Journalist Robyn Vinter received thousands of replies when she recently asked people to share images of life before lockdown.
This was my #lastnormalphoto – a shot of our fabulous team post-event in March.
We organise a number of events a year for this particular client - and ours was the last to take place in the sector before COVID-19 really took hold. We had issued a ‘no handshake/no kisses’ policy, but almost 300 people came together at the fabulous venue, 30 Euston Square, home to the Royal College of GPs – quite unthinkable now.
In the past two months, we have had to quickly react and adapt, not only our working practices, but also how we can continue to deliver a calendar of events for our clients.
We’ve run weekly seminars and webcasts, which have been turned into a series of podcasts; we’ve hosted virtual networking events and held more Zoom planning sessions and meetings than we can count.
COVID-19 has turned the world of event management upside down. We have events planned for Autumn/Winter 2020 but we are having to make decisions now, about a future that is largely unknown (though, arguably, guessable). Not only do we have to think of the costs to our clients – many of the venues have iron-clad contracts and deposits which have been paid – but also consider the wellbeing and safety of guests and delegates who might arrive by public transport or may still be wishing to shield for health reasons.
We are exploring new technologies in order to deliver content to 400+, and we’re perfecting the art of production values, backgrounds and graphics. Our clients are embracing this element of our new world – and we know that ‘all this’ will change the way that we, as event professionals, operate for evermore.
One thing I do know; I can’t wait to get this team back together in person, as nothing beats that first glass of wine with exceptional and brilliant professionals after two days of being on your feet!