The meteoric rise of Zoom as a company and the fact that almost every working adult knows what Zoom seem to foreshadow a future where business meetings and events will be held in front of a computer or mobile device.
However, one year and a half into the pandemic, people feel the need for face-to-face contact more than ever. Sadly, with the spread of new virus variants and confusing guidelines from governments and health authorities, it doesn’t seem we will be able to return to normal life and events anytime soon.
So, how do you organize a business event in the current climate? Do you make the event exclusively online or do you organize a hybrid version with a few people who can participate in person and the rest attending online?
As it turns out, the hybrid version seems to catch on. As vaccines become more widespread, it is safe to host an event with domestic participants who have been vaccinated and didn’t travel outside the country in the past 14 days. And, with fewer people at the venue, it’s easier to maintain social distancing without having to install separators (these hinder creativity and communication even when transparent).
Of course, there’s more to organizing a safe event in the wake of COVID-19, and below we will mention the most common steps that event organizers like to make before greenlighting a gathering:
Modern communication tools and technology, in general, helped the world move forward even in lockdown. So many of us got to continue working, shopping, and keeping in touch with the world and loved ones without risking our health. True, there are drawbacks, but nothing beats the fact that we’ll live to tell the stories.
During these tough times, event organizers and businesses were among the first ones to happily embrace technological innovation. For instance, due to tools like video conferences and mobile devices they still could organize meetings and hold various important events in an online format.
What’s more important, due to tools like an event management CRM, software organizers can now keep track of guests and their whereabouts before, during, and after the event. It’s also a tool that allows rapid communication with all the participants and staff.
New Health and Safety Protocols
It may be unfair of us to expect more from an industry that was hit hard, but there is no going around this. In order to organize a safe in-person event, it’s important to choose a venue that follows the new safety protocols and regulations.
There must also be communication between planners and the venue administrators, so everyone is up to date with the latest protocols. Moreover, planners have the moral obligation of checking if said protocols are followed according to the regulations.
Improved Venue Space Configuration
To encourage social distancing inside, venues must cleverly and creatively reconfigure the space that was usually occupied by a bunch of people. For instance, it is best to create a flow that takes people from their reserved seats to the other areas without much interaction on the way.
Also, there should be designated areas where people can meet (in small groups) and discuss business. As a result of all these measures, larger rooms will accommodate fewer people, but this leaves room for various tech tools, which makes it easier when organizing hybrid events.
Business events are important for networking, finding new partners, and keeping the customers engaged. And, with a bit of patience and respect for each other’s safety, we will be able to pull it through due to the latest technological advancements.