Pre-Event Planning For Post-Event Cleanup

By Keith Schneringer, Senior Director of Marketing – Facility Care + Sustainability at BradyPLUS

Hosting Guests At Home — A Labor Of Love

As many of us experienced during the recent holidays, entertaining guests at our homes can be a significant undertaking.

First, there is the preparation — getting everything clean and organized to receive guests. Then, there is everything that needs to be done to accommodate all the needs of the guests during their visit — the refreshments, the restroom supplies, the managing of waste and recyclables so they don’t take over your house, as well as the ongoing cleanup to keep everything tidy enough for people to continue to enjoy themselves.

And then there is the post-event cleanup — all the things we need to do to put everything back together again, including a thorough cleanup and disposal of all the waste and recyclables.

But what if your “home” is a venue that hosts events for up to 100,000 people?

And what if you are hosting all these guests tonight, tomorrow night, and the night after that?

Hosting Guests At An Away-From-Home Venue — A Matter Of Scale

Typically, a household will host anywhere from half a dozen to two dozen guests at a time for an event. Now, think about multiplying that number by the thousands if you are hosting an event at an away-from-home venue like a stadium, arena, convention center, casino, or concert hall!

As much work as it takes to entertain household guests, the amount of work it takes to host an event and entertain patrons at an away-from-home venue is orders of magnitude more difficult and complex.

While the basic steps remain the same — pre-event preparation, event management, and post-event cleanup — there are some special considerations to make for large venues that are worth exploring further.

Essential Spaces

By focusing on solutions in the essential facility care spaces of restrooms and seating areas and the essential facility care function of waste management, away-from-home venues can implement a facility care plan that makes the best use of their available labor, minimizes waste, and creates a clean, healthy, and safe environment which is most conducive to a wonderful guest experience.

Let’s take a closer look at some thoughts for these essential spaces and functions.

Essential Spaces — Restrooms

Restrooms are typically a space within the facility that everyone in attendance will visit at least once during their time at the facility. Frequently, attendees will rate the quality of their time at the venue on the cleanliness and functionality of the restrooms, so it is critically important to have a sound restroom care plan.

  • Pre-Event: It is always best to start with a “clean slate.” You will want to make sure your restroom surfaces and floors are all sparkly clean, malodors are addressed, your restroom dispensers are fully stocked, waste receptacles are empty, and everything is “ready for prime time” prior to the event.

Ideally, your venue has installed sanitary paper and hand soap dispensing systems which are designed for high traffic use and offer controlled dispensing so that you can handle the large, anticipated influx of attendees and minimize the amount of waste being generated. It is also a splendid idea to incorporate IoT technology into these dispensers so that you can monitor usage, eliminate run-outs, and gather data on an ongoing basis to better understand usage patterns for planning future events.

Staffing levels should be established and filled (a workloading program can be super helpful), and supplies for restocking dispensers, emptying waste receptacles, and performing spot cleanups during the event should be pre-positioned so they are in the right places to be used as needed.

  • During the Event: Once the event is underway, all your pre-event planning gets put into action. Restroom dispensers should be monitored and restocked, spills cleaned up, and waste receptacles emptied as they become full.

It may seem like the line will never die down, but it always does eventually!

  • Post-Event: Once the event has concluded, the restrooms may look like a natural disaster has struck!

Ideally, you have mechanized the cleaning function in your restrooms so you can spray them down and then vacuum all the dirt, pathogens, and bio-waste on the surfaces and floors (including the grout lines). This process allows restrooms to be properly cleaned and smelling fresh for the next event.

Don’t forget to restock and wipe down the restroom dispensers and waste receptacles, and clean and disinfect touchpoints!

Essential Spaces — Seating Areas

Here is where your venue guests will be spending most of their time so you will want to make a great first impression that lasts.

  • Pre-Event: Once again, it is critical to start with a clean and inviting seating area for your guests — a clean seating surface (including armrests) and a clean and non-sticky floor surface are the expectations, and your new guests should not find themselves spending any time encountering the mess made by a guest at a previous event.

Pre-positioning staff and supplies to address anticipated spills is key.

  • During the Event: Be on the lookout for spills and be prepared to get them cleaned up quickly, efficiently, and with the least amount of drama possible. Service with a smile is the name of the game!
  • Post-Event: Ideally, you have mechanized the cleaning function for your seating areas so you can spray them down and then vacuum all the dirt, pathogens, and spilled refreshments on surfaces and floors, allowing the seating areas to be clean and not sticky for the next event.

Don’t forget to clean and disinfect touchpoints!

Essential Functions — Waste Management

Wherever large crowds gather, waste is never far behind! And even though a venue may have waste/recycling/composting receptacles strategically located throughout the facility, some guests will still leave their trash underneath their seats or in the public walkways.

  • Pre-Event: Starting off with a plan is critical — ideally your venue has strategically placed receptacles throughout the venue to collect waste, recyclable, and compostable materials. These receptacles should be large enough to accommodate anticipated volumes and be accompanied by signage which makes it clear what goes where.

Working with your concessionaires is important so that you can limit and refine the type of waste you anticipate being generated by your concession stands and make it easier for your guests to dispose of their waste in the appropriate waste stream.

Having the right material handling equipment to then move the waste from the receptacles to the back of the house is the next component. The right utility carts make all the difference in the world to efficiently move the collected waste throughout the venue. And of course, you should have liners pre-positioned to address full receptacles.

  • During the Event: The focus should be on emptying overflowing waste receptacles and keeping all the venue spaces as litter-free as possible. Tools like “EZ Reachers” and “Nifty Nabbers” can help with picking up those stray pieces of trash.
    Receptacles should be monitored and emptied as they become full.
  • Post-Event: Ideally your well-crafted waste management plan has resulted in three distinct streams of waste — with materials collected and designated for the landfill, recycling, and composting.
    For the remaining litter, using a blower to move all the stray refuse into more manageable piles is a strategy that helps to save time and labor.

In Summary

Just like hosting guests at your house, pre-event preparation is the key. The better prepared you are for guests at your away-from-home venue, the more enjoyable the experience will be for them and the less stressful the experience will be for you!

As always, your facility-care distributor partners stand ready to assist so you can be ready for the next event!

About BradyPLUS (formerly known as BradyIFS + Envoy Solutions) — BradyPLUS is a leading national distributor and solution provider focused on JanSan, foodservice, and industrial packaging. We are driven to make customers more successful and operations more productive and sustainable. We offer Supplies PLUS Support: Premium brands, expert advice, and exceptional customer experiences. Our 6,000 associates have a passion for delivering innovative solutions for the business challenges of today and tomorrow. Together, we serve over 100,000 customers nationwide in end markets that include education, government, healthcare, hospitality, restaurants, building services, food packaging & processing, and grocery. For more information, visit www.bradyifs.com and www.envoysolutions.com.

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