The warm summer months are here, COVID-19 restrictions are loosening, and events are back in full swing. But how do we show up at summer events like July 4th, Bastille Day, Juneteenth, the Euro and concerts in the safest way? How do we attend B2B events and consumer activations while adding to global efforts to move past the pandemic?
With over 2 billion vaccine doses administered worldwide, and just under half of the population in the US and UK fully vaccinated, we are approaching a turning point in our “new normal.” What does that look like in our business and personal events and what long term changes should we implement moving forward?
In the US, each state has its own, ever changing rules for mask wearing, capacity restrictions, and event safety mandates. Around the world, countries are carrying out their own advances in the fight against COVID. However, we can all agree that moving forward, basic hygiene and safety measures should remain in place. Masks, sanitizing stations, social distancing, and smart traffic flow patterns should be a given at any event. Including robust cleaning and custodial services in our budgets should be standard practice, as well as financial investment in event management apps and technology to ensure contactless interactions. Registration, agendas and real time programming, networking, and F&B ordering can all be managed digitally to ensure minimal personal contact. Gone are the days of buffets – staggered eating times and designated eating areas with prepackaged meals in sustainable packaging are the new norm in F&B, with creative displays and innovations still possible.
Personal safety is also an important factor to consider when planning events. Not sharing equipment like microphones, switching from physical to digital credentials to limit touching by multiple people, staggering opening and closing times to avoid bottlenecks, offering digital swag and merch or having it shipped to attendees are all simple ways to keep the public safer at events.
Digital events are also here to stay – albeit in a hybrid format. Planners and marketers are able to capitalize on the global reach and attendance increase of virtual offerings while still producing innovative and engaging in-person experiences. This allows attendees worldwide the choice on how to attend an event given the restrictions in their countries, personal health concerns, or general feelings towards traveling post pandemic. Content is optimized for both online and IRL consumption, making every attendee feel equally involved and included.
Capturing content virtually for speakers is also a COVID safe practice that can be used post pandemic. With a plethora of platforms and software available to us now, including DesignScene’s own Video Home Kit with built in pre-recording and live capture capabilities, we are able to gather and manage content completely remotely without the need to physically be in speakers’ rooms. Remote content capture can be used for both virtual and IRL events, adding value and allowing more speakers to be involved in the event, when physical or travel limitations would otherwise make it impossible.
While not an exhaustive list of best event practices, we hope that you take these suggestions in consideration while planning and attending events moving forward. As we move closer to a post-pandemic world, it’s vital in our event planning that we continue to show open understanding and compassion towards each person’s comfort level and general feeling of safety. Getting through the pandemic has been a collective effort and the ability to thrive in a post-COVID world will take the continued effort of us all.