Life after lockdown: What is the impact on events in the short term?
This week we joined a hugely informative and positive webinar"Events will return, but how and when?" Over 250 event professionals were online to hear and discuss what impact the current health crisis has had on the events industry. We have adopted the attitude of looking forward to life after lockdown. So it was interesting to hear our industry peers views on how we as an industry move forward and how we can best advise our clients moving forward or the changes we need to make at least in the short term.
Here is what we took and our views on the matter.
If you didn't know how to connect with staff, suppliers and clients virtually before, you certainly will know now. What a huge impact this has had to our lives and our business since lockdown. It has been a real positive social and business tool. However like many of you, we are beginning to feel a real virtual fatigue. Being social creatures there will always be that need to meet up and connect in person. But for the time being things we can do to improve the virtual meeting - some of which like image backgrounds being introduced, would be to look at upping production value on our meetings. With some sectors slowly looking towards returning to their offices, it may be worth looking at developing at set or a better production to your online client meetings in particular. As much as it's been fun and accepted seeing you in front of your laptop in your adapted home office. As we move back into being more productive, should we consider looking more on brand?
As we ween off of the virtual meeting and event into being able to have socially distanced led meetings. For larger businesses and events can lean towards a hybrid meeting incorporating the best of both and allowing in effect a larger or geographically attended event. This we feel is likely to be the real significant shift in the short term for conference, meetings and events. If you are looking at planning a hybrid event, the main consideration and one many venues will now need to look at possible investment in, would be ensuring technology, bandwidths etc. are capable to host such events. Taking on board the above regards production value, the last thing you will want is for the streaming to break disengaging your delegates and creating panic and frustration in getting things back online.
Impact of social distancing:
This will prove a significant impact for all events but specifically those indoors. It is estimated that for every 150 people, this will be effectively reduced to 25-30 people to accommodate social distancing measures. We are likely to have social distancing measure in place until a vaccine...likely into 2021 if we get that!
A huge rethink is going to need to be done regards your venue - is it now large enough to accommodate your delegates and incorporate the distancing measures? Will it be financially viable now if you have to have less delegates or book a venue three times the size? Have you thought about changes needed for your delegates regards buffet led catering and drinks receptions? Are these now going to be possible?
Then the one that will cause the biggest challenge - screening of your delegates. Will we need to screen our delegates beforehand and at venue to ensure there is no risk of Covid 19 at the event? Pre event opens up a real GDPR issue on whether we are right to obtain such personal information. But even at entry level, testing and screening each delegate will have an impact on cost as well as delegate experience.
Look at increasing the production value of your virtual meetings. Especially businesses moving back into their offices, but still needing virtual meetings and events.
Are hybrid meetings the next step after lockdown and if so does your venue have the right tech infrastructure to enable delegates to successfully engage?
What impact will social distancing have on your event?
Will you need larger venues and is that financially feisable?
What level of testing is needed for events in the short term and does that create issues with GDPR?
For more insights or information on how We Are MEaT can help you plan your events through and after lockdown, do not hesitate to comment below, give us a call on +44 (0)1795 320153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always up for a chat!