The effect of lockdown on the event industry hasn’t just meant a move to hybrid events, there is now a new virus-related vernacular in use by event planners.
The Brewery, which is recognised for its fresh outlook on the capital’s headline events, is having to re-interpret event specific acronyms such as DDR and AV in line with today’s demand and social changes.
Lockdown has exacerbated the need for people to communicate. From an individual’s need for interaction to organisations who are embarking on a new way of operating and communicating with their teams, clients, suppliers and shareholders.
Subsequently, demand for incorporating a virtual element into client meetings and events at the venue has grown as organisations address the shift in people WFH. We used to plan events around the four walls that the sessions were taking place in. Now, we need to consider a completely new perimeter; the four corners of the screen that remote guests will be focused in on. Add to this a revised set of operating rules across the venue and the conversations with clients and colleagues are changing and a new dialogue is developing.
Examples of the new phraseology for the event sector includes:
Event host, real-time and virtual
The four corners of the screen have become the aperture for eager eyes and attendees need to consider what their personal working at home set-up portrays. In real time, event attendees are engaged with each other on an even playing field, however, remote viewers have unique scenarios that are as individual are they are. Attending from beside the pool or from the box room can be distracting for the wider audience. Planners should therefore consider the online experience of their delegates to be as important as their real-time guests. Themed backdrops or sponsored backgrounds give equality and are important ways of eliminating any perceived hierarchy and most importantly help build a cohesive message.
Keeping attendees’ attention is key – especially when they are remote. Push notifications can keep participants hooked at all times and may mean they don’t miss out on important conversations. A maxed info’ consumption means a far higher return on investment and a superior return on experience for guests too.
Scrolling / To scroll
Covid-19 has been a catalyst in the move from print-based conference programs to tech-platforms that enable networking & sponsorship along with a central resource for content. Scrolling is a delegate’s hastened sweep through content that they deem less suitable for their needs. Longer term, organisers can keep their audiences engaged and networking long after the event has concluded, therefore, scrolling due to poor quality and content needs to be eliminated.
Organisers want as few touch points and areas for potential contamination as possible. Canapes and buffets are now potentially no-go foodie options, replaced with served boxed food, and the ease of providing an all-day un-manned coffee station has been erased from the operations manual. Name badges and goodie bags are being scrutinised too as organisers look to replicate a 5* experience on their event apps. Society’s on-going reliance on phones is helping organisers drive their delegates to their dedicated app or platform and eliminate areas that formerly required a tactile interaction.
Virtual happy hour
Enabling the virtual guest to carry out their working in a less formal atmosphere post event.
WFH – working from home
With many organisations having to switch to remote working at home, there’s been a significant increase in international participants as overseas offices and colleagues are being invited to events that previously would only have had a local or UK domestic audience. Inviting guests from the four corners of the globe means messages remain uniform across the operating companies and more importantly alleviates the need for travel. With so many businesses easing their teams in to working remotely for the foreseeable they are increasingly creating virtual events to keep their corporate values and messaging on point.
WFO – working from the office
Conversely the term ‘working from the office’ implies the number people that will be in real-time attendance at the event. In line with Covid-19 restrictions the groups size in attendance may be slightly smaller, however, there will be a greater reach of audience numbers who are attending online.
The rise of hybrid events marks a new chapter in The Brewery’s evolution as a beacon for business and social networking. Rather than focus on the uncertainty of what physical events may look like in the future, now is the time to adapt and embrace the ‘new normal’ for meetings and events, and a hybrid of physical and virtual will undoubtedly have a huge role to play in this for the foreseeable.
What’s key is that we embrace the need to give our clients a safe and secure environment to communicate. Technology has been forced to the fore and rather than eroding the events market it’s providing more opportunities and better ways for clients to communicate and keep engaged with their audiences. It means there’s a shift in how events take place along with wider considerations on how they will appear and impact – no longer just from the four walls of the venue but from the four corners of the screen and the four corners of the world.
If you would like to learn more about how we can create a hybrid event please get in touch with our sales team or read our London’s Calling case study here.