The global coronavirus pandemic has been changing much of what we know about and so many things we are used to living, including how people host events around the world.
Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic more than a year ago, all the activities that we used to do have been transformed and meeting face to face now is a bit complicated.
But, despite being tricky, it is completely possible! In 2020, businesses and organizations canceled conventions, trade shows, award ceremonies, and parties.
Besides, governments banned demonstrations, religious celebrations, and gatherings on public holidays. However, 2021 brought the return of events that are safe and fully adapted to the COVID-19 era.
Yes, hosting an event with COVID conscience is not an impossible mission and here we explain how to do it.
The first alternative we have to host events in the midst of a health crisis is the Internet. Online platforms allow us to stay in touch and organize activities with various people without having to be physically together.
Schools, churches, brands, and sports organizations have created online strategies to carry out their planned events without running the risk of spreading the virus.
Many virtual events have been very successful, especially those hosted last year, when the restrictions were much tighter. Now, even though many countries have authorized outdoor activities under certain conditions, virtual meetings are still a safe and effective option.
People miss attending live events, but most of them won't do it unless they feel completely safe. And there are many other ideas that are worth considering. Let's know some of them.
Those who don't feel safe organizing face-to-face activities can also enjoy hybrid events. They are the latest event planning trend, and you can get a lot out of them if you decide to implement them.
Hybrid meetings are characterized by integrating technology with traditional event practices in order to create a new type of experience for attendees. The focus of this alternative is to deliver content in strict compliance with COVID-19 security measures.
Industry-leading companies such as Microsoft, Hubspot, and eBay have realized the great value of hybrid meetings and events to increase sales, increase attendance or improve their performance.
Hybrid events typically include any meeting or event with at least one group of face-to-face participants who digitally connect with other participants in other locations using tools like smart devices, laptops, video conferencing, and more.
In those places where preventive measures have been relaxed, public events have been authorized as long as their organizers comply with some parameters and safety standards.
While the rules have been relaxed, creating safe spaces for on-site events is still a must. But how to do it? We will explain it here!
People who want to host face-to-face events should redesign the spaces to ensure the attendees' safety and protection. Besides, they must make those places eye-catching and welcoming at the same time in order to attract the target audience. Organizers can employ hygiene products and implement practices such as mask-wearing or social distancing to condition areas that attendees can enjoy while feeling protected.
It is recommended to create several plans of the spaces that respect social distancing. In this way, event planners can choose the one that best suits their needs and preferences.
Designs should include diagrams and floor plans to illustrate flow for traffic. It is also important to provide up-to-date photos of gathering spaces that reflect social distancing and how people will move through public spaces.
Remember that it is ideal to organize events in outdoor spaces using meeting settings that allow attendees to stay apart.
Tables without tablecloths.
During the pandemic, tables without table linen could be the best option. By using these tables, cleaning staff can easily clean surfaces using disinfectant wipes or non-abrasive sprays.
Also, seamless tabletops provide no places for germs to hide. On the other hand, organizers will be able to save money over time as they will eliminate the expenses involved with washing tablecloths.
Tables with power.
There are also some tools and alternatives that can help improve social distancing, and the best one of them is tables with built-in power.
It is not recommended that groups of people gather in small areas to charge their mobile devices, such as cell phones or tablets. For that reason, many event planners provide energy in the tables they use at meetings and activities.
Some table brands offer alternatives that include built-in power options such as 110V outlets or USB outlets, standard upgradeable cable management slots, daisy-chain configuration options, and other cable management tools.
Tips for organizing events in the era of COVID-19.
Regardless of the option you choose, there are certain aspects that you must take into account to have events that can meet their objectives. You can host first-class meetings despite all limitations and restrictions. Here are some tips to do so:
- Prioritize attendee participation even if they are at home. You can use polls and live
Q&A features to make sure your guests participate during the event. If the event has a lot of attendees, you can promote more intimate conversations in group sessions.
- Always have a backup plan in case the technology fails. If you are hosting a virtual event, you must have multiple Wi-Fi connections or streaming sources and several technology experts available to help you in case of a problem.
- Avoid travel. If your audience or guests have to travel to meet you, opt for a hybrid or virtual event, as travel can increase the risk of contagion.
Brands and companies that are willing to be creative and strive to offer unique solutions will be much more likely to survive amid crises and challenging times. If you want to stand out and become an industry leader, modern and safe events can be your great allies.
Remember that innovative organizations have more opportunity to generate money, win customers, and build brands!