Should My Next Event Be Hybrid?
Change is in the air (and it’s not just the springtime pollen)! In-person events are opening back up all around the country. Thanks to vaccines and a better understanding of how to fight COVID19, restrictions are being lifted. We couldn’t be more excited, but we understand you and your guests may be more cautiously optimistic.
The State of the Industry
The events industry was hit the hardest to closings. While we were proud to do our part, many did not weather the last year as well as Event Solutions. Vendors, venues, caterers and even entertainers that could not pivot to the virtual world are running with extremely limited staff and resources (or have closed their doors forever).
What does that mean for in-person events?
It means longer lead times are necessary to help you produce your event. Venues are extremely limited and they go extraordinarily fast once they start taking reservations once again. Some venues are also still implementing limited capacity guidelines even as restrictions are lifted – meaning your event planner will need to do their diligence to check and may need to book a larger venue or keep your event outdoors to accommodate your group.
The same has been true for vendors. Depending on your event needs and goals, your event planner may need to book months ahead in order to secure your specialty vendor. Event Solutions has been working hard to ensure our proprietary partners are still in a position to produce your event and replacing the ones that have unfortunately not weathered as well.
Our catering team has been scaling back up and thanks to our resilience and creative solutions for catering virtual events (and sealed boxed meals) we are able to provide you with the same great services you remember. However, other catering companies may not have had the same success. We also need to vet any service providers to ensure they adhere to the new COVID safety standards in food preparation (and serving guidelines).
Event Solutions has new guidelines and policies in place to not only keep your guest safe but protect you from liability and legal issues that the pandemic has created. Even as people are vaccinated, we need to be vigilant in our fight. Seating arrangements have adjusted, catering policies including no self-serve buffets, and pre-screening during registration is a necessary new norm in the events industry. These measures as well as others in cleaning and disinfecting mean additional planning, logistics, and resources need to be budgeted and time allotted for. See our full list here.
Fear is the biggest challenge facing the Human Resource community. Fear of the unknown, fear of change, and fear of loss just to name a few – there is even fear of what was once so normal. The toll this takes on mental health is enormous. Navigating this with your team is challenging you can’t do it alone. We are all starved for contact after a year of lockdowns and social distancing. If you have been waiting for in-person events again, don’t keep putting it off. The time is now. And if your team is not quite ready to get in person (or your area has not opened) virtual and hybrid events are great alternatives that will help uplift your team, connect them to each other and keep everyone safe.
The Hybrid Solution
There is a way to accommodate everyone – from those craving in-person to those who prefer to play it safe from home and that is a hybrid event. It combines the virtual and in-person in a unique way to allow everyone to participate and connect. We can provide delivered or pick up options for catering for those who choose to continue stay-at-home and still produce an in-person experience. There are special entertainment options and specifically trained staff designed to help you cross the bridge from pixel to person. We in the events industry expect virtual events are here to stay in some fashion – with hybrid events becoming a new norm well into the future.
Here for You – Whatever You Choose
You know us for our unique ability (and willingness) to work with whatever partners needed to create your vision. If your event has a specific venue, catering, or novelty in mind, please discuss this with your event planner along with your date and location. We want to provide you with the very best and waiting is no longer an option when it comes to booking any service in our industry. Demand is higher than ever, coupled with limited service providers means more competition for your date and service providers.
These new guidelines and challenges may mean your next event may include a smaller in-person portion (of presenters, leadership or just those who want to participate in-person) while others who would normally travel or who prefer to continue social distancing are allotted a virtual version to join from. Discuss with your event planner to see what best fits your needs.