Insight: Issue 10 (2nd September)
Another month of 2020 is in the books.
And that can only be a good thing…In other good news: France has axed social distancing measures for small indoor events; a Dutch research institute says there is no evidence that outdoor events spread coronavirus; new research is giving event profs an insight into how attendees feel about post-lockdown live events; apparently ‘anti-viral’ face masks are a thing now, which is news to us; and we’ve also got some tips to make your virtual meetings more visual, more engaging, and ‘unlame’. You’ll see.
France axes social distancing for smaller events
Two days after announcing that large events in France would be banned until November, French PM Jean Castex has said the country is now allowing smaller indoor events to go ahead *without* social distancing measures in place, but mask-wearing must remain ‘continuous’. These events include gigs, theatre shows, cinema screenings, and nightclub gatherings—all of which must have a maximum of 5,000 attendees.
The only exception to this new rule will be in ‘départements’—so-called ‘red zones’ of infection where cases of COVID-19 are rapidly increasing. This currently applies to Paris, Lyon, Bouches-du-Rhône in Marseille, and Gironde in Bordeux.
This means social distancing requirements have been removed for much of France, and their entertainment biz becomes the first to encourage the return of live shows without empty seats. We’ll admit it, we’re jealous.
No evidence of outdoor events spreading COVID
Event Planner is reminding us that so far there is no evidence that outdoor events lead to coronavirus infections. According to Prof Ira Helsloot of the Dutch Crisislab—a research institute in the field of security and crisis management—there has been only one proven instance of coronavirus infection at an outdoor event, which took place in China.
Regarding indoor events, he comments that robust safety measures—such as good ventilation—will ensure that the risk for a healthy delegate under that age of 65 is “no greater than the risk of dying from 11 kilometres of motorcycling, 44 kilometres of cycling, 480 kilometres by car, or a flight from Amsterdam to Bali”. That’s oddly specific, but we’ll take his word for it.
The bottom line is, Crisislab was unable to find an argument in more than 500 scientific publications from all over the world for a blanket ban on major events—leading Prof Helsloot to conclude that “there is no basis for this at all”.
Attendee preferences for post-lockdown events
With the argument for a return to live events getting stronger every day, event profs are tentatively planning for the year ahead—but something that we really can’t predict is how people will feel about attending events in person. So the Event Leadership Institute set out to provide planners with data on exactly that.
Throughout July 2020, they conducted an online survey of 764 event profs, agencies, and other industry suppliers. The findings were quickly compiled in a brand-new report—titled ‘Attendee Preferences for Live Events in the COVID-19 Era’—and here’s a sneak peak at some of the insights:
- 96% of respondents expect event planners to provide a clear statement of the rules, and 81% think organisers should remove any attendees who don’t obey them.
- 90% of respondents rank the availability of hand sanitiser as very important, with 87% saying it should be essential for all attendees to wear a mask.
- 75% feel comfortable driving up to 2 hours to attend an event, while 16% are wary of traveling anywhere right now.
You can download the full report here and peruse it at your leisure.
‘Anti-viral’ face coverings exist
Since an overwhelming majority of event attendees expect mask-wearing to be mandatory (ahem, see second bullet point above), we thought we’d draw your attention to a nifty first-to-market product from merchandise company Screenworks.
After a period of research and development, their team created custom, reusable, anti-viral face masks. And these are no ordinary face coverings—they’re manufactured using a specialist anti-viral treatment, appropriately called ‘ViralOff’, which reduces viruses and bacteria on the product by up to 99% over 2 hours.
We have absolutely no clue how that works…but it sounds pretty cool. You can find out more on their website—and if you’re interested, they’ll even send you a printed sample with your company’s chosen design, completely FOC.
How to ‘unlame’ your virtual meetings
As much as we’ve enjoyed all this live-events chat, let’s dive back into the virtual world—as, let’s face it, that’s the world we’ll be living in for a while yet. Smart Meetings have shared some tips on how to ‘unlame’ your virtual meeting by adding virtual artists to the agenda. First of all, who knew ‘unlame’ was a word? And second of all, here’s what they mean…
The novelty of Zoom calls has *long* worn off, so it might be time to add a splash of colour and visual interest to your attendees’ screens. The Smart Meetings team chatted to some animating professionals about how to use a graphic elements in online meetings, gathering tips on visual sketching, mind-mapping, note-taking, and goal-setting. It’s essential reading for all you visual learners out there.
It beats the hell out of another grayscale PowerPoint, that’s for sure.
The best live polling questions to break the ice
Now that your online meeting is distinctly ‘unlame’, you can make it even more interesting and…*dare we say it*…fun, by starting a live poll.
Honestly, interactive polls always work. They’re an easy and effective way of connecting with your audience on a personal level, and recapturing their attention if you sense they’re zoning out. To spark your creativity, Slido has suggested 40+ poll questions for engaging your online audience. Their list covers the silly and the serious, and it’s a great source of inspiration.
(Just a heads-up—if they say no to that one, they’re lying.)