Planning your company’s next big meeting, conference, or convention? Your stakeholders have requested you to examine new states and hotels. They want you to “shake it up” and start over with the planning. With the emergence of new COVID-19 variations, how will gathering regulations evolve? Will attendees be willing to travel to be there in person in an era where they can tune in virtually from the comfort of their couch?
Learn about the rising trends that will shape the future of event planning. The future of event planning is rife with unknowns.
Among event professionals, getting “back to normal” is the talk of the town. However, the future is unlikely to resemble our pre-pandemic normal, as virtual event technology and changing attendee behaviors have completely changed the event planning scene.
Despite the fact that live events are making a comeback, they will most likely be ‘unlike anything we’ve seen before’. A new set of obstacles, many of which may be without your control, will arise as the sector slowly begins to regain its feet as virtual events continue. To be sure, being well-informed will help you succeed and let you rest easier at night.
In this article, we’ll go through many of the elements that should and will be on your checklist going ahead, such as how new legislation (regulation) will impact your day-to-day planning.
1. The New Normal of Sourcing
Many event planners must build a new muscle in a short period of time due to pandemic: venue sourcing from a distance for safer event planning. This includes not only staying up to date on venue availability and preparing for the unexpected, but also ensuring that the location you choose is the best fit for your organization in light of new requirements that differ by state and hotel.
Working closely with venues to meet your standards as well as other guidelines is a new wrinkle in your sourcing process. Furthermore, some of your attendees may be nervous about attending events, while others may be ecstatic. With all of these factors in mind, starting with the basics is a fantastic place to start when sourcing. You will now need to ask your prospective meeting location the following questions:
- What is the schedule for disinfecting the most frequently used guest areas?
- What cleaning procedures are in place for the hotel’s gyms and workout equipment?
- Is it possible for guests to use disinfectant wipes? What about antibacterial hand sanitizer?
- Is there contactless check-in and keyless rooms available?
- What kinds of innovative disinfection technologies do they use?
The arrangement of the venue is crucial when it comes to social distancing. For example, a 500-person capacity facility may no longer be available. Your attendees will be thinking about how the venue or hotel handles social distancing. They will also want to know how you intend to keep everyone safe from each other before committing to registering for and attending your event. Different venues have different ways of engaging.
These rules are a must when creating an event plan with social distancing regulations in place for your event for a safe event experience:
- Designing your event to accommodate social distancing and safety rules in order to ensure that you have the appropriate attendee capacity for each venue.
- Plan out the locations of hand-washing stations, mask stations, wall-mounted cleanliness stations, and other amenities in public spaces.
- Perform a schematic check to ensure that your plan fulfils the specified standards.
- Collaborate with stakeholders and virtually tour your venue to see how your event will appear down to the last detail.
- Floor plans can be customized to offer a safe environment for participants.
Other than that, when it comes to safe event planning and hosting, digital event diagramming tools and virtual tours are a wonderful approach to handle social distancing, including:
- Providing attendees with peace of mind who may be concerned about the changing nature of events
- Satisfying all safety criteria and establishing areas in accordance with state and local guidelines for social distancing
- Contactless check-in is available for stress-free participant arrivals.
- Assuring that the meeting area is large enough to accommodate the projected attendees and avoiding overcrowding
- Using arrows to direct attendee flow and suggest smooth movement within the venue
- Setting up easily accessible hand sanitizer units in strategic areas
Forget all you thought you understood about venue requirements. All of it is changing as a result of social alienation (distancing). Using technology will assist you in finding the suitable venue and gathering important information from hotels to guarantee the venue fits the new normal and satisfies the wants and concerns of guests. You may view diagrams on a venue profile to get a genuine sense of the space without needing to visit the venue in person.
That entails meticulous preparation of every aspect of the event experience, from locating and managing the physical space of the venue to how guests check-in, move through your event, consume material, and network with one another. As a result of the pandemic, finding the suitable venue has become even more challenging.
2. Travel and the planner: New issues to consider
While Covid-19 continues to have an impact on our capacity to gather and travel, the meetings and events business will be at risk. Covid-19, however, is proving to be a catalyst for change, forcing the adoption of new skills and business models, as well as shifting the sector toward virtual and hybrid events. Today the majority of your concerns will be about safety.
Here are a few thoughts to consider:
- Take account of the risk and employees’ willingness to travel.
Keeping employees safe and secure is at the top of every organization’s priority list. Will staff be willing to board another plane and fly to a place to work your events? And, if so, what precautions should you take to protect their safety?
Event planning can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to budgeting. There is simply too much to think about and plan for. Budget restrictions are all-too-real in an economy in recovery and when an industry is on the verge of collapse. That is why every corporate event planner requires a budget for planning. This will assist you in preparing for every part of the event and ensuring that you save rather than overspend.
You will be able to plan in detail and prepare for the unexpected if you use an event budget template. Doing more with less involves dealing with less-than-ideal conditions when it comes to selecting travel dates, hotels, and the number of staff members you may bring to your events.
- How does the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) handle safety?
Here’s one that’s out of your hands, but you should be aware of it. This is true for both domestic and foreign travel. The increased pressures associated with event travel can and will have a significant impact on your attendance experience. Stages of safety guidelines:
- Evaluate your risks and potential mitigation measures.
- Understand the risks specific to your event, develop an event safety plan, and take action with our event risk assessment.
- Implement safety precautions.
- Take the risk-management actions you’ve outlined for your event.
- Share your policies and processes.
- Make it clear what safety and security measures, such as physical distancing guidelines, are in place, as well as what attendees and personnel are expected to do.
- Make use of your safety checklist.
- Go over your pre-event checklist and prioritize event safety.
- How do airlines handle safety and cleanliness?
Another factor over which you have little control, but which may influence your choice of airline. This could imply that your firm is solely confident in one carrier, which will have an influence on both workers and attendees.
- Ensure that group travel contracts are viewed as flexible in terms of participant names and credits, as well as cancellation language. Working closely with your venue partners to ensure agreeable flexibility during these difficult times is essential.
- Ensure that your room blocks have adequate attrition.
Typically, you will attempt to negotiate a low attrition rate or ensure that your contract includes a mitigation or re-sale clause. Attrition is likely to increase in the new normal when potential attendees realize they may not want to travel after all. Consult with your potential venues.
3. On-site logistics to ensure the safety of events
Your event set-up and logistics will be very different once you arrive. Here are a few things to think about:
- Design and layout of the event. Change the layout of your space to allow for social distancing.
- There are space constraints. Are you resizing your event program? The space you required in the past to run your software may be radically different from the space you require now.
- Interactive technology. Consider that participants will be apprehensive to utilize touch screens after experiencing a health issue. What about long lineups at the check-in desk or outside the session rooms? You could want to look into more passive attendance tracking methods to minimize the requirement for employees to repeatedly touch the same devices.
- Procedures for health and safety. Similarly, what new health and safety precautions should you be aware of on-site? Consider sanitizing stations, cleaning equipment, and creating an updated venue cleaning schedule that adheres to the venue’s laws.
- Food and beverages are available. Buffets and self-service alternatives, for example, are serving techniques that reduce the transmission of germs.
- Hybrid Events. Investigate the possibility of creating a virtual option for in-person events to boost accessibility for attendees who may not be willing or able to attend in-person.
- Signage. Use signage to promote healthy eating and to educate guests.
4. Using insurance to safeguard your investment
When organizing a large event, it is essential to protect your investment. Large-scale projects involve countless details, any of which has the capacity to go wrong. Beyond cancellations, earthquakes, tropical storms, and flooding, there is a growing focus on event insurance.
When it comes to ensuring your event in the event of a global pandemic, your alignment with your venue should be as tight as a drum. This is when insurance comes into play. Insurance can assist you in managing all aspects of your event’s insurance, providing comprehensive protection for you, your staff, volunteers, spectators, visitors, exhibitors, and others.
It is also critical to ensure that your event’s money is protected. Besides, the truth is that we are all uncertain about what will happen next, which is why planners and organizations are treading carefully when it comes to organizing meetings and events. After all, events require a significant financial investment.
5. Pit-falls and solutions in the procurement process
Meeting expenditure is important for every business, whether it is a multinational financial service company or a tiny non-profit company. Here are the issues to consider:
Understaffing, excessive expense, and a failure to priorities networking. Forgetting to track changes, lacking a weather backup plan, ignoring timeline wiggle room, inexperience, too many guests, no event management process, overlooking attendee engagement, having insufficient time for setup and breakdown, failing to research other events and laws, failing to capture data, over-programming, failing to confirm vendors.
Make sure you have a “procurement playbook” on hand so you can be certain that your venue and vendors are working closely with you and meeting all of your organization’s requirements for safety, risk, and so on. Leverage those key connections by keeping them up to date on all of your requirements, because once the floodgates open for in-person events, venues will be slammed.
6. Mitigating meeting and event risk
Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
There will always be things that do not go as planned, no matter how much planning goes into an event. Risk management is a crucial element of the preparation process to guarantee you can respond swiftly and effectively for any event.
Imagine you’ve put in a lot of effort to get back into the business of in-person events, but there is a chance they’ll be cancelled? Assessing all cancellation risk in the “high”, “medium”, and “low” categories, as well as meeting with finance, legal, and procurement, can ensure you’re prepared for any eventuality. In short, how you handle them can mean the difference between minor mishaps and major problems.
Know your risks, devise effective solutions to eliminate or manage them, and you’ll be well on your way to organizing a safe and secure event. Make a note of the dates of those crucial decision periods so you can inform and advise the best course of action.
Your attendees’ well-being must be your main priority now more than ever. You must relieve the fears of a nervous, hesitant public. The more the organizers can create and market a safe experience, the more likely they will have successful and well-attended events.
With our “new normal” entailing a tectonic shift in priorities, which can be stressful for planners in an industry still attempting to find its foothold. What you can do now is create a fight card for the future. With this, you can confidently manage your event priorities and, frankly, lesser pressure. Above all, DOREMi wants this to be a resource you can rely on. Please let us know how it helped you prepare for your best conference yet!
If you are still unsure, hire DOREMI now for futuristic event planning with their visionary concepts as well as cutting-edge technologies. We take away your stress with high quality services. You can rely on our expert team to provide new and inventive solutions for all of your ‘new normal’ event demands.