The future of live events is starting to look brighter! While the COVID-19 pandemic forced almost all events into the digital world in 2020, vaccine rollouts have allowed us to start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
In fact, small-scale gatherings are popping up all over the country. Families and friends embrace the opportunity to start spending time together again, and organizations are looking for ways to meet the growing demand for in-person gatherings.
While we’re all ready to get back into the swing of things, it’s also important to consider some of the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a look at a few of the things you’ll need to consider.
While the vaccine rollout has created some exuberance, it’s critical to remember that the COVID-19 virus has not been eradicated. In fact, new variants and a rise in cases among unvaccinated individuals have created a new wave of concerns.
People are excited to start gathering again; however, many still feel apprehensive about the safety of going out into large crowds. Event planners and managers are now tasked with taking extra safety precautions and doing everything they can to ensure attendees feel comfortable during their events.
For now, in-person events will likely remain scaled back. While they won’t have the size and grandeur of the past, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring! The best event planners are now doubling down on creativity to ensure their events are still exciting and well worth attending.
At the same time, things like limiting capacity, offering contactless registration, and creating set-ups that allow for social distancing are now at the top of every event manager’s priority list. Hand sanitizing stations and other precautions are also likely to remain the “new normal” for the foreseeable future. In addition, event organizers must now seriously consider the pros and cons of mandating COVID-19 tests and/or vaccines. Planners must also figure out how to seamlessly execute any mandates put in place, including explaining the protocol to attendees and handling any push-back.
Event planners and managers need to ensure safety protocols are in place and followed. However, it’s also equally important to communicate with event attendees. Making them aware of the steps you’re taking to keep them safe will help ease any remaining anxiety, allowing them to enjoy your event truly.
From explaining protocols by email before leveraging your social media platforms, the ultimate goal is to make every attendee feel as comfortable as possible. Your messaging should clearly and repeatedly communicate a “safety-first” attitude. Do this correctly, and you’ll be able to shift attendees’ thinking from “Am I going to be safe?” to “I wonder what they’re serving for dinner?” This is the sweet spot where they can finally relax and become truly engaged.
At the same time, you’ll need to manage your attendees’ expectations. Ensuring they know that the event will be scaled back can help ensure that no one will be disappointed. In fact, if they’re aware that they should expect less, you’ll have a greater chance to impress them with the incredible experience you’re able to create despite any current restrictions.
COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines have not only influenced the structure of all events, but they’ve completely changed them. This has made flexibility more important than ever.
While there’s a lot of optimism and excitement about the steady return of in-person events, it’s also important to be ready for unexpected setbacks. Additional outbreaks, the return of mask mandates, and even new restrictions on gatherings are all still possible. For this reason, it’s critical to have backup plans in place. Having a system for efficiently communicating any changes to your vendors, speakers, venue, and attendees will save time when it matters most and help ensure your event goes off without a hitch.
Innovation has been in overdrive as event planners, and other professionals find ways to adapt to the new challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although there’s a clear demand for in-person events, it’s also important to understand that virtual and hybrid meetings are here to stay, at least for the next few years.
Some people aren’t ready to deal with crowds, while others appreciate the ease and convenience of attending events from home. In addition, continued capacity limitations will lower the number of in-person tickets you can sell. Combining these factors makes it important for event planners to continue finding ways to make both hybrid and in-person events appealing to attendees.
Keeping up with COVID-19 compliance and successfully managing hybrid event production is certainly intimidating, particularly if you’re trying to do it yourself. The good news is, partnering with a professional team of advisors and having the right technology in place can make all the difference!
As you continue to navigate these uncertain times, it’s important to remember that events are no longer just about dates, rates, and space. Today, the focus has turned to health, safety, efficiency, and transparency. Having the right partners in place will allow you to plan the in-person and hybrid events attendees crave while remaining nimble enough to adapt as things change quickly.
eShow offers a full suite of event management solutions under a single umbrella. Our web-based solutions communicate with each other, allowing you to customize and scale your experience completely. In addition, if an unexpected change occurs, our system will allow you to make a change in one central location instead of losing valuable time contacting multiple vendors.
To learn more, contact us today! eShow’s innovative products can help you not only survive but thrive in this continually changing environment. We would love to walk you through our suite of solutions and show you how we can provide you with the peace of mind you need for your next event.