Grossmont included language about the vaccination requirement at all points during the registration process to minimize confusion and ensure that attendees knew what to expect before and during the event. Here is what they said.

 

On Invitations 

All guests to the gala will be required to show Covid-19 vaccination, which includes official record card (digital photo or photocopy is fine) or state digital record with QR code, or a negative laboratory test (official CLIA number and testing location) taken within 72 hours.  

 

On the Event Registration Page 

To ensure a fun and safe event for all our guests, please note that we are requiring all guests to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a SARS-CoV-2 test, PCR or antigen test, from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) lab test taken no more than 72 hours prior to the event to attend in person. These can be either mailed to PO Box 123, La Mesa, CA 91944, or emailed to grossmonthospitalfdn@sharp.com or brought to the gala. 

 

On Registration Receipts

Please note that we are requiring all guests to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination, or a negative SARS-CoV-2 test, PCR or antigen test, from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) lab test taken 72 hours prior to the event to attend in person. These can be either emailed to grossmonthospitalfdn@sharp.com or brought to the gala. 

“All the guests were very receptive to sending us their vaccine card or a negative test 72 hours ahead of time,” said Bill Navrides, director of development at Grossmont Hospital Foundation. 

Benefits of this approach extended beyond the gala. Bill’s team saved copies of vaccine cards to attendee’s profiles in Raiser’s Edge, which will allow them to save time and minimize hassle for attendees at this year's golf tournament.

Share Your Own Examples

Do you have Covid safety language of your own to share? Our members would love to see them! Drop me a line at communications@ahp.org or, if you are an AHP member, post them directly in The Huddle

 

NEWS  /07/07/20
As the pandemic lingers, it's time to evolve your messaging toward long-term opportunities.
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John Simpson and Ben Texter, co-founders of Digital Health Strategies, a health care fundraising agency, offer practical tips for messaging during the COVID-19 crisis.
NEWS  /02/03/21
Giving Tuesday is a unique fundraising initiative driven by marketing rather than development. For both the marketing and development teams, this could create uneasiness. Here is how we addressed it.

Meet The Author

jenny love headshot
Jenny Love
Chief Content Officer
Association for Healthcare Philanthropy

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