Many corporate events faced sudden cancellations or indefinite postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a time when recovery seemed like a far-off dream. But the possibility of going back to physical events is sooner than we may think.
Even as the world returns to a semblance of normalcy, however, the events industry is bound to make necessary adjustments. Here is our forecast on what business events will look like after COVID-19.
Strategic Food and Beverage Services
Even after vaccinations are rolled out across the country, it is unlikely that events will completely return to their pre-pandemic state. Gone are the days of buffet queues and shared meals among co-attendees. After the pandemic, event organizers and businesses must devise catering services that will minimize physical contact.
Still this does not mean that organizers have to compromise the overall experience of attendees. Caterers can arrange individual dining setups outdoors, with prepackaged meals in disposable containers. There are plenty of eco-friendly options available in the market for this.
Oftentimes formal events also require a mobile bar for guests. Hire bartenders who are able to tailor their services according to the requirements and protocols of your event. This will guarantee the safety of everyone involved.
Physical Distancing as the Norm
Even when restrictions ease, businesses should not become complacent about safety protocols. Create contact-less registrations by investing in available technologies. One popular means is the use of QR codes for logging into events and filling out survey forms.
Aside from self-check ins, events must also have a foolproof physical distancing protocol that all guests can easily follow. Review the layout of your venue and determine points of potential congestion. Adopting a one-way scheme in corridors may also help.
Simulate your protocols before the event to see where you should improve or make changes. Once this is accomplished, put up signs that provide clear instructions. It is also good practice to inform guests of guidelines ahead of time to avoid confusion.
The time immediately after the end of the pandemic will still require precaution, so bigger events will have to wait for later. Don’t rush. Consider this period a time of necessary evolution for how your business will promote its products and services.
You must remember also that not many people may yet be willing to attend physical events. For the cost efficiency and peace of mind, smaller is the way to go for now, at least.
Small corporate events may be good for your business because they will cost less to put up and are easier to manage protocols for. Take this opportunity to gather insights on how to better reach your market and evaluate how you can innovate.
Fewer physical attendees will not have to mean fewer total participants. Hybrid events, or events that are a combination of physical and digital elements, are an ideal format in the post-pandemic era. Although it will lessen the work on fixing the physical event, these will require heavier preparation on the digital component.
The first is finding the appropriate virtual platform to host your event. The most noticeable feature of any platform is its user interface. Choose one with a visually appealing design that is easy to navigate.
Make sure it has a simple registration process because complicated instructions could turn away virtual participants. The platform should also have a built-in feature that allows people to network with each other.
The virtual platform needs an on-call support team that can address technical issues faced by participants and speakers. Have a hotline or chat support that guests can approach with their concerns.
The emphasis will remain on the digital space in the near future, so marketing efforts should be focused on this sphere. Take note, however, that just like yourself, many businesses are also eager to promote their products and services. The challenge is to stand out amongst competitors.
Study the behavior of your audience and do surveys to analyze how their preferences have changed since the pandemic. Surveys will also inform you of their willingness to participate in hybrid events, either physically or virtually.
Cater to the needs of your market and make them feel valued through your digital campaigns. Knowing that their concerns are being listened to and addressed encourages your audience to remain connected and loyal to your brand.
Business events can be the key to economic recovery. Putting together corporate functions involves a variety of parties, in which organizers can tap local and small businesses to provide assistance. Rebuilding is a slow process, but mutual support across industries and sectors may be the secret to long-term success.