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Karleen Roy

Source: Courtesy of The Vanity Group / The Vanity Group

Celebrity event planner Karleen Roy says we don’t have to sacrifice fun in the name of safety as we adapt to our new lives within the confines of COVID-19.

As the world awaits a vaccine for the coronavirus, Roy, whose company, The Vanity Group, has hosted events for everyone from Quavo and Young Money to Motown Records, said she knows that life doesn’t stop and people are still going to celebrate life’s milestones with friends and loved ones.

That’s why she spoke to BOSSIP and revealed how people can stay safe while still planning and hosting social events. Although the Memphis, TN native cautioned that house parties may look and feel different this year, people can still have fun and connection.

“It’s important for people to remember that the illness is still here,” Roy said. “We need to be a bit more buttoned-up so we’re not encouraging the spread.”

Here are Roy’s top tips for planning a fun, socially distanced soiree:

1. Require Guests To Quarantine Before Coming Over

Roy said there’s nothing wrong with having guests self isolate before they come to your party – especially with transmission rates skyrocketing in recent weeks and some behaving as if there is no pandemic.

“Just because you show up solo, doesn’t mean that the residue of the world isn’t on you,” Roy said, likening it to the honor system.

2. Keep Your Guest List Tight

Roy said we have to take a break from large gatherings in favor of more intimate get-togethers. She said she recently hosted a picnic in her native Memphis with six of her girlfriends and they had a ball, playing cards from afar and enjoying a catered boxed lunch.

“The fewer people, the better,” Roy said, “I would have a very reduced guest list.”

Family enjoying 4th July BBQ

Source: Sisoje / Getty

3.Sanitize, Sanitize, Sanitize

Be sure to have masks, sanitizer and wipes on hand for your company, and just as you would at a regular party, be sure to deep clean your space before and after the event.

People will be hugging, touching, opening gifts,” Roy said. “Do your due diligence as the host.”

4. No More Buffets

Consider prepackaged food and drink for your party instead of everyone touching the same bottle or utensils. Think wine in a can, and individualized portions, Roy said.

“From a food and beverage perspective, it’s over for buffets,” Roy said. “Everything needs to be packaged individually – no sharing… As much as you can control that element, that would be my advice.”

Happiness family celebrating a birthday party

Source: FG Trade / Getty

Despite these new measures to keep guests safe, Roy said she believes we’ll one day get back to partying like it’s 2019.

“One I wanna say as an event producer and as a human being, I don’t think events are done,” Roy said. “I think we’re on a time out as far as our industry.”


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