Insight: Issue 28 (20th January)
Well, 2021 is already looking up. . .
And that’s all we’ll say about that.
In other news, we’ve got: a summary of everything we learned about events in 2020 (it’s a lot); a complete event tech guide for 2021; new research showing that virtual events will enhance, not replace, live events; affordable rapid COVID test kits will soon reach the mass market in the US; 20 steps for launching an event venue; and a new buzzword for your event vocabularies…’festivalisation’.
Everything we learned about events in 2020
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that 2020 was the worst year on record for the events sector. And the start of 2021 hasn’t exactly been a piece of cake either.
*BUT* Event Planner is putting things in perspective for us—summing up all that we learned last year, and reminding us of the unwavering resilience of the folks in our industry. Together, we…
- Pivoted from physical to virtual. 10 months on, we’re still seeing constant innovation in virtual events. What was exceptional a year ago is now the norm—and that’s pretty damn impressive.
- Became digital marketing masters. Virtual events have become a way of growing businesses and making brands more visible online, all whilst engaging directly with audiences in real time.
- Fostered an online community. Instead of hosting a few costly physical events per year, businesses are now running virtual events whenever they please; fostering communities through consistent, engaging content.
And there are plenty more achievements where that came from—read the full article here.
Event tech: the 2021 guide
Equipped with our pivoting skills and all that resilience, we’re oh-so-ready to tackle 2021—and The Bizzabo Blog has shared their complete event tech guide to help us make the most of it.
In response to COVID-19, digital services are evolving at lightning speed—with new virtual platforms, engagement tools, and event apps popping up all over the place. It’s enough to give any mortal event prof choice paralysis…but this trusty guide will answer all your tech-related questions; from how to choose the right tools, to whether you should plan for a hybrid future.
(So, that’s a yes then?)
Virtual to enhance live events *not* replace them
New research from Reed Exhibitions shows rising approval ratings for virtual events, but—for anyone out there worrying that live events will go extinct—there is also a growing consensus that digital elements will enhance, rather than replace, physical gatherings.
The data comes from a survey of almost 3k exhibitors and over 9k delegates, spanning 201 events. The results send a clear message: enthusiasm remains high for an eventual return to in-person events, but both event planners and event attendees are becoming increasingly receptive to virtual options. In other words, the in-person experience is still paramount and, if anything, the pressures of the pandemic are merely accelerating the integration of virtual engagement into the live experience.
That’s the best of both worlds, right there.
Affordable rapid COVID tests reach mass market
In the US, rapid COVID-19 tests will soon be available to the mass market. Pharmaceutical firm Abbott are focusing their efforts on producing tens of millions of their BinaxNOW test kits every month. By mid-February, organisations such as schools, workplaces, and pharmacies will be able to purchase the tests in bulk.
The test kits cost $5 each and produce results in just 15 minutes. Each test is paired with Abbott’s free Navica app, so that people who test negative can generate a temporary digital health certificate via a QR code. The University of Wisconsin will be the first private customer to secure BinaxNOW at scale, procuring 480k tests over 6 months for use at its universities and campuses. So watch this space.
How to start an event venue business
Opening a new event venue comes with a long list of things that *must* be in place for a successful launch…and that was before the pandemic. To make the process a little less daunting, Planning Pod spoke to two venue gurus—Dianne Kohler, CEO of Camrose Regional Exhibition Center; and Michael Hallford, CEO of Kitmo Venues—who shared their most-valued industry secrets in the form of a handy 20-point checklist.
To pique your interest, here are the first 5:
- Research. Researching your audience, competition, and location area is the most important step in opening a new venue.
- Plan. Devising a business plan makes the process of launching an event space business much smoother.
- Price. Getting your pricing right will prevent lost business and vanishing margins.
- Space. Planning out your space thoroughly before you build will add value for your customers.
- Design. Surprise your clients with unique and flexible design elements.
What even is ‘festivalisation’?
And last for today, something event profs cannot resist…a buzzword. So, what is ‘festivalisation’ anyway?
It’s an idea driven by millennial and Gen Z event profs, who strongly believe that even business events can—and should—spark enthusiasm. This generation has fuelled a collective recognition of the fact that a forgettable, run-of-the-mill event is a losing scenario for both organisers and attendees. Festivals, on the other hand, foster a sense of community; bringing people together, creating lively interaction, and leaving participants with shared memories. So the question is: why can’t all events be more like festivals?
If you ask us, the concept is hard to argue with—and in a world where many face-to-face interactions have been replaced by virtual ones, it might be more important now than ever before.
Wouldn’t you agree?