What You Need to Know About Planning Your Comeback Event
The events industry was hit hard in 2020, and may take another hit with new COVID variants on the scene. Many have already begun planning and hosting in-person events once again. Businesses are planning end-of-year conferences, weddings are back on, concerts are scheduled, and it seems that the general public is teeming with excitement to attend.
But what will events actually look like in 2021? As much as we all would love to go right back to the way things were before the global pandemic, the world has changed in a way that is going to continue to affect the way we do things, at least for the foreseeable future. If you’re in the event planning industry, you’ve likely wondered about what your first back-in-person event will look like and the challenges you’ll face in the new environment.
What’s in Store?
As your calendar fills back up, there are a few things you’ll need to know to make sure your next event is successful. You’ll want to have all of your bases covered when it comes to health and safety, outdoor accommodations, and hybrid elements that people are going to be expecting. It’s also important to consider your own business and how protected it is against things that could potentially go wrong. With a plethora of events industry changes on the horizon, having event insurance is going to be more important than ever.
Health, Safety, & Assurance – Making Things Safe & Comfortable for Attendees
After over a year of constant handwashing, sanitizing, mask wearing, and social distancing, people have become accustomed to a heightened standard of cleanliness and health safety. Many people are still acting cautiously as they re-enter public settings, and this directly affects how events will need to be planned.
First, you’ll want to over prepare to assure attendees that their best interest is in mind as they show up for what is likely their first event in fifteen months. This means offering sanitizing stations, face coverings, spaced out seating arrangements, and clear expectation of behavior for those in attendance. Depending on where you are, some of these things may not be required, but nevertheless, people will want the option of extra protection. This will help ease nerves and hesitation about being in a crowd.
Secondly, communication will be key. It’s a good idea to include your company health and safety standards and the venue health and safety standards on the event invitation, app, or website. While you don’t want the pandemic to be the number one thing on people’s minds during your event, you’ll want them to feel safe and cared for throughout.
Event Space – Using Outdoor Areas & Managing Capacities
Another thing we’ve seen over the past year is the need for outdoor accommodations. People will likely feel more comfortable in a crowd if they are outdoors, so any time you can utilize outdoor space, do it!
One easy solution is having people eat outside. Whether it’s a wedding, conference, or corporate event, buffet lines will seem less crowded and letting attendees socialize in the open air provides health-conscious mingling opportunities. Because outdoor options are going to be a necessity, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper event liability coverage for your event in case of cancellations due to bad weather.
Another consideration for your 2021 event is going to be capacity levels. A popular venue in London, The Grubstreet Author, predicts that large events are a thing of the past, and that a small-event trend is on the rise. This doesn’t necessarily mean smaller venues, but rather that larger venues will have lower capacity limits to allow for more comfortable spacing. This means that when planning events, you’ll need to get creative around how to make space feel inviting: not too crowded and not too empty.
Hybrid Events – The Best of Both Worlds
People have become used to attending meetings and events virtually from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual experiences aren’t going away, but instead, we will likely see hybrid events as the go-to options for business events and even some social events.
The challenge will be taking the best parts of in-person and virtual events and blending them together in a way that works well and runs smoothly. This can pose some challenges, but it’s crucial to have a virtual option for your 2021 events.
According to Event MB, hybrid events are in the top 5 event trends for 2021 and will include things like implementing live chat options to optimize interaction with those that aren’t in person as well as more complex event tech. They suggest using Live 360 to allow virtual attendees a 3D, in-person-like experience. All of this event tech will likely mean increased budgeting for the virtual portion of events as well as more apt AV technicians. With all the tech and digital aspects involved in a hybrid event, you’ll want to consider cyber insurance options to protect your business in case any data or digital security is compromised.
Protect Your Business Through the Ups and Downs
With so much change in the events industry, you will need to operate your business to accommodate the post-pandemic environment. Due to these adjustments, it’s important that your event planning business is properly protected. With more responsibility put on your business in regards to health and safety and event technology, you will want to make sure that you have sufficient general liability and professional liability insurance for your events.
NOW Insurance provides real-time quotes for professional liability, general liability, and cyber liability for event planners. Our insurance policies are customizable to fit your exact business needs, so fill out our quick, 3-minute application today for a quote and feel confident that your business and your next event are covered.