Insight: Issue 37 (24th March)
Happy 1-year anniversary to when we said this:
Little did we know…*sigh*
In today’s news: focus on something positive with VisitScotland’s #JourneyToChange initiative; can employers require staff to get vaccinated? (short answer: yes they can!); the catch-22 of ‘zero-COVID’ zones; a brand new directory of virtual event platforms; 18 reasons to host a morale-boosting company-wide virtual event; and a very important date for your event diaries—EdINburgh Unlocked is happening on Thursday 1 April, people!
#JourneyToChange with VisitScotland
As the UK reflects on a whole year spent almost entirely in lockdown, we thought we’d share a few wise words from our friends at VisitScotland:
“No matter what challenges we face, if we face them together, we can create a better tomorrow”
Before COVID brought the events industry to a standstill, VisitScotland started investigating the impact of business events at home and abroad. What they found was that these events have a *huge* impact on both delegates and destinations—and when event profs work together, events become catalysts for positive change.
This is the mantra of VisitScotland’s #JourneyToChange—an initiative that will help to spark ideas and shape policy throughout the events industry. You can find out more here and, when the time is right, start your own Journey to Change in Scotland.
Can employers require staff to get vaccinated?
As COVID vaccines roll out around the world, a tricky question has arisen among business owners: can you require your employees to get vaccinated? This is especially relevant for event staff, who not only interact with the public, but who are also responsible for the health and safety of guests. To settle the debate, the International Caterers Association chatted with some legal experts for a special webinar—‘Vaccinating the Workforce for COVID-19’—earlier this month.
FYI, the short answer is yes they can! For the long answer, check out this article over on Catersource.
The catch-22 of ‘zero-COVID’ zones
According to Event Manager Blog, Australia and New Zealand are proof that a zero-COVID policy creates a catch-22 for event planners. Strict control measures mean that events can happen without risk of transmission, and are therefore safe from a public health perspective—*but* swift lockdown announcements can lead to events being cancelled at a moment’s notice, meaning they are not financially viable.
To make matters worse, event organisers do not have a safety net to fall back on; insurance companies traditionally cover unforeseen setbacks (like, say, a freak storm) but they are unwilling to gamble on COVID-related risks.
The bottom line is, while some regions of the world may be faring better in terms of COVID containment, none have escaped its economic impact—and this is especially true for events, hospitality, and tourism. As event profs have been saying from the very start, the financial impact of government restrictions needs to be offset with matching government support.
Directory of virtual event tech to launch in April
But all is not lost! We still have trusty ol’ virtual events to keep us going.
During the first week of April, EventMind—a UK-based virtual meeting consultancy—will debut Dashboard: The Directory, an online catalog of virtual event platforms and accompanying apps. It’ll be free for planners (hooray!) and will allow users to compare products by function via a simple keyword search, whilst exploring helpful product descriptions and demo videos provided by the tech vendors themselves.
Intrigued? Tune in to EventMind’s Facebook page on Thursday 1 April for a live tutorial and Q&A.
18 virtual event tips for businesses in 2021
So, if you’re thinking you should just wait for in-person events to resume—think again! Because events keep people connected, whether they’re live in a venue or on a laptop screen.
With that in mind, Smart Meetings has shared their best practices for hosting morale-boosting company-wide virtual events. Here are 3 top tips to get you started:
- Keep sessions short—Remote attendees face many distractions (kids…pets…kids again), so make sure sessions are short and snappy. And sprinkle in some attention-grabbing recorded content too, for good measure.
- Polls are powerful—Many organisers don’t realise just how powerful interactive polls are; both as ice-breakers and as networking tools. Invite attendees to answer quick-fire questions about themselves in the chat (things like: Apple or Android? Netflix or Amazon Video? Banana bread or sourdough? You get the gist).
- Bring the fun—Like everyone else in our industry, event entertainers have pivoted to virtual. So why not host an online concert, organise an improv comedy class, or a hire a live DJ for a bit of much-needed fun?
EdINburgh Unlocked: an event for event people
While we’re on the subject of *amazing* virtual events, here’s another one for you…
EdINburgh Unlocked is a city-wide online event for the entire events industry—simply because we deserve it! The plan is to get everyone who works in Edinburgh events, hospitality, and tourism together in one (virtual) room on Thursday 1 April to share knowledge, energy, positivity, and hope. There will be entertainment from Bleeker, magic and mystery from Elliott Bibby, as well as 2 panel conversations with local industry experts—including *ahem* our very own Chris Lawson, COO & Events Extraordinaire here at Cameron HQ.
Plus, a proportion of the money from each ticket sold will go towards supporting these 3 charities; Hospitality Health, SAMH, and Empty Kitchens Full Hearts. So go and get your ticket—it’s for a good cause!
See you there!