Back to life, back to reality?
Perhaps we’re showing our age a bit here but this Soul II Soul track from the early 90s pretty much sums up where we’re at right now! Are we really getting our lives back? Are we really getting back to reality? The answer is that it is impossible to say. Although restrictions are easing, the Covid numbers are rising and event planners must therefore take a cautious approach.
Here at DRIVE we have desperately missed planning and organising the ‘real’ events over the past 16 months (our last 300+ delegate conference took place just before lockdown in March 2020) but we believe that a blended approach is needed now.
Here are just a few of our main thoughts as we work with our clients to take the baby steps back to ‘reality’.
- Firstly, it is important to understand your audience; how do they feel about meeting in-person?
- Try and canvas opinion using social media polls, which are a great way of determining whether there will be enough interest in an event;
- Is it possible to offer both options to your delegates or guests – perhaps a face-to-face event but with the option to attend via Zoom for those who are still cautious or need to be careful for medical reasons?
- As event planners, do we need to regroup and review and possibly refresh the skills set of our event teams? It is likely that organising a large event after all this time might feel slightly overwhelming – not just for those attending but for your colleagues;
- It is probably worth having more hands on deck than usual for the first few events to make sure that all bases are covered. Does one person specifically need to take charge of the Covid elements, for example?
- Although restrictions are easing, not everyone will feel comfortable going straight ‘back to normal’ – we would certainly recommend displaying signage that sets the event rules. Back in March 2020 we stipulated ‘no kissing/shaking hands’ as we anticipated that it would cause awkwardness and potentially embarrassment; unfortunately we think such signage will need to be commonplace for some time yet;
- When planning an event, it is important to factor in some element of social distancing so that your guests have options;
- It is probably also worth outlining the Covid-related rules when you send out the joining instructions for your event so people know exactly what to expect;
- One non-Covid related point - over the past 16 months we have seen a big shift towards veganism; whilst offering a vegetarian option has always been expected when catering for events, we believe it is now vital to offer a vegan option as well.
These are just a handful of the factors that need to be considered to ensure your event is a success.
If you would like help planning your next event, whatever it is, please get in touch to find out how we can help. We have nearly 50 years’ event management experience between us here at DRIVE and have pretty much seen it all!