Insight: Issue 01 (1st July)
It’s July . . . Already . . . Just let that sink in.
But a new month means a whole bunch of new resources to help you navigate these difficult times. Every cloud, right guys?…Today’s event insight round-up is bringing you: advice for events during COVID-19, courtesy of VisitScotland; an essential guide to virtual events for this ‘virtual-by-necessity’ era; some neuroscience secrets to help you deal with a crisis; a reminder to protect your mental health, with some tips on how to do so; why 5G will be a game changer for events; and a couple of very important campaigns seeking government support for our amazing events industry.
Visit Scotland’s COVID-19 event advice
Our pals at Visit Scotland have published guidance for event organisers in response to growing concerns about the devastating impact of COVID-19. This advice is specifically for the events industry and is based on current Scottish Government guidelines. In it, you’ll find:
- An overview of the current situation, including up-to-date government guidance.
- Info on how they’re monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on events, with the results of industry surveys and their latest market intelligence report.
- Advice for cancelling or postponing events.
- An introduction to The Events Industry Advisory Group, established to represent the events & festivals sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide a co-ordinated voice during the recovery planning.
- Links to research from their partners across the events industry.
- And a very useful selection of FAQs.
It’s an invaluable resource, so we encourage you to check it out here.
Event Marketer’s guide to virtual events
Event Marketer are another organisation doing their bit to share knowledge and help out their fellow event profs. Addressing the no.1 question on event planners’ minds today—which is, of course, how to transform live experiences into virtual ones—they’ve created an essential guide to virtual events for this ‘virtual-by-necessity’ era we’ve found ourselves in.
It’s a directory of their event partners, who are offering to help with some of the big decisions event profs will have to make during their virtual pivots. Things like, how to create seamless speaker transitions online, how to make the at-home event experience more fun, and how to plan and execute it all in just a few short weeks. So if you’re looking for some outside ideas and support, have a browse.
Neuroscience secrets for adapting to COVID era
It’s an understatement to say that society as a whole was not prepared for COVID-19—and the events industry was, sadly, no exception. This led to event profs everywhere experiencing the extreme stressors of widespread event cancellations, and the subsequent uncertainty about the future of our jobs, our businesses, and events as a whole. So, to help us adapt and plan for the long-term impact of the pandemic, Smart Meetings spoke with Dr Gleb Tsipursky—a neuroscientist and specialist in disaster avoidance, decision making, strategic planning, and risk management. In other words, a pretty useful guy to know right about now.
Dr Tsipursky talks about why our brain causes us to be unprepared for major disruptions (aka, why we’re hardwired to freak out); why we need realistic, even pessimistic, plans for another pandemic; and why we need to fundamentally change our meeting model based on neuroscience research. This is the really interesting bit. Studies show that emotional involvement is critical for making a powerful impact on audiences—and that means you need a story and a clear emotional arc for your virtual meetings. Think of your audience member as the hero of the story, then ask yourself what you want them to feel at each stage of the event. Honestly, it’s fascinating stuff.
Take care of yourself as you prep for new normal
Right on cue, we’ve got your weekly reminder to protect your mental health. (Bold *and* italicised, so you know we’re serious.) The reason we won’t stop going on about this is because, as event profs, we’re accustomed to taking care of our clients, colleagues, stakeholders, partners, you name it. But, after the total destabilisation of our industry, we need to remember to take care of ourselves, too.
Smart Meetings strikes again with another great article, sharing advice on how event profs can take care of themselves as we head towards a new normal for meetings and events. They spoke with 150 participants to discuss tips for staying healthy while working remotely, with a focus on exercise, nutrition, sleep, mindfulness, and maintaining that all-important work-life balance. So be kind to yourself, set aside some time, and give it a read.
Why 5G will be a game changer for events
Speaking of new normal (everyone’s favourite phrase, we know)—we came across this article from C&IT about why 5G will be a game changer for events. It’s an exploration of how 5G has the potential to completely transform live events and experiences around the world, both during and after COVID-19.
But before that can happen, there’s still a sizeable job to be done in explaining to people what 5G actually is. Most people have heard about it, but many think of it as a simple evolution of 4G with probable increases in internet speed. It’s much more than that. As it operates through the cloud, 5G will actually be 100x faster than 4G—and this has implications not only for downloading and viewing long-form content, but also for ultra-high definition and even VR videos. With 5G, these could be streamed with instant connection and no discernible latency or ‘lag time’. Loading and buffering issues will be a thing of the past; welcome news, we’re sure, to anyone fretting over virtual events.
Then, once social distancing is behind us, event agencies, businesses and brands would be remiss not to take advantage of the technological advancements of 5G—to enhance the live event experience, to set themselves apart from their competitors, and to win over new customers. So get ahead of the game before lockdown ends, and do your homework.
Last for today, we’re sharing a couple of very important messages…
(1) The #WeMakeEvents campaign aims to amplify the event industry’s voice in seeking meaningful government support through the COVID-19 crisis. Central to the campaign is this video, which highlights the vital role of supply chain companies along with the freelance community, and the catastrophic impact of this pandemic on the live events sector. They’re asking everyone in the industry to *please share the video* and help shine a light on the devastation our industry has faced due to COVID-19. You can also find out how to get involved on their website.
(2) EPIC Scotland have been working closely with the Night Time Industries Association and have created a letter you can send to your local MSP requesting some much needed help for our industry.
Very easy to use, please just click on the link, enter your postcode and hit send and please do share with your colleagues, friends and family.
Don’t let events go dark, share share share!