Events are back, but precautions are still in place. It’s now common to expect requirements for gathering, and it’s recommended that you talk with your client about those expectations right out of the gate. This comes down to honest communication which includes listening to your client’s needs and voicing your own.
As with any health-related issue, there’s some sensitivity in bringing up vaccination status. Concerns regarding safety during the pandemic are really no different from other issues that need clarification in the pre-booking stage. Opinions and desires from either side of the booking are best-communicated upfront in order to eliminate confusion, and the details of your expectations and theirs are important to talk through before the gig is booked.
Start the conversation
The best way to approach sensitive questions is by opening up and sharing your own feelings first. Then follow that up with questions you need to have answered. You could take the direct route and let the client know whether or not you are vaccinated, and/or if you’re willing to take a COVID test prior to the event. If certain COVID-19 protocols are deal breakers for accepting a gig, you could even place this in the overview of your profile to make it clear upfront where you stand. When it comes to working in a pandemic, you have to make decisions that are right for you and your family. If that means not accepting gigs for events that don’t align with your personal choices, that’s okay. You just need to make that clear from the get-go. Don’t wait until the booking is finalized to make your client aware of this crucial information.
Listen to your client’s needs
Remember that this is a two-way street. Perhaps you aren’t particularly concerned about COVID-19 protocols or don’t have any special requirements. That doesn’t mean your client is the same. Getting ahead of the issue and seeing how they feel in advance will save you a potential headache later. Start the conversation yourself, and make sure you listen and understand their viewpoints if they share them. Bringing up the topic may prompt them to check with their venues or other local mandates to ensure that the event won’t hit any roadblocks or force a messy booking cancellation. Being open and flexible to your client’s needs (if not in conflict with your own) may help you continue to perform safely during the pandemic.
We are all tired of talking about COVID, but it’s still necessary and important. Have the conversation. Listen to your client. Be kind. And be safe. 💖