Many of our daily experiences have undergone radical change during the COVID pandemic, and some of these may never be the same. Corporate event companies have not been immune to this upheaval. Now must be more creative than ever to produce experiences that are both safe and attractive for attendees. Here are a few things to know about corporate events in the post-COVID era.
How Corporate Event Companies Will Present Events in the Post-COVID Era
Events Should Be Worth It
The pandemic has made corporate event attendees more selective about traveling and social gatherings. This change will likely remain intact, as many of us have grown accustomed to working remotely and participating in virtual experiences. This places more responsibility on event organizers to create experiences that truly stand out to encourage physical attendance.
There are a few characteristics that attendees can expect at a corporate event in the post-COVID era. First is unique content that simply can’t be replicated in a virtual environment. If the event content doesn’t meet that standard, there should be exceptional networking and social opportunities that are not to be missed.
Reduced Number of Attendees
No matter how great an event may seem, there will still be those who have grown accustomed to staying home. Further, attendees may be confused or dissuaded by the fact that different locations may have their own safety regulations for corporate events post-COVID. Given these factors, it is likely that these and all other types of social gatherings will see a smaller number of attendees.
While the number of physical attendees may see a reduction, it is important to keep in mind that this may not affect the overall number of participants. Virtual attendance is now commonplace. And it is reasonable to expect that post-COVID events will likely feature a mix of live and virtual participants. This is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, it opens the door to new types of experiences for creative event organizers.
Proof of Vaccination or Negative COVID Test
We can reasonably expect that at least some corporate events will require proof of vaccination and/or a recent negative COVID test. While some may disagree with this policy, it’s important to be prepared, as some cities will likely require this. This may further reduce the number of physical event attendees, but it is a reality of life that we probably should learn to live with.
Increased Hygiene Standards
Event attendees should expect to see changes in safety and hygiene protocols as well. Event planners have learned how to manage safe events during the COVID era, and many of their solutions will likely remain in place going forward. This may include things like hand sanitizing stations and unique solutions for passing a microphone between different speakers.
While some of these protocols may seem bothersome or unnecessary, it’s important to remain flexible and do our best to comply with hygiene protocols at corporate events, especially since we’re unsure of how and when future disease variants may surface. Event organizers and venue personnel will be doing their best to meet standards designed to be as safe as possible, so it’s only fair for attendees to do their part by following regulations.
Food and Catering Will Be Different
From power lunches to cocktail mixers, a great deal of business tends to get done over food and drink. Corporate events are no exception, although it is likely that these experiences will maintain at least some of the changes instituted during the pandemic. Organizers have changed the way food is prepared by hiring a private kitchen to lease which has all of the essential covid health and safety rules and is served in accordance with the quality regulations.
One of the most obvious changes is the buffet meal, which is off the menu and not likely to return any time soon. There may also be staggered dining times if organizers are forced to limit the number of people in one area at a time. Expect to see increased use of pre-packaged meals that attendees pick up from a certain location and then take to an outdoor seating area.
More Contactless Technology
There will probably also be more contactless technology, such as interactive mobile apps, facial recognition, and sensor beacons. Attendees picking up lanyards from event receptionists may be a thing of the past as organizers. Participants alike seek ways to minimize the number of things they have to touch. Hotels, convention centers, and other event venues may also begin to use self-service check-in kiosks like those used at airports.
These are some of the main things to expect from corporate events in the post-COVID era. It’s likely going to be different from what we were used to experiencing at these events before the pandemic, with the adoption of new safety protocols and corresponding technology. Food service will certainly be different, and there will probably be fewer physical attendees. As always, we will adapt and succeed!