Is Profit Possible for Live Events With Social Distancing?

Jul 5 • Event Fabrication and Production • 41 Views • No Comments on Is Profit Possible for Live Events With Social Distancing?

It is undisputed that COVID-19 has brutally affected the events industry in general and the event production companies specifically. But looking at the bright side of it, it has also opened up new opportunities and spurred different ways of thinking.
Representatives and Sales-force from huge enterprises and companies came together — via their computers — to reflect on these upcoming challenges and how they are affecting their event teams in 2020 and beyond.
It is safe to say that the outcome can be summarized in two main ideas.

Practice Sensitivity

Every event production company has a different audience thus the variety of answers to one single question: What does our audience need right now?
They suddenly realized the need to hit pause, step back and re-evaluate their communication tactics and business plans.

The many participants in this task found that taking the time to research and explore those changing needs is critical in such a challenging period especially after being used to very complex events with a multitude of different partners and customers.
They realized that now isn’t the time to sell or promote nor the time to expand the business, but rather to lend an ear and some empathy to existing clientele and staff.

Sales-force took sales off the table to focus on their clients and create relevant and meaningful content that will help them through these unprecedented times.

With reference to many event production companies, practicing sensitivity means caring for its employees first. But working from home, or better to say being at home working is not all they were concerned about. During this difficult period, they were convinced that it is important to really take the opportunity to stop working if you need to or be empathetic to people that have children or roommates or small environments.”

Some other F&B companies took an employee- and customer-centric approach. They were mainly focused around managing the client’s needs and work requirements through getting the information out there to their operators, to their managers and helping them be safe and still deliver quality products to their customers.
Other participants were more concerned about closely working with HR and internal communications teams in order to check the company’s pulse and better understand the status of their team and how they are doing.

Embrace Change

Event production companies had to change their business plans. None of the solid strategies that were put in place two months ago seem to be applicable during these challenging times, and most roundtable participants created a COVID-19 task force at their company to keep up on daily requirements and lead the charge.

Twitter’s task force, for example, holds a weekly meeting with the help of different experts such as data scientists and doctors, to find new solutions and opportunities.

Some event production companies’ Sales-forces have been working on timely and engaging content to assist clients navigate COVID-19 and keep their businesses open.
Some other Companies took a close approach at new measurement metrics as well, they relied on guideline questions to collect data and feedback moving forward such as measuring the viewers’ numbers of livestreams, and they also built partnerships through initiatives, driving community, targeted conversations and the provision of help and support which will have a greater effect for them in the future.

Look to the Future

All the above said, it is clear that there is no single solution that answers to all the event production companies’ needs. While some have cancelled in-person events for 2020, some others are being cautiously optimistic about hosting events in 2021. Despite the different approach that each company is having with regards to this challenging pandemic, we can still sense a feeling of community across the industry.

Though most participants realized that virtual events may be the near future solution, it seems that the virtual elements will keep their place even after we return to physical events. They aren’t a temporary solution, but rather a long-term investment that brands can continue to develop and grow especially for the people who won’t be able to attend future in person events due to long distance or any other reason.

The question remains, could virtual events replace in-person events for good?
The answers were unanimous on one point; live events will always be the essence of the business despite current concerns. Many event production companies recognize the importance of in-person gatherings, and are convinced that virtual will never take the lead especially when the social nature of the business require the physical presence of the attendees like in F&B events and such.

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