Insight: Issue 06 (5th August)
New month = new resources for event profs navigating 2020.
In today’s news, we’ve got: a mental health first aid campaign for events; COVID-19 safety procedures for the touring industry; an essential checklist for virtual event planning; how to protect your virtual event from cyber threats; the tale of Microsoft’s masterful virtual pivot; and a bunch of resources to boost the recovery of our beloved events industry.
Introducing the #MHFAEveryEvent campaign
Back in May, Stress Matters carried out a mental health survey to gauge the general wellbeing of the events industry. They found that 44% of respondents felt their employer hadn’t tried hard enough to limit team stress during the pandemic, with 11% reporting their employer hadn’t tried at all.
As part of their response, Stress Matters have kick-started the #MHFAEveryEvent campaign. This will encourage venues and event organisers to prioritise mental safety, by ensuring that events have an appropriate number of mental health first aiders on site to support crew and the public. And that’s not all—the campaign will also be helping out-of-work event profs at the same time:
“For every space booked on one of our Mental Health First Aid courses, Stress Matters will then match this by gifting a space on a Mental Health Aware course for individuals that have been made redundant. The more companies that become #MHFAEveryEvent, the more out-of-work industry colleagues we can also support.”—Laura Capell-Abra, founder of Stress Matters.
Another invaluable initiative by the Stress Matters team. You can find out more here.
Touring industry launches COVID-19 guidance
In another classic tale of event folk pulling together for the greater good, professionals from across the global concert touring industry have joined forces to form the PSA Tour Production Group (PSA TPG). This new group will provide a unified response to COVID-19 within the live music events scene; aiming to get the touring community back to work safely, and supporting its survival in a pre-vaccine era.
The PSA TPG has developed a procedural guide to managing the risks presented by COVID-19, and informing tour-specific risk assessments. The document is designed to add to existing guidance outlining practical measures, and it covers everything from social distancing and health declarations, to hygiene and cleaning. Production industry professionals are encouraged to provide feedback.
The idea behind the PSA TPG is to offer unity and hope, and to form a collective voice of peer support and best practice—so, when audiences are able to return, production teams around the world will be ready behind the barrier.
An essential checklist for virtual event planning
Checklists are an event prof’s best friend, and boy do we have the mother-of-all checklists for you. The Event Leadership Institute has created an essential checklist for planning virtual events. It covers every stage of the process—from three months before the event, through to the crucial post-event follow-up—and will help you stay on track and on budget throughout. Don’t say we aren’t good to you.
And if you want to be extra thorough, you may also want to peruse Meetings Net’s dos and don’ts for virtual event success—guaranteed to make sure your online shindig ticks all the boxes and stands out from the virtual crowd.
Protect your virtual events from cyber threats
We’ve all heard the stories of ‘zoombombers’ wreaking havoc in Zoom meetings during the early days of lockdown—and, months later, the issue of data security online is still very much in the spotlight. Event Manager Blog spoke to two experts on the issue of data protection and security, and they’ve shared everything you need to know to ensure your virtual event is safe and secure. These are some of their top tech tips:
- Know your vulnerabilities. Be wary of posting event URLs publicly on the web.
- Ask the right questions. Ask tech suppliers about encryptions, password protections, custom registration links, and the ability to approve or deny registrations.
- Follow their 6-step guide to securing your virtual event. Lock down registrations, implement a code of conduct, get a password manager, monitor your integrations, use a VPN when possible, and *absolutely* consider two-factor authentication.
If all that tech speak doesn’t mean much to you, then head on over to the full article and get up to speed.
Virtual events . . . the Microsoft way
In early April, Microsoft announced their plan to go digital-only in 2020/21, meaning all internal and customer events would be entirely virtual until at least June 2021. Now, Microsoft’s VP of global events is spilling the beans on how they made this “two-year transformation in eight weeks”.
He talks about how, rather than having virtual events as their back-up plan, the Microsoft events team decided to go all in and devote the next year to becoming “masters at the digital medium”. This involved accepting the fact that “you cannot simply transpose a live event’s approach and format into the digital world”, as this merely draws attention to all the things attendees are missing by not attending in person. Instead, they refocused their creativity towards completely reinventing their events programme to embrace the strengths of the digital medium and leverage all that it does well.
It’s a fascinating read—truly a masterclass in how brands should be proactive, not reactive, when life throws them one hell of a curveball. You should definitely read the full story here.
EPIC’s key resources for the recovery of events
Last for today, another handy list for you. Our friends at EPIC (Event Producers Independent Committee) have curated a bunch of key resources that will aid the recovery of events and mass gatherings in the context of COVID-19. If you need help but don’t know where to turn, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for here:
- Scot Gov Recovery Roadmap—Phase 3 Update—30 July 2020
- Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors: First Report—July 2020
- Event Scotland Supply Chain Survey Results—11 July 2020
- Guidance for Outdoor Events—EIF & DCMS—11 July 2020
- (COVID-19): Events Sector Guidance—Operational—July 2020
- Considerations for COVID-19 Event Communications—July 2020
- Considerations for event organisers preparing for events to restart—July 2020
- Tourism & Hospitality Sector Guidance—June 2020
- Hospitality Templates (Posters/RAs)—June 2020
- Brussels COVID Event Risk Model Chart—June 2020
- ICCA Guide on Best Practices for Re-Opening Business Events—May 2020
- Event Scotland—Industry Consultation Feedback—May 2020
- Scot Gov Recovery Roadmap (not specific to events)—May 2020
- WHO recommendations for mass gatherings—May 2020
Weekly event news? . . . Check!