Insight: Issue 05 (29th July)
Huge thanks to everyone who has already filled in our events industry survey!
But if this is the first you’re hearing about it, the survey is still live—so head on over there, and help us rebuild our beloved industry after COVID: wearecameron.com/events-industry-state-of-the-nation. Go go go!
With that said, let’s get on with today’s event news. We’ve got: a sneak peak at some post-lockdown events from around the world; advice on how to get attendees to follow social distancing rules; info on contactless event tech; introducing Hilton’s ‘EventReady’ sanitation program; everything you need to know about hybrid events; and a hybrid campaign that’s *almost* as good as a summer holiday.
Are you ready for post-lockdown events?
Um, yes. We’ve only been dreaming about them for 4 months…But in all seriousness, the reality of post-lockdown events will probably be a far cry from these fantasies.
While most large events won’t restart until *at least* September 2020, some brave event profs have already taken the plunge and organised their first post-lockdown in-person gatherings. Event Manager Blog has rounded up some photos from these events, which offer a glimpse of what’s in store for event organisers and attendees in the coming months. Branded face masks and shields will of course become the norm, as seen at Reconnect 2020—a hybrid fundraising event held in Vancouver, Canada in June.
And wide shots like this—of a presentation by OPC Madrid re their recommendations for post-COVID face-to-face meetings in Spain—show socially-distanced seating arrangements in action.
It’s sobering stuff, but it goes to show that events can resume safely as long as everyone follows the rules.
How to help people follow social distancing rules
And how do you get attendees to follow these rules, you ask? Well, Event Manager Blog has answers for that too. In their article on socially-distanced events, they suggest some possible reasons for non-compliance, including: a lack of clarity around what’s expected of attendees (if people can’t understand the rules, they can’t obey them); denialism from attendees who think the risk has been overblown (let’s hope those guys are in the minority); and, possibly the hardest one to address—that it may simply be human nature to forget social distancing.
To help people become habituated to this new social norm, these are some tactics event planners should consider from now on when organising in-person events:
- Limit number of attendees—this reduces the build-up of viral aerosol particles in the air, whilst allowing people to spread out in the space.
- Provide protective equipment—e.g. face masks and shields.
- Organise health screenings—e.g. temperature checks upon entry.
- Minimise background noise—so that attendees can comfortably maintain a conversation from a distance.
- Use wearable distance-enforcing tech—e.g. PariRange or Safe Spacer.
The possibilities of contactless tech
While we’re on the topic of tech…contactless will obviously be the way to go when live events resume. But if you’ve got no clue where to start, this explainer vid from Limelight might get the ideas flowing. It covers all the basics: ticketing via QR code, guest self-check-in, and own-device data collection.
Hilton extends CleanStay to meeting spaces
Back in May, Hilton introduced their new ‘CleanStay’ hotel sanitation program—and now it seems they’re getting ready to extend these measures to cover event spaces too.
Hilton will launch their ‘EventReady’ program in early August, which intends to apply the ‘elevated cleanliness practices’ of CleanStay to all meeting and pre-function spaces across their venues. They’ll have cleaning-protocol checklists—which will be completed in all meeting rooms ahead of and between sessions—along with door seals that will display a room’s readiness. Hand-sanitising stations will also be numerous, all high-touch areas will be regularly disinfected, and a new traffic-flow system will help guests keep their distance.
These updated measures now cover all aspects of the Hilton guest experience—reassuring event profs that the meeting room they’ve booked is virus-free and safe to use.
The hybrid opportunity
In the latest Smart Meetings webinar, the speakers discussed everything you need to know about hybrid events. In case you hadn’t guessed from the title, this was pretty useful content—but don’t worry if you missed it, because we’ve got the key takeaways right here:
- The hybrid opportunity. With travel budgets likely to be non-existent for the foreseeable future—not to mention new capacity limitations in venues—the size of your face-to-face event audience is going to drop. But going hybrid is your opportunity to make sure you reach your audience, even if they can’t be there in person.
- 1 event, 2 experiences. In-person and virtual meetings are two very different experiences, so they require a separate focus. To nail the virtual side of things, try mixing pre-recorded interviews with on-the-ground reporting—this will keep your audience engaged, whilst getting across the energy of the event.
- Stream security. Repeat after us: “I must secure my stream”. If you don’t, it’s very easy for people to look at the source code of the site, pinch the URL, and put your content on any site they want. And you don’t want that.
Hybrid inspo: Honda’s ‘Virtual Adventures’
And last up for today—if you’re looking for some hybrid inspo, look no further than Honda’s interactive marketing campaign: ’Virtual Adventures’. Launched in March to promote Honda’s new CR-V Hybrid line in America, the campaign is inspired by the all-American summer tradition of road-tripping. Throughout the series, Honda will offer virtual experiences that allow consumers to discover state parks, cities, and iconic landmarks across the States. In other words, it’s the escapism we all need right now.
The campaign kicked off with a live tour of Niagara Falls State Park on YouTube, where a park rep used Google Earth to navigate the park and share info about its history, ecological importance, with some little-known trivia sprinkled in for good measure. Viewers could also submit questions in the chat and receive answers in real-time.
So if you’re missing out on a summer holiday this year, you can watch the virtual tour here. It’s almost as good as the real thing (…we said almost, okay?).