Insight: Issue 17 (21st October)
In today’s news. . .
We’ve got: NTIA’s statement on the continued shutdown of the hospitality industry; a new report urging the events industry to be more environmentally-friendly; a new approach to food & drinks at events; 33 buzzwords every event prof should know; new research showing people are craving events (um, we could have told you that…); and an inspirational tale of pivoting to virtual in less than 48 hours. Boom.
NTIA comments on hospitality shutdown
In case you missed—Mike Grieve, NTIA Scotland Chair and SubClub Managing Director, released a statement about the Scottish government’s ongoing shutdown of the hospitality industry…and it’s just as scathing as you might expect:
“Yet again Scotland’s hospitality and nightlife industry is going to bear the brunt of new restrictions whilst there is still a dearth of support available to protect businesses and the tens of thousands of jobs they provide. The £40m announced today, whilst of course welcome, won’t scratch the surface of the financial damage incurred by Scottish hospitality businesses over the next 3 weekends. These jobs are vital, particularly to our young people, but now our country’s 5th largest economic driver is expected to simply shut up shop. […] We again call on the Scottish Government to address the urgent issues facing our industry and, at the very least, repurpose existing budgets to help a whole industry which is literally at the point of collapse.”
Well said, Mike.
Restart < regenerate
Remember during the height of lockdown when nature was healing? Remember how we all talked about how we’d learned our lesson, and we wouldn’t undo all that progress? Well, now’s the time for all of us to live up to that promise.
The IMEX Group, an international business event organiser, have published new research that urges the events industry to adopt a new economic model—based on the so-called ‘circular economy’. Launched last week, the Regenerative Revolution report argues that sustainability is no longer enough when we consider the dramatic rate at which humans are depleting the earth’s resources. Instead, it proposes a new events framework—called Hannuwa—which offers 4 key principles and an 8-step methodology to guide, educate, and inspire event profs on their transition to more regenerative and circular event management.
Be warned, this report pulls no punches—it covers food waste, climate change, and materials misuse (looking in detail at the single-use plastics crisis). It’s also got multiple case studies, extensive scientific research, insightful anecdotes and quotes, alongside practical steps for all sections of our industry.
In other words, it is absolutely essential reading. You can download the report FOR FREE here.
How to do food & drink at events during COVID
Just like every single other aspect of an event prof’s job, the way we approach food and drinks at live events is going to have to change. To save us another headache, Event Manager Blog have shared some tips on creating a safe dining experience, such as…
- Food & drink areas will need a clear flow of traffic, to avoid too many people congregating in one place.
- Tables will need to be reduced capacity and, of course, 6 feet apart.
- Self-serve buffets are out, as are hors d’oeuvres. Serving meals directly to tables is a better alternative—but this will obviously depend on the location’s specific event regulations.
- A ‘quick service restaurant’ model might be a solution, where attendees place an order via a contactless ordering method, then pick it up at the end of a line without mingling with the catering staff.
- Asking attendees to pre-select meals in advance also seems like a good idea.
Hungry for more? Read the article here.
33 virtual buzzwords everyone should know
Think of all the new (read as: horrifying) words and expressions we’ve learned this year…’social distancing’, ’furlough’, ’flattering the curve’ and, our personal fav, ’covidiot’. We all know a few of those…
And that doesn’t even cover all the digital events terminology that has suddenly crept into the public’s vernacular. If you’re struggling to keep up—and still don’t know your virtuals from your hybrids—Meetings Net has assembled a glossary of 33 virtual event buzzwords everyone should know. It’s split into 3 categories for your convenience: platforms & tech, audience, and presenters. You can check it out here, but here’s a few head-scratchers for you in the meantime:
- Webcasts vs. webinars—both involve the ‘one-to-many’ streaming of a presenter to a remote crowd; but the difference is, webinars involve audience interaction (Q&A, polling, live chat, that sort of thing) and webcasts don’t.
- CRM—Customer Relationship Management is a basically system that allows businesses to manage customer relationships and the data/info associated with them.
- Latency—this is the delay between the content source and its streaming, which might look something like this…
Research shows people crave events
BREAKING-BUT-UNSURPRISING NEWS: people want events!
According to a large study by Fieldlab Events—in collaboration with two very smart cookies, Prof. Andreas Voss (physician microbiologist & prof of infectious diseases) and Dr. Nikki Kenters (researcher)—the general public are keen to attend events and believe it is safe to do so.
When respondents were asked whether they would like events to resume, the answer was overwhelmingly positive—and that was across corporate events (93.6%), sports events (94.1%), and entertainment (97.5%). Crucially, when asked whether they’d feel safe attending an event, the answer was also yes across all three categories: business (92%), sports (94%), and entertainment (93%).
Respondents are also willing to comply with necessary safety measures (such as wearing masks) and are prepared to take vulnerable groups into account. See the stats here.
No. . .sleep. . .’til virtual!
Lastly, if any one organisation embodies a desire for events to go ahead, it’s the New Zealand Medical Association. Their events team pivoted an entire in-person annual event to virtual in *less than 2 days*.
They were just 48 hours away from the meeting that would bring 600+ doctors to the city of Christchurch, when the government declared an immediate ban on in-person gatherings of more than 100 people in order to stop the rising tide of COVID cases across the country. The convention space was almost fully built out, and almost everyone was preparing to fly or drive to Christchurch…Could 330 sessions from 91 medical educators be transformed into an online presentation before the scheduled start of the event?
Why yes, yes they could. Read their inspirational story here.
Until next week, kids!