A return to live events is on the horizon (hooray!). We’ve missed being on site so much, and are looking forward to the day when we can once again help our clients create amazing events. But there are, of course, a lot of concerns about returning to live events. Is it too soon? Will people attend?
Ticketmaster survived their subscribers and found that 90% of fans expect to return to live events before the end of the year. That’s good right?! In this article, we’re looking at how you can make a return to live events as safe and successful as possible.
Work out what events to hold
As we return to live events, there will undoubtedly be many hesitations from guests. Whether that’s not feeling comfortable, preferring to tune in online or due to isolation, it will be more important than ever to assess the purpose of events.
Businesses have a huge challenge ahead of reinstalling attendee confidence, so immediately returning with a huge event could be risky. Start small with roundtables, or perhaps forums. From here, gradually build up to your most important events.
Perhaps your most profitable event of the year is a flagship conference for 1000+ people. Considering the situations we’ve found ourselves in over the last six months, holding that conference in October would probably not be the best idea. Instead, consider how you can deliver that content differently. That might be several smaller events stretched out over two months, or potentially moving the event online. Get creative with the solutions to your problems.
Survey your audience
Most have been relatively out of touch with our audiences over the past six months, in a literal sense at the very least. It’s easy to assume what your audience may be thinking, but unless you have the evidence to back that up, it’s easy to be lead down the wrong path. Asking your audience is a great way to assist with your plans for the future. After all, without your audience, there is no event, right!? Ask questions about a return to live events, like what would they like to see, what’s the preferred format, and would you attend in person. Simple tools like survey monkey or typeform are great.
Create a pricing strategy
I think everyone knows by now that we’re going to have hybrid events for a while. The introduction of online elements to your event will also bring a new pricing structure. This could be one of the questions which form part of your audience survey mentioned above. I’ve spoken before on how it’s OK to charge for any value exchange, and that applies to online events. Consider whether you offer the online ticket at a discounted rate, or whether you offer the same price for both.
Put venues on hold
It’s important to remember than in our attempts to return to live events, the rest of the industry is doing the same. There are hundreds of businesses across London alone who are planning, hoping that by March 2021, either dinners, conferences, and forums can resume. Once things start to look up, there will be increased demand for venues. So, if you’re even thinking about running a live event, get a venue on hold.
Find a good production company
As previously mentioned, hybrid elements will form a massive part of our return to live events. With this in mind, it will be essential to have a productions company who are capable of making all the kit work and make the right things happen at the right times. There’s more to think about than ever with planning live events, so leaving that element to a production company will be a considerable time and stress reliever.
The guidelines exist for a reason. I know we all want to make sure that when we return to live events, we do so in a safe way. Keeping infection rates down is paramount, and therefore doing your bit to make sure your event is safe is equally as important. You can find the Government guidelines which are continually updated here. All of our staff took the WHO COVID-19 training course to help them understand the causes and impacts. Your teams can do so too by following this link.
Reflect on the past six months
To say it’s been a whirlwind would be an absolute understatement. We think that such a crucial part of moving forward is looking back. Lockdown and the pandemic may have taught you some precious lessons about your audience, your event schedule, and the way your business functions. Stop for a moment to take note of those lessons, and use them to your advantage moving forwards.
Ask for help
As if there wasn’t already enough to think about when planning event, we’ve now added being COVID safe into the mix. There’s a lot of juggling, uncertainty, and confusion for a lot of people around what to do and what not to do. Everyone we’ve spoken to wants to do the right things, but can’t see the way forward sometimes. And that’s OK. It’s OK to get help. Companies like mine exist for this exact purpose, to help you achieve. We sit in the shadows and help bring your confidence back. If you want to chat more, I’d love to speak to you.