Current options for live events in a COVID-19 world

Posted by Katy Kattou

Low-key, socially distant live events and experiences can still produce high impact results. Learn more about the scale and type of events that are possible to host now…

As the world starts to resume and find its new normal, adapting to the new parameters they are able to trade and exist in, the events / tourism and hospitality industry has proved to be hindered in recovery. New guidelines and legislations issued from the UK government, that enable live events to be carried out have been delayed, causing the slow return of events to run.

Of course, there has to be a lot of careful considerations and planning needed when deciding how many people is deemed safe and practical within a designated space. But the timings and lack of support, hasn’t come without its frustrations.

The “The Red Alert Movement” and #WeMakeEvents marches have been launched throughout the UK, campaigning to raise awareness about the sector and highlight the widescale issues the events industry are facing from the COVID-19 pandemic, calling upon the government to support the sector.

Iconic venues across the UK including The Tate Modern, Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Stadium and Millennium Stadium to name but a few, turned red in a #LightItInRed campaign to support the movement.

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Live events – what can we do?

So where do live events stand right now, as of September 2020? What scale of event is possible to host and organise?

We’ve formulated a handy guide to demonstrate that even though capacity at events aren’t currently possible to the same level as they were pre-pandemic, there are still in fact plenty of options to launch an event right now. You just need to readjust and adapt the plan.

Live event options matrix COVID-19

According to current government legislation and advice, events held from now until the end of September within conference exhibition centres, hotels and other venues are able to host a capacity of 30 delegates. From October onwards*, events will allow an unlimited number of people who can attend, but subject to adhering to social distancing guidelines and appropriate risk assessments.

*As with all COVID-19 updates issued from the government, they are subject to change. We will keep you updated with the current legislation as it is released.

Live events options for 30 people

Holding events for 30 people may not be the ideal for some organisations, but in order to thrive, businesses need to pivot their strategy and realign to the current climate, Low key, downsized events can still create high impact results and it’s a step in the right direction in being able to re-engage key people in the company, motivate them to boost performance and enhance loyalty with employees, channel partners or customers.

  • Meetings – teams have been working from home for months, bring them back together at an offsite meeting to launch a new quarter, realign against objectives or review current business performance. 
  • Training sessions – launch a new product, revisit existing SKU’s or learn new skills, tools or technology with a series of training sessions. Ensure staff are equipped with the knowledge needed to achieve their best.
  • Mini conference – kickstart the new financial year and launch company objectives to refocus staff or partners on performance expectations. Provide education workshops and small networking opportunities.
  • Awards ceremony – reward and acknowledge staff successes for the quarter or year. Celebrate the positive accomplishments and boost morale by applauding achievements.
  • SPIF day – bring partner sales teams together, to raise awareness of a product or brand to boost sales over a specific period. Create fun and excitement, healthy competition and engagement.
  • Team Building – teams have been apart for a long period of time. Bring them together to enhance working relationships, motivate them for success, increase productivity and improve morale.
  • Incentive Trips – create a memorable experience to motivate and incentivise your key people to work harder, with a desirable trip by way of a reward. Could be an intimate group trip or a personalised individual trip, in the UK or abroad.

For larger offices or partners in multiple locations, for some of the above options it might be appropriate to run a roadshow tour of the UK. Select key destinations that can cover the objectives for the event, to be conducted over multiple days to target more people, but still at 30 people at a time.

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Alternatives for live events

It is clear that businesses need to look at new ways to bounce back post-pandemic. Embrace new ideas to make an impact on lost revenue, relationships and presence COVID-19 created.

For many people, they are also looking to resume as ‘normal’, but for others they may not have the confidence to be surrounded by others just yet.

The alternatives for live events could be:

  • Hybrid approach – a combination of virtual and live events. Host a physical event but provide the tools for people to log-on virtually to still benefit from the content designed to be included at the event
  • Virtual conferences – create your very own fully branded, immersive environment. A virtual event world where your partners, customers or employees can navigate through the replicated interactive spaces (keynote sessions, breakouts, exhibitions), connecting them through virtual conference software, audio, video, webinars, chat and polls to get the conversation going
  • Virtual SPIF days – deliver the fun, hype and energetic environment sales teams are used to working in, by bringing sales activation days, product training or new launches online. Gamify SPIF days, with a branded platform that can be used across multiple partner activation days, allowing audiences to be motivated no matter where they are based
  • Virtual teambuilding – bring key people online to participate and work together in completing a fun, remote task. From beer or wine tasting with a celebrity, to solving the puzzle in a murder mystery game
  • Local incentive travel – to ensure people are continued to be rewarded for their performance and keep the momentum and loyalty high, provide a personalised trip for individuals in their own origin of country, instead of moving across country borders

We’re here to help!

We’re seeing people as increasingly time-poor, juggling more tasks within their job roles, as they may have taken on extra work from colleagues on furlough, aim to fulfil the demand of revenue deficit or implementing the next big idea to make an impact.

We’re here to help take the burden off you. As event professionals, our role is to keep abreast with latest advice and government guidance, which allows us to recommend the best option to achieve for your objectives.

Our knowledge and expertise and award-winning management of events ensures the effective set-up and safety, in creating high impact, innovative events, within the parameters of a COVID-19 environment.

Contact us to discuss your event requirements today. Or check out how we have successfully implemented reward solutions in these businesses.