Events During Corona Time
At the conclusion of the first stage of the Corona crisis, and as we transition to a way of living with the virus, the world of events must reinvent itself. In the past few months there has been a quantum leap in adopting the technologies of virtual meetings and conferences – and the readiness of groups and organizations to try them out and adopt them. Many companies have exchanged their physical conferences for virtual conferences, among them Facebook, Google, Apple and IBM.
Virtual conferences have many advantages, in their ability to encompass audiences all over the world, the possibility for precise measurement of the level of involvement of participants in every stage of the event, the relatively inexpensive costs in comparison to a physical event and the minimal environmental price. In addition, virtual events will not replace in person events. The need people have to meet has intensified, especially now, after a period of a prolonged lockdown. With a return to in person events, even if they must operate within the obligatory health restrictions, virtual events will become an additional tool in the toolkit of the producer.
Photos by Shani Sadicario from Seagate Startup Event
So what are we talking about?
Social distancing will become the new normal at events. This means analyzing every stage of the event in order to prevent people assembling and adhere to the health rules. What will the entrance to the event look like? How will food be served so that there will be no crowding at the buffets? How will the audience be seated in the hall in order to maintain wide distancing?
Hygiene and Health. In the same way that today requires a strict adherence to safety, accessibility and control over the quality of food, there is the need for a "set standard" for hygiene and the prevention of contagion.
Local Events. As long as the airline industry does not return to its routine operations, and the plague is still active in various countries around the world, events will mainly be conducted locally, on a small scale, with less international events.
This gap may be closed with the help of a virtual broadcast of the event to participants abroad – something that has already become routine at events of international companies.
Subject Matter of the Event With regard to the content of business events – it feels like we find ourselves after "a world war," and that we are entering a period that is new and different from everything that came before. In our estimation, these are the required content emphases:
Authenticity – People are seeking a message that is direct, true, honest and clear.
Short and to the point – Attention spans have shortened. People are interested in receiving messages delivered with effective conciseness.
New Heroes who instill inspiration – it feels like a time of "a new world order" and, in that light, the selection of speakers will be different than the way it was done before Corona. Who are the heroes of this time? and who will feel like the heroes of days gone by?
What values are they placing before us? That will give our audience a feeling of relevance to what is happening today?
In person events After being locked in their homes the greatest need of the participants is to meet, to share experiences, to be with old friends and meet new people and to be together. Time must be allocated for encounters at the various stages of the gathering and during the breaks, beyond what we would have done at events before Corona.
Appreciation. The lock-down period presented people and organizations with new challenges we had not encountered previously. This is the time to recognize and express gratitude for extraordinary activity in this period.
Despite the fact that we are all feeling our way and attempting to define the character of the right encounter / event for now, one thing is clear: new ways will be found to hold in person events where the participants meet. This is the time to examine the differences between physical and virtual events and to maximize the relative advantages of each of them. This period also clarifies the significance of shared time that people spend together – which is no longer self-evident. This is an opportunity for all of us, producers, organizers and companies, to re-examine the ways to connect people according to the values and the messages that we are interested in conveying in an experiential and exciting manner.