Prior to March 2020, event planners were already well versed in the importance of planning for the unexpected. However, now that we’ve lived through two years of pandemic-planned events, we are more cognizant than ever of the meaning behind the saying, “Necessity breeds innovation.” when it comes to planning corporate events. To support our fellow event managers and planners to successfully navigate unforeseen circumstances, we’ve put together a list of the ways you can future proof your corporate events.
While we hope nothing like the Covid-19 pandemic ever happens again, there is no harm in over-preparing for the unexpected. Plus, even if nothing news-breaking does shake up your well-laid plans, these tips will be effective when we’re basking in the ease of blue skies and slow news days.
Hybrid Event Hosting
Hybrid is not just one of the biggest buzz words of the 2020’s. Mastering this model of working and planning is essential for business and event sustainability. For many seasons to come, people will be expecting to have online options for attendance – especially when it comes to larger-scale functions, such as conferences.
Support an effective on/offline event to accommodate a broad range of comfort levels with the following tips:
- Use breakout rooms for close-knit discussions, away from large crowds
- Create and share schedules pre-emptively for selective participation
- Post speaking engagements to your event hub
- Allow for virtual participation during Q&As
Choose the Right Venue & Technology
In order to allow for the continuation of the hybrid model, it’s essential you choose to work with a venue that will support your best efforts to engage both in-person and online audiences. Venues that have the capacity to offer the use of multiple spaces and the flexibility to accommodate social distancing – should that be required – will save you from needing to switch up the location of your event at the last minute.
Find an Event Space that Meets your Digital Needs
Equally as important, you need to confirm your event space can provide for all the presentation and digital essentials you may need. Be it easily accessible high-speed Wi-Fi, a plethora of outlets for laptop charging or screens for slide sharing, you cannot host a sophisticated event if your technology is lacking or lack luster.
Speaking of technology, don’t overcomplicate things and make sure everyone at your event is on the same digital page. Provide comprehensive instructions about accessing online materials and, should it be required, test and retest your project management software long before your guests are on their way. Being well-versed and well-prepared technology-wise is not only best practice, but it will also help you transition much more easily to a virtual format, should a crisis situation occur.
Collaborate with Specialists in Event Planning & Management
The only thing more difficult than trying to plan a successful corporate event during a stressful situation is trying to do it by yourself. When you host your event with a brand like Vintage Hotels, you not only get access to sophisticated event spaces and cutting-edge technology, but you also have an entire team you can rely on.
Working with seasoned event planners takes so much off your plate. From figuring out how best to arrange a room through to organizing transportation, accommodations and scheduling, having a team you can trust checking things off your list can completely transform the success of your event. In addition to hands-on support, a supplementary event team will be able to offer industry and regulatory insight to ensure you are aligning with any legal or governmental standards.
Engage Your Attendees Before & After the Event
People want to feel like they are truly a valued part of things. Rather than just welcoming people on the day of your event and then sending them home, a great way to enhance the impact of your business meeting or conference is to generate buzz before and after the main event.
Communicate Intentions, Deliverables, and Takeaways
As soon as people begin signing up or once your business’s teams have confirmed attendance, you can begin to communicate with them about the intentions and deliverables of the event. Unite participants through chat groups and social media. Encourage them to connect with one another – and the broader strategy of the function – by delivering on great content.
Ask meaningful questions to fuel authentic engagement and collaborations. This, arguably above all else, is what will make for a memorable and meaningful corporate function. Additionally, it will bode well, should anything occur that renders an in-person event impossible. Your online attendees will be much more likely to actually participate if they are being held accountable via the people and content they’ve already been engaging with.
Plan Strategically with Vintage Hotels to Future Proof Your Corporate Event
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. This is the motto most event planners now live by. When planning a future proofed event, you cannot assume nothing will go wrong, but you also can not just plan halfway expecting something will. Collaborate with our event specialists at Vintage Hotels and we will help you design schedules and strategies that will secure your success – regardless of whether or not you need to switch up your delivery model or timeline.