As Covid restrictions are eased around the world, there is an increasing desire among companies and organisations to get back to in-person events – such as team building, company celebrations and customer events. It’s taken two long years, but we are finally in a position to meet up again for these sorts of occasions! But, the most important question is: are you ready to start organising in-person events again?
Events can go ahead again, which means there is huge demand out there, as so many postponed events are now being put back in the diary. Unfortunately, resources in the events sector are likely to be in short supply so it is definitely worthwhile taking this into account. Here are our tips to help you prepare well in advance and ensure everything goes to plan.
1) Book well ahead
- Whether it’s the location, a supplier or other MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) partner, make sure you book well ahead. Everyone is starting to organise their in-person or hybrid events again, so demand is likely to exceed supply. Start your preparations early, ideally a couple of months ahead.
2) Check the cancellation terms
- You never know when Covid might rear its head again and throw a spanner in the works. Check the cancellation terms so that you don’t get any nasty surprises if you need to reschedule.
3) Prepare for plan B and, quite possibly, plan C
- Remember that you need to be prepared should restrictions be reinstated. Work through different scenarios in detail and decide what additional measures might be relevant for your event, such as enabling the scanning of Covid-safe tickets, face masks, 2-meter distancing, hand sanitiser, etc.
- It’s also a good idea to make arrangements for a back-up "location/platform". If your in-person event cannot go ahead at the last minute – or has to be curtailed – then you can always switch to an online event. Review the options available to you and work out an action plan.
- The more flexibility you build into your plans before the event, the easier it will be to modify them should the need arise.
4) Create a run sheet with a checklist
- Create a list of all actions that need to happen before, during and after your event. Having a run sheet for an event ensures that everyone who is involved in organising your event knows precisely what to do, where and when. A professional run sheet is essential to be sure you cover every aspect of your event and that everything runs smoothly. It’s easy to create one in Excel, but useful tools to help you produce a run sheet are also available online.
- Don’t forget that both staff and materials will be in short supply due to the rush of events, so you don’t really want to be in a position where you need to make last minute changes. Using a checklist will ensure no detail gets left out and you will be able to work in a carefully considered and structured way. It’s all these small details that turn a successful event into a truly memorable experience!
5) Focus on the experience
- The overall experience of the event continues to be important, because it means your participants will look back on the event with pleasure and your message will stay in their minds. But, it all needs to be consistent. No one will remember the Instagram-worthy entrance if the toilets are grubby. People’s enjoyment of time set aside for networking and socialising at the end of your event will be curtailed if there are hour-long queues to get out of the car park because there’s only one exit for thousands of visitors.
- So, focus on the experience of the event, not only in-person but online events too. Because the experience for your participants is probably even more important for an online event than a physical one. You can’t walk around and get a feel for the atmosphere when the event is online. So, for online events, it really is about the small details. Fortunately, in part thanks to the pandemic, plenty of interactive events platforms are now available on the market that do a great job of enhancing the event experience. There are also a host of additional tools that help to provide added value. Voting systems are one example, but there are others too…
- Have you heard about the “peak-end rule”? This is a psychological model that contends that participants judge an event based on moments in time rather than the experience as a whole. What are the moments in time that stay with you the longest? Generally, it’s the time the event was at its height and the end. This makes a good principle to work from if you want to boost the perception of your event.
6) Get in professional help where needed
- Whether it’s organising in-person, hybrid or online events, companies are increasingly outsourcing the entire organisation of their event to a single partner. They are looking for someone who can take care of every aspect of organising the event, both in-person and online. New technologies and hybrid set-ups are not going to go away, and they demand a certain degree of technical expertise. So, it's a good move to bring in people who have experience in this area and who can advise you accordingly.
Do you need to organise an online event, webinar, live or hybrid conference soon? We are happy to help you with this. The wide range of services we offer combined with our extensive technical expertise about onsite, online and hybrid events are a unique asset.
At Presence we always want to provide an unforgettable event experience before, during, and after your event! That is why we put your needs and expectations first and provide tailor-made solutions.
Want to find out more about what we can do for you and your business or organisation?
Feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.