Small hands-on experiences and workshops are a fantastic way for regional businesses to give visitors an in-depth view into a new skill and are an excellent way to diversify revenue within the business.

With restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 crisis slowly being eased, the opportunity is there to once again welcome guests back, however it’s important to ensure the same requirements imposed on the hospitality industry is also applied to these experiences.

Currently, the Victorian government has set the following schedule for increasing patrons in hospitality venues:
From 1st June: 20 Patrons
From 22nd June: 50 Patrons
From mid-July: Up to 100 Patrons.

In addition to numbers, there is also a series of restrictions regarding spacing and other actions to protect guests. Here is a summary of these requirements from the Department of Health and Human Services website, with notes on how to consider these requirements in regards to small workshops and experiences:

You must measure your available floorspace and identify the maximum number of customers allowed on your premises at one time (no more than one person for every four-square-metres). For example, if your shop is 2 metres wide and 8 metres deep, its floorspace would allow a maximum of 4 customers and staff inside at one time (2 x 8 =  16m2, divided by 4 m2 per person = 4 people).
Additionally, a distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained between each person.

This may be the hardest criteria for some of you to meet considering that you are often working out of home studios and other small spaces.

There are two ways two solutions for this:
1. Reduce the amount of people allowed to attend your event to ensure that there is no more than one person per every four-square-metres)
2. Increased your own space. Is it possible to extend the class outside? Perhaps with the addition of a marquee and outdoor heater?
2. Seek out a larger space. Perhaps you have a friend with a larger space, or else try and approach your local council. We are finding that regional councils are being exceptionally generous with local businesses. Try calling up and asking for someone in the small business or economic development department.

These options might require you to lift your prices in order to cover the loss of revenue and/or extra expense. It’s always hard to determine the reaction to increased prices, in these times it might be an expectation that some things will come at a greater cost.

You must place a sign at the entrance/s to your premises indicating the maximum capacity of your shop and ensure no more than this number are in your premises at any one time.person.

They were definitely thinking of a retailer on the main strip when writing this, but it wouldn’t hurt to put up a sign like this just to make sure you are complying with all the requirements.

You must initiate a cleaning regime that ensures:

  • frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, touch screens, handrails and benchtops are cleaned at least twice per day with disinfectant
  • all surfaces are cleaned with disinfectant when visibly soiled
  • all surfaces are cleaned with disinfectant immediately if there is spillage.

For those of you who have worked for many years in foodservice, this is all second nature to you. For everyone else, it’s will simply be a matter of giving the place a good clean before and after the event.

That includes wiping down all surfaces that the attendee might touch with a disinfectant with anti-viral properties. The department provides more details on the appropriate disinfectant here.


Serving Food & Drink
Many of you will serve a light lunch or snack to our guests. It might be worth reconsidering this aspect of the experience to reduce the amount of contact that guests have with serving implements and with each other. Some have indicated that they might request guests bring their own lunch or snack with them, at least until there is a vaccine for the virus.

Hand Sanitisation points
Consider providing hand-sanitiser at the entrance to your space and requesting that each guest wash their hands on entering the room.

No Cash Payments
This one should be easy, considering the guests have pre-paid. If you have other products that customers can purchase at the end of the experience, make a note on your listing that only card payments are allowed.

Cancel event if you are feeling unwell
Please don’t hesitate to contact us to lets us know if you are feeling unwell before the event, even if it’s 10minutes before. We would rather the drama of contacting guests last minute and providing refunds, than being responsible for an outbreak.
We will relay the same request to guests as part of the communication they receive when they book.

Discourage hand-shaking or hugging
Goes without saying – everyone keep your distance. Including high-fives I’m afraid!

What’s most important is that we communicate each of these requirements clearly with both potential attendees and attendees booked in.

We will be adding a new field to Provider Admin called ‘Please Note’, whereby we will add default text that addresses the above issues, and for which you can customise to suit your own venue.

We are currently accepting new experiences providers for Victoria. Current Providers can log in here.