Events are looking a whole lot different these days. Instead of registration tables with snaking queues, there are SafeEntry signs, swabbing stations and screening counters. Instead of packed stadiums, event halls or theatres, we meet each other online. Instead of buffet spreads with sharing of delicious food, guests are served bento sets or individual portions, or not at all.
It has been almost a year since the Covid-19 onslaught on the events industry but businesses are pivoting, event organisers are innovating and there will still be a demand for events as one of the most effective marketing tools and platforms for small and large businesses alike.
We are slowly getting back to “normal” and here are 7 ways to navigate events in a post-Covid world for brands, marketers and business leaders.
1. Safety is a Priority
Event organisers have to make sure that their events make their attendees feel safe and are not exposed to unnecessary risks. This means covering all fronts in terms of hygiene and safety standards.
Adhere to government regulations on safe distancing measures. This means limiting the event capacity, making sure that attendees remain in their allocated groups and using self-service check-in kiosks that minimise queues and contact between people.
2. Go Contactless
For many brands and business, Covid-19 has been the catalyst for digitalisation and innovation initiatives. Ecommerce shops, brand collaborations and virtual technology are popping up for businesses in every industry.
Technology has enabled event organisers to go contactless with touch screen, event apps, sensor beacons and facial recognitions. These not only ensure safety but create a condition for event efficiency and productivity.
Contactless payment is also prevalent and the only option for many businesses.
Delve into more apps, platforms, and technology to ensure that your event runs smoothly and safely.
3. Smart Catering
While food and drinks used to be one of the highlights of any event – imagine scrumptious buffet spreads, free flow drinks and show-stopping food centrepieces, the way that food and drinks can be served now has completely changed. For the foreseeable future, luxuries such as buffets, communal condiments, drink stations are eradicated.
Prepare easy to eat, ready to go food at event venues but do not compromise on quality. There are many caterers with interesting and unique set lunch and dinner sets that can fill up your attendees and whet their appetites.
Venues should have hand sanitiser stations at all touch points and dining areas should be properly allocated to attendees to ensure safe distancing and to avoid unnecessary contact between different groups.
4. Toggle Between Online and Offline
To ensure that your event reaches its maximum target audience, organise a synchronous event physically and virtually so that attendees can also have the option to choose the platform that they are more comfortable with.
Engage a professional video team to ensure that the livestream runs smoothly and to solve technical hiccups if there are any (hint: there will be!). Make sure that pre- and post-event marketing and follow ups are covered so that attendees get maximum exposure and information to your event.
By going hybrid, your event may reach even more attendees as compared to pre-Covid days!
5. Reimagine Events
As Covid-19 has changed the world irrevocably, brands and businesses must look back at their strategies for the long haul.
Navigating the new normal will see many companies that do not adapt or pivot fall through. As the world changes, make sure that your product offerings and messaging changes too.
Constant innovation will continue to be the biggest obstacle, or biggest opportunity, for brands across the world. Zoom into what people need during this period and focus on providing a sense of collective help and community – that is what events should be about.