09 Feb , 2021
In-person Events, how soon will it happen?
The pandemic continues to linger and event planners have to create new models and systems to conduct successful events. With restrictions on in-person meetings continuing, many event planners like Executive Events had rolled out hybrid models to help boost attendance.
No signs of abatement
Even though the pandemic has been around for over a year and a half, there is still very little relief. The approved vaccines have begun to roll out. Many of the vaccines offer six months to one-year protection but its rollout is still a very slow process. The cost of the pandemic on the economies of the world is yet to be calculated to the full extend. It is estimated that over 250 million people had been infected by Covid-19 worldwide and 1.75 million have died due to it.
The events industry segment has nearly been on hold entirely but sees signs of recovery. Small events, business meets, and weddings have continued to be conducted across Kerala. We at Executive Events have successfully conducted numerous events, setting in place all the Covid-19 safety protocols. It is expected with wider vaccination, in-person events will return as was before by the third quarter of 2021.
Challenges of larger events
Returning to larger events brings its own challenges. We utilized new strategies to boost attendance and utilized offline and virtual audiences during the events. All those who wished to attend but were either constricted due to the restrictions of travel or health factors attended the events online. Now with the reconsideration of in-person events, new structures have to be put in place.
However, all industry predictions indicate the following:
· In-person events will continue to be small and virtual participants will become a norm. This can be considered a shift to a new normal.
· Events will necessarily be of shorter durations and more tightly planned. There will be less socializing and entertainment. And the main agenda of the events will roll out in quick progression in a professional way.
· Livestream broadcasting of the event even in in-person meets will continue and will gather steam. It will be limited to the main events as the attention span of virtual attendees’ will be rather small.
· Condensed and edited event videos can be uploaded for those who prefer that – and would still be considered as participation.
Strategies for online attendance
Another factor that is now being witnessed is livestream fatigue or lethargy. Too many online events, as well as the usual work from home meetings, have led to people having enough of virtual events. In such a case the following ideas can be put in place.
· If the event is a corporate one, conduct the in-person event with all the key persons in place together at one place and then broadcast their meet – instead of each person being at various locations and on their computers live.
· All conversations can be to the point and short. Only the business part of it should be broadcast with serious conduct of the event be it a wedding, a family gathering, a conference or a trade show.
· Serious speakers and celebrities will be a plus point as online viewers would love to see them.
· To keep the online audience engaged, the event should be held at a time convenient for most people.
Event planners are now learning and creating new strategies with hybrid formats with in-person meets in mind along with the attendance of online audiences. It is going to be a combination of both worlds for a long time to come in the future.