Insight: Issue 55 (28th July)
Us when we heard the word ‘pingdemic’ for the first time. . .
In today’s news: TRNSMT boss is ‘very confident’ the music festival will go ahead in Glasgow this September; meanwhile, widespread staff shortages are putting other UK festivals at risk of cancellation; 5 savvy suggestions for keeping remote workers engaged through business events; how global conferences are harnessing the power of tech to stay in business; and Apple’s next big event is likely to be fully virtual.
TRNSMT boss ‘very confident’ about festival
Some good news to kick us off – TRNSMT boss Geoff Ellis (the cheery chap pictured below) has said he’s ‘very confident’ the music festival will go ahead in September this year, despite similar events being cancelled.
Although restrictions in Scotland are scheduled to be lifted in August, other local music festivals – like Edinburgh Summer Sessions – have made the decision to postpone until 2022. But for Geoff and the rest of the TRNSMT team, it’s full steam ahead:
“With TRNSMT being an outdoor event, after August 9, we are very confident it will be going ahead as planned.”
‘Pingdemic’ puts other UK music festivals at risk
But it won’t be plain sailing for the rest of the UK’s summer music scene – many other festivals are facing last-minute cancellations due to the so-called ‘pingdemic’ (we don’t know who coined that term, but we know we don’t like them). This means an increasing number of event workers are being told to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, which is causing widespread staff shortages – in some cases, entire companies.
Once again, industry leaders are calling for government support. Timm Cleasby – Head of Operations at Tramlines Festival – says the events sector needs the government to back an insurance scheme for festivals, so that those that are hit by COVID-related problems have something to fall back on:
“I’d say to the government, we’ve done everything asked of us for the last two summers. Please give us some certainty and get this thing done so we can properly get back to normal next year.”
5 ways to keep remote workers engaged
Last week, there were 91,365 remote job vacancies live in the UK – which is, um, quite a lot. So, if WFH is going to be the new normal from now on, how can businesses keep remote staff engaged with business events to make them feel like part of the team? HR News has a few suggestions:
- Understand staff expectations. It’s important to understand what your remote workers expect from you – and equally important to get across your own expectations when it comes to approval processes and working hours.
- Consider going hybrid. The occasional hybrid meeting will appeal to remote workers, whilst keeping in-person staff happy. And you don’t need all the technical frills – using something like Teams or Zoom can be ideal for a fuss-free hybrid catch-up.
- Monthly meetings, no matter what. Holding short and snappy monthly meetings (hybrid or otherwise) with a strong visual presentation is an easy and engaging way to keep your team up to date and in the loop.
- Keep socials F2F. Even though work culture has undeniably changed, businesses should still try to host in-person social events for whole teams to get together and blow off steam – even if it’s only a few times a year.
- Communication is key. There’s a big difference between businesses that want to *communicate* with staff, and businesses that want to *update* staff. Unless you’re a big conglomerate, make sure communication is a two-way street.
Global conferences using tech to stay in business
Next up, an interesting article from the BBC on how big conferences are harnessing tech to stay in business. As we know all too well, the first lockdown in March 2020 forced conferences, trade shows, and conventions to move online indefinitely – but digital innovation since then has allowed the events sector to adapt and evolve. Now, the consensus from industry leaders seems to be that hybrid conferences will soon become the norm. Yassss!
Next Apple event likely to be virtual
Speaking of which – it’s rumoured that Apple’s anticipated iPhone 13 launch will take place at an upcoming event this autumn, and it looks like it’s going to be entirely online. So, if you’re still doubting the value of virtual, just remember that the internet is still the venue of choice for the richest company in the world.