We’re back with another piece on coronavirus and its impact on the events industry. It’s been 2 days since we wrote our last piece, and we’re seeing more and more businesses cancelled their events. There’s definitely an underlying level of fear across a lot of suppliers and clients alike. The number of cases in the UK has risen, but it feels like the response has been disproportionately high compared to the level of change. The World Health Organization has declared that this is a public health emergency of international concern, however, the UK chief medical officers have only just raised the risk from low to moderate in the UK. Let me repeat that, coronavirus is still not causing high risk according to the Government.
The government advice remains the same. If you have travelled to one of the places listed on the website regarding coronavirus, stay indoors and avoid contact with people. Wash your hands regularly to prevent the spread of the virus, sneeze into your elbow, avoid shaking hands and all the other things which we’ve heard hundreds of times on the news. So although the case count is increasing there isn’t much else which is changing. Does that mean that events are being cancelled prematurely? I was discussing the recent events with a colleague yesterday who agreed this is one of the most interesting times to be working in the events industry.
However, something I want to explore today is the use of technology in this coronavirus crisis. This post has been Sparks buy something I saw on LinkedIn from Richard Waddington, a senior figure in the events industry. Richard said:
“In crisis lies opportunity, let’s think about how we can deliver what we need to deliver differently; perhaps this is the opportunity for technology to shine? It’s imperative for business to flourish that communities come together and whilst ‘LIVE’ events are unquestionably the best way of communicating and engaging audiences, there are technological options available that are better than cancelling your events all together, or support your event by allowing people to attend virtually if not physically.”Richard Waddington, LinkedIn
I personally can’t help but feel like Richard is exactly right. From the first paragraph of this piece, you can clearly see that the government hasn’t told anyone to cancel events. Companies are taking it into their own hands to make that decision, something that well within their rights to do. But is the cancellation of so many events really that necessary? We live in a society which has so many opportunities available to us at all times. We have a multitude of technologies some of which you probably haven’t even realised could help you in this situation. So instead of cancelling or postponing, surely, it’s worth looking at other ways around the situation.
Is live streaming an option? Or continuing to hold the event but move it online in some form? Your KPIs for the event will it depend on your solutions to this problem. This is why knowing your strategy from the beginning is so important. If you know your strategy you know what it is that you’re fundamentally looking to achieve. When you know what you’re fundamentally looking to achieve you can then go back and look at other options to see how else you might be able to achieve those KPIs.
It’s also worth looking into virtual reality if you want to make attendees feel like they’re there. That’s then turning something that could have been a disaster into a PR trick. In the next few days, we’ll be posting ideas around tech which could support your events. In situations like this, we need to be creative. We need to find solutions rather than problems and take the opportunity from crisis.
As Richard said, don’t just pull the plug.
We can help you with crisis management, rescheduling, and other effects of coronavirus. Get in touch with one of the team today.