Planning events during Covid19 might seem like somewhat of an impossible task. We’re in such a difficult position at the moment as we don’t know when things will return to “normal”. We don’t know exactly what the long term impact on the business will be, and how the industry will recover.
But, like the world, the industry must go on. We must adapt. We must be strong in adversity. I keep saying to my partner, can you imagine how many people are going to flood the pubs when this is all done? The event industry is no different. We should give people the craving of freedom they will want and need. We should respectfully celebrate making it out the other side of a crisis by hosting events with a purpose, reconnecting people.
Sure, the technology available to us now is more powerful and versatile than ever before. But we all know it will never replace a conversation over a good glass of red or a joke shared over a dinner table.
Times have been and will continue to be tough on many businesses’ finances, so I fully appreciate that investing in an event won’t be possible for all. I’m not for a second suggesting that we should come out of a distressing time period with luxurious and lavish events, I actually believe that would be quite insensitive. However, I do think we should be planning events during Covid19 which are focussed, well put together, and impactful. We all have a responsibility to keep the wheels of this economy turning.
Events have always been planned in the same way: find the date, and everything else follows. In times where nothing is the same as before, we have to flip that on its head. Who says we need to have the date first? Here are a few ways we can continue to be planning events during Covid19:
Create the event design
The first thing we can do to be planning events during Covid19 is creating designs. Creating a design isn’t something that is exclusive to a date. Sure, you can make something look like it belongs to a conference in the winter, or outside in a garden during summer. But we can also create more neutral designs that can be carried across all seasons. I’d encourage you to look at colours like green, greys, and oranges which can be carried across. In reality, any colour scheme can simply have the hues adjusted to suit the time of year, so get cracking!
Curate the Content
The second step in planning events during Covid19 is to curate your content. Whether you’re planning a dinner, a conference, or a roundtable, you can use this time to plan our your key discussion points and agenda. Jump on a zoom call with all those who need to be consulted, and go about building the structure and content of your event in the same way you normally would.
Find a Venue and Suppliers
Now I appreciate this might sound a bit mental, but by this point, you should know roughly how many people you’ll be aiming to invite and what format the event will take. This will give you all the information you need to find your venue, accept the date. This is where flexi-date planning comes in.
Everyone is in the same boat with planning events during Covid19. We are encouraging all suppliers to make sourcing the date the last step. Try to find suppliers who will allow you to be flexible with your date. The way we suggest doing this is by sending a doodle poll of date options once it is safe to do so. This will work, but only if everyone shows a degree of flexibility.
Reach out to Sponsors
Now that you have the bones of your event, you can reach out to sponsors with potential packages. Again, a degree of flexibility and understanding is needed, just to be sure that if anything does change you’re not held accountable. We don’t advise taking any payments or signing any contracts, but simply registering interest. That way, once you have the date, you’re not starting from scratch and have a list of interested sponsors ready to go.
Reach out to Speakers
You have your agenda, venue, suppliers, sponsors. You can now give speakers a pretty good picture of the event. Who said planning events during Covid19 isn’t possible? Not us.
In a similar way to sponsors, we would encourage you to gauge interest from your guests rather than asking them to book. You can create simple register your interest forms on survey monkey, or a simple link to email.
I would urge businesses to forward plan now. Have the foresight to look to where we might be in 6, 10, 12 months, and make your plans. People need hope, connection, and enjoyment, something which events can easily give. I hope this article on planning events during Covid19 has given you some things to think about.
If we can help with flexi-date event planning, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from others who are making an effort to keep going!