As the world continues to recover from the onslaught of the pandemic, industries, especially event management, have reinvented their old ways to adapt to the post-COVID era. With event management businesses banking on face-to-face gatherings, lockdowns and limitations of huge assemblage enforced by the global health emergency brought a screeching halt.
This left event planners with only 2 choices—either to sink or swim. With all the changes in the operation process needed to survive the business in the post-pandemic era was challenging, new technologies have opened new ways to help event planners to ease back into the industry.
Now that you are ready to embrace changes in the New Normal era, here are some tips on how you can successfully plan events for executives in the post-COVID age.
1. Push for hybrid events
While digital events have proven to be beneficial to many small and medium-sized businesses, the lifting of quarantines and physical distancing rules indicates that corporate events can slowly return to their offline roots. However, this does not mean the end of digital events in the new normal. Just because the problem with COVID-19 is not as drastic as before does not also mean cramming hundreds of attendees in the same venue.
Now is the time for event planners to adapt to a more hybrid approach (a combination of an online event with live offline gatherings). However, the offline event will be exclusive for VIP attendees with strict observance of social distancing and hygiene measures.
2. Define the objectives of your event
Setting clear goals is key to the success of your corporate event in Toronto. Following the SMART formula—Smart, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Timebound—can help you set your event goals effectively and efficiently. Your objectives should specify the things you want to achieve within a given timeframe.
3. Set your event budget
Budgeting is one of the crucial yet challenging factors in planning and executing events. Mapping the cost of the event beforehand can help prevent the risk of overspending.
Knowing how much you can afford is essential during the pre-planning stage. Your budget has a direct impact on every aspect of your event planning strategy—from inviting guest speakers and hiring a documentary photography professional to procuring the tools for your hybrid event.
4. Secure your venue
When choosing the venue for the event, make sure the size can accumulate all your guests with social distancing in mind to prevent the transmission of the virus. Also, make sure the venue has proper ventilation to prevent air stagnation, which increases the spread of disease during the event.
5. Plan your program
When planning a hybrid event, think about how you can integrate both virtual and live elements to ensure attendees have a novel experience. While online and in-person aspects require a different approach, be sure to balance both elements for the success of the event.
Many event planners think that organizing a hybrid event is as simple as hosting it live and then streaming it online. For hybrid corporate events to be successful, you need to engage with your live and virtual audience differently.
For instance, during the Q&A session of the speaker, the event host can talk directly with the online audience and ask them to tweet their questions using the official hashtag of the event. While the speaker answers the questions from the live audience, someone will sort through all the online questions and relay them to the speaker. It enables flawless organization and management of the questions from our online and live audiences.
6. Evaluate attendee engagement and participation
Post-event evaluation is one of the essential things to include in your corporate event planning checklist. It enables you to evaluate the performance of your event that is within your expectations.