Oh, what a year it has been! It seems like only yesterday our industry was facing the worst crisis in a generation, pivoting to virtual events overnight. It might sound dramatic now, especially if you’re reading this in 2035. But there was a time when events as we knew it could very well have gone extinct. A worldwide pandemic that demanded lockdowns and quarantines was hardly on any event prof’s bingo card, but COVID-19 comes to show just how unprepared we all were to face this dreadful disaster.
And speaking of preparedness…look, we’re not trying to be Debbie Downers here, in spite of the many shivers the title may have sent running down your spine. We couldn’t be happier that the vaccine is rolling out faster than Usain Bolt at the Olympics. If you listen closely, you might even be able to discern the sounds of our team high-fiving and doing backflips in the backyard. This is exactly what we’ve been waiting for! A return to live events, being able to network face-to-face, shake hands and hug like nothing ever happened. It’s impossible not to rejoice. It’s almost too easy to forget what things looked like just a few months ago.
Keeping Hope Alive (Without Being Blinded)
But we can’t. This pandemic taught us a lot of lessons, and if we’re ready to let them all go, let us at least keep one of them very present – you can never be overprepared. Active shooters, natural disasters, the Queen of England shows up unannounced demanding tea and biscuits, a pandemic breaks out and forces you to cancel everything…a lot of things can go down.
Our intent with this article is to get you thinking about a specific possibility – what happens if we have to go into lockdown again? Where do your events go? Will it be a March 2020 situation? And if it is, are you ready to deal with it?
Hope is a beautiful thing. It’s a necessary survival mechanism that must live and be stitched into our very souls. It was hope and perseverance that kept our industry alive during one of the most complex situations we ever had to face, not only as professionals and business owners but as humans as well.
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, we can’t say it’s over – at least, not yet. And while we must keep hope alive, it’s also smart, rational, and necessary that we have a backup plan in case something goes awry. If an unexpected turn of events forces us to shut down again, what are you going to do?
Pivoting To Virtual With Event Partners
We’re willing to bet that you know a lot about virtual events at this point. Months and months of learning how to avoid webinar fatigue, how to keep the audience engaged, which platform would best suit your needs, and so on, can hardly be forgotten. But if the mere thought of having to do it all over again fills you with dread, don’t worry – we understand.
Having to return to virtual events exclusively will hardly do wonders for morale, especially if you have to do everything on your own. Who wants to sit through hours of platform demos, sourcing studios, and finding individual vendors for each moving part of a virtual event? Especially after a brief yet joyous return to hybrid and live experiences?
They’ve Got Your Back
If these two paragraphs were already enough to exhaust you, take a deep breath. Because there’s a silver lining to all of this! If you work with the right production team, you will pretty much be able to just sit down, relax, and enjoy the virtual ride. There are a lot of production companies out there, yes. But how many of them have extensive experience producing live, virtual, and hybrid events with excellence? How many have an impeccable track record of pivoting to virtual with minimal to no hiccups?
Getting in bed with a partner who not only understands but also anticipates your needs is the best thing you can do in a post-COVID world. Even if there’s nothing but a tiny chance that something can go wrong, they’ll have your back. Do state restrictions mean you have to go hybrid? No problem! They’ll find a small and unique venue and source a platform for remote attendees. A mass shutdown is upon us yet again? No biggie, they can pivot to virtual on a whim. Whatever you need, these are the sort of people you want to be surrounded with when planning an event during uncertain times. The ones who are here for you.
Pivoting To Virtual: Conclusive Thoughts
Go ahead and shake off any scaries that this article might have given you. Things are looking good, and the future shines very brightly for both humanity and the events industry! The moral of the story here is simple – stay positive, stay hopeful, but keep one foot firmly planted on the ground when you’re ready to venture off into the sunset.
No need to even worry too much! On the contrary, if you’re working with the best people, they’ll probably do most of the worrying for you. Isn’t partnership a beautiful thing? As you prepare to plan your next event, re-consider the team you have by your side. It might just save you from an ocean of regret later on!