Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (10 June)
2020 vibes. . .
But fear not—nothing will stop us from bringing you your weekly event news…!
Today we have: an important survey for Scottish event techs and crew; 3 lessons learned when pivoting to virtual events; ways to facilitate active learning when live events resume; 6 products for making your event COVID-safe; the eye-opening results from a mental healthy survey of event profs; and a podcast recommendation, because you deserve a break.
Calling all Scottish event techs & crew
First on the agenda for today—our friends over on the Scottish Event Technicians and Crew Facebook group have created a short, anonymous survey about representation in our industry.
They’re looking to gather some stats on which sections of the industry techs and crew work in, how much they get paid, and whether they feel represented. The survey is an early step, providing an initial insight into who works where and the rates being earned across the industry. It will help event profs of all kinds to understand where our industry’s at, and educate us on how we can do better in the future.
If you’re an event technician working in Scotland, we encourage you to take a couple of minutes and fill out the survey here.
3 lessons on pivoting to virtual events
As the expression goes, the best way to learn is by doing. Well, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and normal life was upended, many people had no choice but to do exactly that. Plenty of businesses had never taken advantage of virtual events before, but this quickly became the only way for colleagues to connect in 2020.
Smart Meetings asked 3 event planners what they learned from pivoting to virtual events, and the strategies and tools they’ve been using to keep attendees engaged. It’s a masterclass in adapting to challenging circumstances (or, as one planner called it, “flying the plane and building it at the same time”)—from the time-sensitive sales summit that needed a ‘double pivot’ (live to hybrid, hybrid to virtual); to the big-name tech conference that went from selling tickets for $1,000 a pop, to being a completely complimentary virtual experience; to the spirituality conference that moved from LA to livestream without skipping a beat.
The key takeaways? Embrace change; don’t underestimate the power of virtual event design; and save yourself a headache by working with professionals (we happen to know a top-notch team…).
How to facilitate active learning at events
Virtual events have been a lifeline for our industry (and, ahem, most industries) over the last few months—but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still hankering for that first post-lockdown live event. There are plenty of reasons for that, and active learning is one of them.
Along with networking, active learning is one of the main reasons people love to attend events in person. When you’ve got direct access to the speakers, and are surrounded by like-minded people who are interested in the same things, it’s the perfect environment for hands-on learning and knowledge sharing.
With this in mind, Event Planner shared some tips for gearing your event towards active learning. From setting up an engaging learning environment and designing a guided note-taking system, to the importance of collaborative Q&A and live quizzes—there’s plenty here to keep brains ticking.
But, in order to get there, there are just a few extra measures we have to put in place first…
6 products to make your event COVID-safe
Event profs, get ready to add a new category to your post-pandemic budget…social distancing and hygiene solutions. Oh boy.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and have no idea where to start—well, first of all, you are not alone; and second of all, Meetings Net has your back. They’ve pointed us in the direction of 6 products to make your event COVID-safe.
- The attractively-named ‘sneeze guard’—a must-have for booths and registration tables.
- Flashy floor stickers—to remind delegates to maintain social distancing.
- Stanchion signs for bigger crowds—a more prominent social distancing reminder.
- Mobile hand-washing stations—ideal for outdoor events.
- Bespoke face masks with custom logos—hygiene…but make it fashion!
Working hours increase by 22% in lockdown
Back in May, we shared a link to a survey by Stress Matters that aimed to better understand mental health within the events industry. Well, the results are in—and C&IT have helped us out with a summary of the findings.
If you’re reading this whilst on your fourth conference call of the day (and probably your umpteenth coffee) then you may well fall into the category of event profs whose working hours have increased by 22% in lockdown. Other key findings include:
- 78% of event profs said that uncertainty of the future of their business/employer was causing stress, as well as 56% citing uncertainty around their personal employment situation.
- 8% of respondents have taken time off work in the last 3 months due to poor mental health.
- 77% said their knowledge of mental health has increased over the last 3 months.
- But 57% said their employer has not taken a more active role in trying to improve their wellbeing since the start of the pandemic.
The article also shares some ways in which events companies *have* been looking out for their employees’ mental health—everything from buddy systems and ‘wellbeing check ins’, to virtual yoga sessions and morale-boosting team quizzes.
If you want to read the report in full, you can find it on the Stress Matters website.
So take a podcast break, you’ve earned it!
With that said, we reckon it’s about time…for a time-out. Our suggestion? Put your phone on silent, grab *yet another* coffee, and make a start on a new podcast.
If you’re looking for a recommendation, Event Industry News hosted a chat with event prof William Thomson on their weekly podcast. As an event consultant, author, and head honcho at Gallus Events, Thomson offers an insight into monetising events, making sure your creative content is on point, and generating recurring revenue even when your event’s over.
You can have a listen here—and since it’s event-related, you don’t even have to feel guilty about tuning in during work hours…We won’t tell if you won’t.
Hang in there, event profs!