The global crisis has not reduced the importance of in-person events for individuals committed to organizing or attending as soon as restrictions are lifted. In line with this, some have been using digital platforms alongside face-to-face to meet and connect with others.
In this month’s Event Industry News, we share why event organizers continue to produce hybrid events, talk about the benefits of holding macro events, discuss the importance of having a vaccination passport, and more.
Hybrid Events Will Continue
Since the onset of the pandemic, many businesses have been pivoting their event strategies by launching events online. And as more countries begin to open up, many companies have started to design and hold hybrid events while they return to in-person events.
You can increase attendee engagement in this event that incorporates a virtual component to the in-person event you are launching, which can be limited if it is strictly live. This is because your audience can actively participate and engage from their desktop computers or mobile devices. Meaning, they can discuss industry trends, share some valuable insights, comment on posts, and many more to anyone at the event with ease.
The ICCA Annual Congress happening next month is a must-attend hybrid event for associations across the globe. Whether you will be attending in Colombia or from the comfort of your home, the four-day event aims to show the value of association meetings in today’s industry transformation.
“People are interested in attending online conferences to have access to speakers. Face-to-face interactions are here to stay, but there are times when virtual elements will be part of an event. Therefore, we will see a rise in the number of hybrid events,” said Allen Pratt, Executive Director at National Rural Education Association.
The Rise of Micro Events
Many organizations have seen the benefits of holding micro events for both the organizer and delegates. A more intimate event like this allows everyone to build new connections, as having fewer attendees entails a quality network and creates a sense of belonging to the event.
With micro events, the event organizer can easily connect with the participants and gather information once they’ve built rapport. After this, they can use all collected data and information in the future to promote events.
For example, let’s say you will be hosting an event with only 15 attendees. A more exclusive crowd gives a relaxed space for everyone to get to know the speakers, ask questions during a discussion, and exchange business cards with other participants. When a meaningful connection is already established, future interactions that can be mutually beneficial to both parties will flow naturally.
Proof of Vaccine for Indoor Events
The IMEX Group has released this month its COVID-19 safety guidelines and entry requirements for the 10th edition of IMEX America happening in November at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas.
Following a recent trend in North America for health and safety management for events, the IMEX team has confirmed that all participants must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine to enter the event.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on small gatherings, fully vaccinated individuals are safe to attend social gatherings in a home or private setting with other fully vaccinated people. However, there are still ongoing discussions about the health tests or screenings to implement, the guidelines and protocols to set for fully vaccinated guests, and many more to ensure the safety of both event attendees and staff.
Matt Stoelt, CEO and Creative Director at Stoelt Productions, said in an interview the importance of event participants undergoing a health screening or presenting proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination card, which can reduce risk exposure and prevent the spread of the virus.
“To help minimize these costs and ease the logistics of these challenges, I fully endorse the implementation of automation and the use of so-called ‘vaccination passports’ where consumers can either upload a vaccination card or proof of a negative test result within seven days of the event taking place,” he added.
Virtual Networking Opportunities
If you are growing an organization or finding new business partners and prospective clients, professional networking is the best way to meet them. Unfortunately, as we continue to live through a world crisis, traveling to an event and meeting new people can lead to unnecessary exposure to coronavirus.
With a better understanding of the risks of doing in-person meetings, many event organizers have moved their professional networking events online. Truth is, it has never been easier to connect and network with people when you decide to join a networking event online. All you need is a computer, and some virtual networking platforms even let you participate in an event from your mobile.
For instance, at Glue Up, we recently held a 2-week virtual networking event in the Philippines that gathered professionals from different industries. Our goal was to have everyone build new relationships, connect with old connections, and expand their network safely in the comfort of their homes using our Speed Networking platform while several cities in the country were on lockdown.
“Participating in this virtual networking event allows them to share business insights, best practices, and just about anything under the sun. In this way, everyone would feel empowered in creating a better and stronger community that could help kickstart the economy,” said Eric L. Schmidt, CEO & Co-Founder at Glue Up.