The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us many things: how to run a business during a crisis, how to adapt quickly to a new industry paradigm and how to start building new things to take advantage of.
The event industry is no different. In fact, it is one of the most adaptive industries out there, as proven by its quick pivot to innovative virtual and hybrid event models amidst all the event cancellations and postponements caused by the pandemic. As the industry begins to emerge on the other side of pandemic, change and innovation will likely continue to be a mainstay in the event management paradigm in this year as well.
The world is all geared up for in-person events to come back and we can already see many countries getting back to running in-person events already. According to David Meerman Scott, best-selling author and public speaker, who studies how neuroscience affects human behaviour, “I am very strongly convinced that the physical event business will bounce back. Humans crave physical interaction with other humans. We want to be part of a tribe of other humans. That’s baked into our neuroscience. Our brains thrive around being around people who are just like us.”
In fact, our data shows that planners are confident of the return of in-person meetings and events during 2021. An increase in RFPs awarded this summer for venues for smaller events indicates that people have already started gathering in smaller groups and it’s only a matter of time before large in-person events make their return. With new safety considerations plus added risk and liability on the table, it’s important that you are prepared to implement a venue sourcing strategies for your full event programme.
Event organisers need to start thinking how to plan pivots for returning to in-person events as well as for making a swift move to hybrid events when the time is right. This means, while planning their venue sourcing strategy, they will need to be agile as venues will be key for the events’ successful execution.
Here are the top 6 things event organisers should keep in mind while planning their venue sourcing strategy:
1. Mitigate risk and liability by safely finding venues that fulfill all safety guidelines.
As a planner, the focus for 2021 event programs will be to think about event spaces and layouts, with details that were never considered before. Attendees will expect an environment enabling social distancing and health protocols, so it will be more important than ever to plan internal events or find the perfect venues that can deliver safe event experiences. Learn how to source safely.
2. Create virtual venue tours and set up contactless seating and check-in
An added challenge of finding venues for post-pandemic events would be to find event spaces with enough room to accommodate layouts that ensure safety without you physically going on site. Through virtual venue tours, you can get a tour of the venue site just like you would in-person.
3. Create event layouts with distancing measures and run an audit to check layout safety
Using specialised 3D diagramming software, you can virtually look at floor plans and lay down tables, chairs and other objects that are properly distanced, quickly. You can also add health and safety objects like temperature check stations, hand sanitising stations and more to your virtual map to make sure every detail is considered.
Keeping these safety guidelines in mind, quickly check if the floor plan you have created using the virtual event diagramming solutions meets the social distancing guidelines or not, approve your plan and sit back and relax for the D-Day.
4. Visualise your event in photo-realistic 3D
Using technology you can visit your venue virtually just as an attendee would with 3D. Add health and safety objects like temperature check stations, hand sanitising stations and more to make sure every detail is considered
5. Collaborate and get real-time feedback
Feedback is key for any program that you run. Using technology, you can invite stakeholders to review your plans, add feedback, make changes, and get ready with the event.
6. Collect and centralise venue data
This will aid you in becoming a smarter negotiator and save costs for your organisation.
So as an event organiser, future of events is in your hand. Get ahead of the rest by booking your venues in advance, and making these right choices to set yourself up for success in the new events landscape, while keeping your delegates safe and continuing to generate revenue.
This blog has been written by Priyanka Harshvardhan.