Event Management

Event Planning in 2020 and Beyond

| April 14, 2020

Planning an event has never been easy, but with the outbreak of COVID-19, we can expect things to be very different now and in the foreseeable future. It’s just one more thing that event planners will have to keep in mind going forward.

While setting up live events can seem far off, taking the time to strategize how you operate in this new reality will help you bounce back quickly once they’re allowed again. To help you navigate the post-outbreak world, take a look at these considerations:

Monitor Public Health Notifications

As governments continue to enact strict travel policies, it’s important to keep an eye on how that impacts attendees, sponsors, and staff members. Instead of reacting to the endless news cycle, follow the recommendations of public health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This will give you a better idea of what to do as you plan your next steps.

Develop an Action Plan
The CDC recently published an article on key planning recommendations for mass gatherings, which you can access here. Leverage the findings of this report to create your action plan and include it in your communications such as on your website, emails, and landing pages. Taking the time to create an action plan lets your sponsors, attendees, and staff know that you care about their health and safety. This action plan will most likely be a mainstay of your event planning efforts, so get ahead by creating one now.

Increase Communication
With so much going on, make it easier for your attendees to follow along by updating them frequently on what’s going on with your event. You’ll want to let them know of any measures you have taken to make health and hygiene a top priority. Consider sending alerts from reputable public health authorities and share your action plan with them. You might even want to create a hygiene best practices guide to share with them before your event.

Review Cancellation Policies

Even with all the precautions you’re taking to create a safe environment for your event, there are going to be people who don’t feel comfortable attending. Make it easy for them to cancel and offer them a way to access event materials. You don’t want to lose the relationship you have nurtured.

Make Health and Hygiene a Top Priority
Health and hygiene is a top priority for any event, but moving forward, it will be even more important for event organizers to focus on creating a sanitary environment. This can be done by placing handwash stations throughout a tradeshow floor, for example, and prominently placing signage around your event to guide people to these stations. You can even use your brand ambassadors to act as stewards of health who provide hand sanitizers to attendees while reminding them of hygiene best practices.

Event planners are a resilient bunch. They’re used to rolling with the punches when things go wrong. And there’s always something that is either forgotten or pops up. It’s part of what makes this industry exciting and fun. While the current situation is anything but, this is another challenge we will overcome as we plan events in 2020 and beyond.

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