Live events will return. It’s only a matter of time, and when they do it is going to be BUSY. If you are planning an event in 2021 it’s time to get to work!
Don’t wait to engage with people – caterers, event planners, and AV professionals are as anxious as you are for live events to make a comeback. This is a great time to reach out to your service providers and start pre-planning your event.
SET A DATE AND BOOK IT
Most venues have COVID-19 cancellation policies – use them! It’s better to book now so you are not competing for dates when restrictions begin to lift. Remember, there is going to be tremendous competition for event space as capacity limitations begin to lighten. Be flexible with your options, and rely on your event planners to suggest some “out of the box” options if necessary. We’ve had great success this year shifting large corporate meetings into several smaller breakout rooms. This provides a safe COVID compliant option, and streaming your main event to smaller groups creates a fun and intimate experience for your attendees.
BE UPFRONT ABOUT YOUR EVENT BUDGET
Talk with planners and staging companies about designing your event to fit your budget. There is an industry wide understanding that clients and event professionals have been on pause for several months, so there may be flexibility in their pricing. By booking early companies will be more willing to work with you on cutting costs. However, when business picks up (and it will) there will be far less room for negotiation.
INCLUDE A DIGITAL ELEMENT
It goes without saying that some of your audience may not yet be comfortable attending an “in person” event. This is completely understandable, and as event professionals we need to adapt and still provide an enjoyable event experience for these individuals. By streaming your event on a virtual platform you’ll have the opportunity to reach a wider audience, and posting weekly live stream reminders via email or social media provides an excellent marketing opportunity.
IT’S OKAY TO CANCEL
We know you want your event to succeed, and we want to help make that happen. However, these are challenging and uncertain times. Speakers are going to cancel, attendees are going to stay home, and finance committees are going to decide to hold back on event spending. WE UNDERSTAND! Be up front with your event planners and audio visual providers, and work to reschedule or find a more cost effective option.
Technical Director, Craft Productions