How to Safely Get Back to in-Person Events During COVID-19

If you’re feeling nervous about going back to in-person industry events while COVID-19 is still running rampant, then know that you’re not alone.

In a recent Plant Services article, Lori Ditoro, the former marketing manager for SEPCO, discusses relearning how to socialize after over a year and a half of strict quarantining and isolating due to the coronavirus pandemic that is still at large.

COVID Industry Events
Team meal with Plant Services Editor Tom Wilk during the last event before COVID restrictions.

At Industry Events, Keep Mental Health — Yours and Others’ — in Mind

A self-proclaimed introvert, Ditoro mentions how she hadn’t attended an industry trade show or event since MARCON the weekend of March 10, 2020 — when COVID restrictions began.

“I haven’t been on a plane in more than 18 months, much less in a room with hundreds of people,” Ditoro wrote. “When comfortable in a situation, I’m talkative and extroverted. However, add discomfort or novelty, and I’m often quiet, awkward, and uncertain. So how can we introverts regain our comfort levels as we return to in-person events?”

To start with, the article recommends being aware of your own mental health as its related to the pandemic or not, as well as being sensitive toward the struggles of others.

Think about it. Most of us haven’t worn real clothes with buttons or zippers in well over a year, let alone walked into a crowded room with other industry members for the purpose of networking and sharing knowledge. (Talk about intimidating!)

“Remember, some people will be experiencing the same feelings and concerns that you are,” the article explains. “Go into your next event exhibiting the same care and compassion you want to receive, and they will likely be reciprocated.”

A conversation at a trade show in 2019

Take Extra Precautions

Additionally, it’s important to plan ahead so you know exactly what’s on the agenda and what to expect at these in-person events.

The bottom line is that with these open-minded approaches, as well as physical measures you can take to stay healthy like mask-wearing (if warranted) and frequent hand-washing, we can all embrace a bit of what life was like before COVID-19 and reenter the social world.

Check out Ditoro’s complete article on to learn more.

About the Author
Anna Claire Howard is a contributing writer, editor, and content marketing specialist for Sealing Equipment Products Co. Inc. (SEPCO) and has been since Spring 2019. Before those two big life changes, she was the content marketing specialist for Fluke Accelix; assistant editor for Grand View Outdoors, publisher of Bowhunting World, Predator Xtreme, Whitetail Journal, Tactical Retailer, and Shooting Sports Retailer; managing editor for Media Solutions, Inc., publisher of Gear Solutions, Wind Systems, and Thermal Processing magazines; assistant editor for MSI; and the editorial intern for B.A.S.S., LLC, publisher of Bassmaster Magazine and In these B2B/B2C roles, Anna Claire developed an appreciation for the industrial sector, as well as the operators and technicians who make up the workforce. You can find her on LinkedIn at