Insight: Issue 56 (5th August)
Scotland’s opening up and we’re all like. . .
Meanwhile: clubbers in England shun reopened venues in ‘freedom day’ letdown; introducing the first universal framework for sustainable events; plus a new report on sustainability in the exhibition industry; advice on setting client expectations in the treacherous post-lockdown events landscape; more and more venues are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon (hooray!); and, in doing so, are striving to treat in-person and remote attendees equally.
Clubbers shun venues after ‘freedom day’
First up for today – nightclubs in England have seen low attendance since so-called ‘freedom day’ two weeks ago. Some venues have been forced to cancel events, with many operators blaming this on ‘low consumer confidence’ in light of confusing messages from the government – e.g. around flip-flopping mask policies, and the highly controversial issue of vaccine passports. John Clark, owner of Faces nightclub in east London, commented:
“We’re unlocked on paper, but we’re just in this twilight zone where it’s not been as busy as we’ve anticipated…It has not been the freedom that we’ve been expecting.”
It’s almost like Boris shouldn’t have used that kind of ridiculous rhetoric? Huh.
1st universal framework for sustainable events
The event sustainability group isla has launched proseed – the event industry’s first universal framework for delivering sustainable events. Labelled as a potential ‘gamechanger’, proseed is a free tool that’s jam-packed with useful info, guidance, and resources for empowering event teams to deliver sustainable events with a truly positive impact. The framework focuses on being:
- Clear: explaining why issues like food waste and energy management are crucial, and what you can do to tackle them.
- Action-focused: providing easy-to-follow checklists for all of these areas, so you can take action ASAP.
- And practical: supplying template sustainability policies and action plans for each area, which can be tailored to suit any event.
You’ll find the framework FOR FREE over on www.proseed.events.
UFI releases exhibition sustainability report
And while we’re on the subject – UFI, the global association for the exhibition industry, has released a new report on sustainability. Kai Hattendorf, MD and CEO of UFI, says the report will help to inform current projects and further improve the performance of exhibitions as sustainable ways of doing business. Key findings include:
- Before COVID, 73% of exhibitors and visitors either agreed or strongly agreed that it is important for a trade show to display a strong commitment to sustainability.
- Currently, exhibition participants rate the efforts of the industry as ‘average’, generally speaking (26% of exhibitors and 30% of visitors see them as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ – but 24% of exhibitors and 16% of visitors consider them to be ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’).
- Plus, 77% of exhibitors and 65% of visitors believe that ‘organisations that organise and set-up events’ are responsible for helping the trade show industry improve its environmental impact.
So, event profs, it seems we still have some way to go. You can peruse the report in full here.
Setting expectations for post-lockdown events
It has always been the case that big events come with big expectations. But these expectations will be even trickier to manage in the post-lockdown event landscape, as organisers juggle rigorous new safety measures, an ever-changing set of rules – not to mention, the massive backlog of events from the past year and a half.
Special Events has some advice for managing client expectations (and preserving your sanity in the process):
- Establish processes and policies early. Put simply, your clients won’t respect your boundaries if they aren’t aware of them.
- Be clear about your working hours. Same goes for your schedule – you cannot and should not be on-call for your clients 24/7.
- Change ‘no’ to ‘yes, but’. Saying ‘no’ is hard for someone who lives and breathes events, but stick to your guns and pick your battles.
- Accept your mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, not even event profs…*gasp!*…Address your mistakes and make an authentic apology, then it’s onwards and upwards.
CHW and WL team up for new hybrid events
More and more venues are jumping on the hybrid bandwagon, and we love to see it. Central Hall Westminster (CHW) – the flagship London site of Central Hall Venues – has joined forces with AV production partner White Light (WL) to launch new packages for hybrid meetings and events. These dedicated packages combine the top-notch technical equipment needed for both the live and virtual elements, alongside an end-to-end online distribution platform. Paul Southern, MD of Central Hall Westminster, said:
“Digital and hybrid events are now a vital part of the events industry and will continue to be so from now on. The impact of the pandemic has seen a shift in the future of the events landscape, so it is vital that we adapt to this and help our clients negotiate their way through a new way of holding events, where meaningful interaction and engagement can occur with both in-person and remote audiences simultaneously.”
Hybrid: treat in-person/remote attendees equally
Last, but certainly not least, Event Industry News shared an article waxing lyrical on the importance of treating in-person and remote event attendees equally. Here, here!
Laura Ramos, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester, also dishes out some predictions for the future of hybrid events (which *are* the future, FYI) and we’d suggest it’s well worth a nosy.