The government’s four-step roadmap to recovery offers a route to a more ‘normal’ opportunity for a corporate event in 2021. The phased lifting of lockdown will see a gradual shift in mindset culminating in an expected return to live events. The human desire to interact, engage and entertain is very much present. Re-connection and in-person interaction is what many of us have been missing over the last 12 months.
However, alongside the optimism at the thought of returning to some semblance of normality, there is an air of caution. We must all continue to be sensible about what we do and how we do it.
We are seeing welcome reports of a much needed bookings boom within the travel and hospitality industries. In the same way, the events industry are seeing a significant increase in corporate event enquiries. In fact, the Onyx Events offices are buzzing with excitement at the prospect of planning event experiences in 2021.
Post COVID Corporate Event Considerations
Looking ahead, the challenge for organisers will be to ensure there is no compromise on corporate event production values, engagement and attendee experience. It’s no question that in 2021 the way we plan events will be dictated by safety. Events must be fully COVID-19 compliant from the larger logistics right down to the smallest details.
In addition, it’s not just a physical challenge. It is important to recognise that there will still be guests, suppliers and staff that feel cautious, concerned and anxious about gathering. We have, in essence, all had to exist in isolation for months and getting out will take some getting used to.
To that extent, the expertise of the event organiser will now include making attendees feel more safe and secure on an event. Teams will need to be prepared to do whatever is necessary to make people feel more relaxed and this in turn will become a benchmark for an event’s success.
For 2021 and probably beyond, event attendees should get accustomed to the addition of certain protective measures. In some cases, creative conference and event planners have actually incorporated these ‘new’ measures as a positive part of the event experience…
We anticipate some of these elements becoming a staple part of an event:
- Pre-event rapid flow testing
- Thermal scanning
- No-touch entry points
- Socially distanced pinch points
- In event symptom support systems
Whilst outdoor events are on the horizon, social distancing measures and limited capacity are likely to mean hybrid events take centre stage in the interim.
Hybrid events are the perfect way to blend physical and digital spaces, bringing events to life. These events are a great way to incorporate the best of both worlds, getting us one step closer to the return of live events.
Even if you’ve never hosted a hybrid event before, you shouldn’t let that deter you. The time is perfect, and the technology is more accessible than ever. Hybrid events allow you to cater to two demographics: those who wish to/can participate live, and those who want to participate in their own way.
A hybrid roadshow is also expected to become a part of 2021’s event strategy. Hybrid roadshow events are a good option to allow for the phased easing of event restrictions. Especially for larger companies where limited event and venue capacities come into play.
Roadshows mix the elements of live with virtual by creating a number of smaller events at multiple locations. In effect using the COVID rules and restrictions to dictate logistics. Each event can be linked together simultaneously with the aid of an interactive live streamed show. Alternatively, the events can run consecutively with pre recorded and live elements.
Outdoor ‘Live’ Corporate Events
The current lockdown easing plan coincides with warmer UK weather (fingers crossed!). Hosting an outdoor event, within all required government guidelines, will be an excellent way for businesses to boost much needed engagement and morale – whilst staying COVID safe.
The focus for live events will continue to be on how to control as many variables as we can whilst adding value and delivering rich, engaging event experiences.
Now more so than ever, the event planner’s event management experience combines with technology and a heightened level of compassionate care will make all the difference. Get this right and an outdoor event will give many attendees the excitement and experience we have all been missing.
Planning a Post COVID Corporate Event?
Uncertain times call for creativity, innovation and even a change in mindset. Regardless of whether it’s a virtual, hybrid or live event the key to success is putting your attendees first in the planning process. The shackles may not quite be off yet and so in the meantime, when it comes to your next corporate event, you may need to be prepared to rely on the experts to come up with unique solutions.
If you’re interested in exploring corporate event options for 2021, get in contact with a member of the Onyx Events team today.
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