The State of Things
Our industry is in trouble. As one of the first to feel the effects, being shut down completely, to being one that will be one of the last to come back. Because we can inject control measures to our gatherings, we shouldn’t be the absolute last where the event lasts a short time and everyone attends concurrently. But it will still be a long wait for many until we are allowed to open and then those first events back need to show that we can do this.
We think events will be smaller for the next little while. And whether that is due to space constraints or some feeling of cautiousness from the attendees or other factors, it could still be okay if we are ready for it. Event producers can deliver a different experience - one that is maybe more focused, more personal and more engaged to the exhibitors that make it and the attendees that can come. It is a time to rethink, just as we are doing, the processes and plans that we have put in place. It is a break to evaluate your suppliers and programs (like attendee loyalty and sponsorships) to make sure that you are right sized for the environment that we will find ourselves in for the near future.
We think events will come back and believe they will with vigor. It might take a while to come back fully, but they will come back. It will be up to all involved to convey and demonstrate a safe and trustworthy environment to those who come back first. We need to tell them in advance what will be different and we need to show them on site that we care about the safety of all.
But in this case, we are all in this together when it comes to returning to normal. A couple of crucial mis-steps by any event can set them all back. We need to be diligent and although we need to be penny wise in sourcing and partnering, we can’t be pound foolish for the greater good. Look to your service contractors to provide reusable safety initiatives to minimize costs to each event. Look to see what you can do through volunteers or in house with some creative processes.
We all want our events to come back as quickly as possible. But we all need them to come back safely. It will take a group effort and everyone must be contributing their part to the success, just like it should be pandemic or not. We will help out as much as we can for our clients and our industry.