Insight: Issue 40 (14th April)
Scotland watching the entirety of England flock to the pub. . .
Our day will come, folks. Don’t you worry.
In today’s news: there’s talk of introducing ‘COVID-status certification’ in the UK (AKA, COVID passports); the Dutch ‘Back to Live’ events campaign has shared some very promising results; the Edinburgh International Festival will return triumphantly to the Scottish capital this summer (outdoors); it seems virtual event data is raising the bar for live event ROI; find out why the ‘new normal’ is being replaced by the ‘next normal’; and psychologists are predicting we’re in for one hell of a post-lockdown party…
UK PM plans ‘COVID passports’ to save events
After much controversy around the concept of COVID passports, it looks like that’s exactly what the PM has in mind. England’s trial events scheme—announced last week as a way to facilitate the safe return of live events after lockdown—will last until mid-May and will involve so-called ‘COVID-status certification’. Critics of these plans, which include privacy campaigners and 40+ parliamentarians from Johnson’s own party, have suggested that such COVID passports could prove counter-productive.
According to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove, vaccination is a hugely powerful tool, but it can never provide 100% protection—and that’s exactly why the UK government is looking at every option available to ensure the ‘fastest, safest, and most sustainable road back to normality’. Get the full story here.
‘Back to Live’ campaign shares promising results
Back in March, we shared news of the Dutch ‘Back to Live’ events campaign, which aims to show how events can take place safely and responsibly during the pandemic. Now Fieldlab has shared the latest findings from the first part of the study—and the headline is, they reckon seated indoor events can take place as soon as possible!
The results suggest that ‘type 1 events’—which are seated events that take place indoors, where attendees behave ‘calmly’—can take place with 50% occupancy and without social distancing. Certain safety measures have to be adhered to, of course; attendees must be tested before and after the event, they have to wear masks, and venues must have good ventilation. But that’s a small price to pay to meet in person, if you ask us.
Edinburgh International Festival to be outdoors
Another good news story, and this one’s closer to home—the Edinburgh International Festival will return triumphantly to the Scottish capital this summer, with huge outdoor marquees for staging events. Three temporary structures, designed for live performance, will be built in Edinburgh Park and Edinburgh University’s Old College Quad.
The shows will also be shorter this year, with no intervals—and a selection of performances will be streamed online for free every week. If you want to start counting down the days until showtime, the festival will take place between 7-29 August 2021 and the programme will be announced on Wednesday 2 June—so keep an eye on their social channels!
Has virtual event data raised the bar for ROI?
Before the pandemic hit, the merging of events and marketing departments was putting pressure on organisers to prove event success by providing the kind of hard data marketing teams are so accustomed to seeing. Now, with the recent explosion of virtual events, EventMB reckons this trend will be amplified.
In the past, most hard data from in-person events came from simple ticket sales and the occasional post-event satisfaction survey. By contrast, virtual event platforms automatically track user behaviour, providing an insight into true engagement levels…The result? Event stakeholders are now accustomed to analytics, and there’s no going back.
The bottom line is, as hybrid and live events return, planners may have to ensure that just as much data is collected on site to prove the ROI of the in-person experience.
Is there such a thing as the ‘next normal’?
We’ve all heard of the ‘new normal’ (that turn of phrase can join the rest of the overused pandemic jargon on our list of things-we-never-want-to-hear-again…’unprecedented’ and ‘lockdown’, we’re looking at you)—but have you heard of the ‘next normal’? Is there such a thing?
That’s the question Nicola Kastner—VP, Global Head of Event Marketing Strategy for SAP—will explore in an online Q&A hosted by the IMEX Group. In conversation with IMEX CEO Carina Bauer, Kastner will dive into some important questions around data-gathering, audience insights, and brand trust. The free session, called ‘On the road to a purposeful recovery, is there such a thing as a next normal?’, will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 21 April. You can register here—and did we mention it’s FREE?
Research predicts post-pandemic ‘roaring 20s’
According to Event Industry News, our ‘next normal’ will be a non-stop party—and we’re absolutely here for it. Recent research commissioned by Epson found that 56% of people are planning to go to more events after lockdown ‘to make up for lost time’.
The survey of 2,500 consumers—designed with the help of Professor Steven Taylor, a psychologist who specialises in the impact of pandemics on social behaviour—also revealed that 69% of respondents said social events are ‘good for my soul and make me happy’. Prof Taylor commented:
“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority are eager to resume their pre-pandemic social lives, including attending live experiential events […] While some people will be anxious the first or second time they go to an event, their anxieties are likely to dissipate quickly. This is what happened in the past and it will happen again. In fact, I’m expecting that there will be a short-lived period of hyper sociability, a kind of mini ‘roaring 20s’ as people just bounce back.”
We’ll drink to that!*
*Yes, we’ve used that GIF before. And no, we don’t care.