*29 May 2020: For updated information since the Government's change to allow up to 100 people at gatherings, please see our latest blog post: Latest update to Gathering Sizes in Alert Level 2.


As the recent days leading up to Level Two have shown, the future is still somewhat unclear for industries like ours that are hinged on gathering people together.

When you choose to hold an event for the general public, we have a range of built-in features that can help you to manage your venue capacities, physical distancing requirements and contact tracing data. These features are available for use at your discretion and as part of your COVID-19 Response Plan, alongside the on-site protocols driven by your venue and on-site operations as per Ministry of Health guidelines.

Venue Capacities and Physical Distancing

Currently at Level Two, indoor and outdoor gatherings are limited to no more than 100 people in total (excluding staff), with individual groups no larger than 10 people.

All guests at indoor venues should be seated with a minimum of 1 metre distance between each group. Therefore as an example, if your venue has a normal capacity of 100 seats, then once you have allowed for space between each group (such as 1x seat distance), you may only be able to accommodate between 25-50 patrons.

Setting venue capacities and capping the number of tickets a customer can purchase in one order are standard features of our ticketing service. Beyond that, to manage seating allocations we have three booking methods that may work for you:

  1. List your event as ‘Seated on Arrival’, and have ushers seat your customers on a first-come-first-served basis, ensuring that their seat number is noted alongside their contact details on an occupancy report for your contact tracing purposes.
  2. Accept bookings via 'registration only' and allocate seating at your discretion a few days in advance of your show. Once allocated by you, customers will then have their eTicket emailed to them with their actual seat number and contact details referenced on their ticket.
  3. Create a 'spaced-out' seating map to suit your venue that forces distancing between every patron, regardless of their group size. Although this gives the customer the chance to choose where they sit, and will automatically include that seat number on their ticket, problems may arise if the Alert Levels change in advance of your show and any cancellations or changes to distancing requirements are announced.

Keeping a Headcount

For events that accommodate free-flowing guests such as festivals or expos, we recently developed an App to keep count of all incoming and outgoing patrons in real-time. Developed for managing the headcount at the 'Walk the Tunnels' event where thousands of people were able to experience one of Auckland's City Rail Link tunnels before officially opening. The 'Count Me In' App helps to ensure that you never go over your capacity restrictions. Interested? Let us know and we'll tell you more.

Contact Tracing*

When a customer books tickets with us, requesting 'Attendee Details' will be enabled by default. This can be turned off at your request if you have an alternative system for collating contact tracing data, or it is not required (eg. for a Virtual Event or certain ticket types).

All 'Attendee Details' data is securely stored for delivery to the Ministry of Health on request as required. If the customer has booked on behalf of friends who change at the last minute, this data is editable by the customer from their Order History at any time and a reminder to check these details can be delivered a few days in advance of your show if you wish.

A useful alternative to our standard eTicket delivery is the 'ePass'. The ePass was originally designed to help speed up ticket scanning on-site for large group bookings and to mitigate ticket fraud at NZ's biggest Summer dress-up party; Splore Festival. Now in the era of COVID-19, the ePass can also serve as a great tool for physical distancing (while scanning tickets) and for better contact tracing within its unique sharing function.

When a purchaser books multiple tickets for a group of friends, the ePass collates all the tickets into one tidy barcode thereby reducing the need to print out and scan multiple eTickets. What's more, if the group is not planning on arriving together, tickets can be shared to friends in a secure way (leaving no room for fraud), but also ensuring the legitimacy of the ticket holder's identity for the purposes of contact tracing.

If all else fails, with the ePass you can confirm attendee contact details and easily update these as required through the ePass Scanning Portal as guests arrive at your venue. Please note: Ensuring customer details are correct on arrival or providing a digital check-in service such as NZ COVID Tracer is entirely to you /the venue. It is important to note that while we can provide the ability for your customers to supply and edit their contact details, verifying these are the responsibility of the on-site operators on the day.

*Contact Tracing efficacy.
Acquiring precise attendee details at the time of purchase is subject to the diligence of the customer. To ensure you have their correct details on file, your Occupancy Report will speed up the process of checking their details on arrival at your venue. As per COVID19.govt guidelines, contact tracing registers must be kept for 2 months and then destroyed. Contact tracing information is confidential, can only be shared with the Ministry of Health on request and may not be used by any party for any other purpose.

Are you ready for Level Two?

When you start thinking about holding an event for the general public, you may like to take the following points into consideration:

  • Will you be adhering to mass gathering capacity limitations? eg. Groups no larger than 10 people with no more than 100 people in total (excluding staff)
  • Will your event be under 2 hours in duration?
  • Indoor guests must be seated. How will you/the venue be allocating seats for your customers? eg. Groups of attendees (no more than 10 each) must be at least 1 metre apart
  • Will common touch-points such as handles, surfaces and toilets be regularly cleaned and disinfected?
  • Will toilets or any confined spaces be manned to ensure limited numbers enter / exit and sanitisation is maintained?
  • Will sanitiser stations be made available and topped up throughout the venue?
  • Will you/the venue be providing spaced-out queuing guides leading into the venue?
  • Will there be any signage provided on-site to reassure people that health and safety measures are in place? eg. Reminding customers who feel unwell to stay at home etc.
  • How will on-site contact tracing be verified? eg. with a manual checklist or a digital service such as NZ COVID Tracer?
  • Are there systems in place to manage pre-show, intermission and post-show audience movements to ensure audience distances?
  • Or, will contactless door /food /bar sales be made available? And if so, will staff be wearing appropriate PPE and sanitising the area after each customer? And how will 1 metre physical distancing be maintained?
  • What measures will be in place to ensure staff/cast/crew and audience bubbles do not mix?
  • Will you /the venue have a response plan /incident report procedure in place in the event of a suspected or confirmed case occurring at your event?

Download our checklist of Things to Consider and our list of iTICKET Tools to help you through Alert Level Two

NZ GOVERNMENT COVID-19 RESOURCES: Contact Tracing Info, Contact Tracing Register, Posters, setting up the NZ COVID Tracer App for Businesses

This information aligns with the latest COVID19.govt.nz updates and Ministry of Health Guidelines as of 14 May, 2020 at 1:00pm