How Will You Plan A Business Event Post-Pandemic?
For many of us, the changes brought about by the pandemic have become almost second nature After a year with most of us working from home, for at least some of the time, the “before times” seem like a faint memory.
While it is true that much of what a business needs can be done online, there is an important question over what happens when Covid has been driven into full retreat: do we return to what was “normal” before?
In truth, what we “return” to will probably be something of a hybrid between the old normal and the new one. Some people have indicated that they will likely continue to wear masks at least some of the time – as, indeed, was common in some countries pre-pandemic.
Working from home will be more permanent for more people, too. But what about business and other types of networking events? While some gatherings and conferences have been possible using Zoom and other software, it’s hard to replicate the most important parts of these gatherings without the in-person side. So how will you tackle this if you are planning an event?
Larger venues may be necessary
There is some suggestion that a key early transmission vector of the original virus happened in Korea when one woman infected as many as 40+ people at a church event. While natural immunity, vaccination and post-infectious antibodies will make it very unlikely for Covid to be passed on in this way, how many people will be willing to take the risk of crowded spaces, given the possibility for another virus to be passed on in the exact same way? It will be smart to book a larger venue for an event, and will put potential attendees at greater ease.
Emphasise the advantages of in-person gatherings
It is recognised that we remember things more fully the more engaged we are in an event, and this is a natural advantage that “physical” events have over virtual ones.
They create a deeper connection with the purpose of the event and other attendees from the moment you arrange the event invitation printing. Once an attendee has that invite in their hand, they have a physical connection to the event; one that they can reinforce by having one-on-one meetings at the event itself and using photos of the gathering on their website.
Keep an eye on the news
It’s fair to say that what some people consider to be the end of the pandemic won’t be the same as what other people judge to be an end point. If, for example, you are waiting for there to be no cases at all, that may be a long while in the future. If infection rates fall and stay below a certain point, that may come a lot sooner. But also be aware of the potential for matters to change in a hurry.
As cases started to fall in August and September of 2020, many people were relieved to see what they believed would be the last of the pandemic. By early November, things were worse than they had been during the first wave. Hosting any event takes forward planning – and your planning needs to include contingency measures for the fact that the picture can change more quickly than you’d imagine.