Latest News: COVID-19 and the events industry (24 April)
Thank you, Earth, for putting up with us.
We hope you all did your part on Earth Day to protect our planet (psst, it was Wednesday 22 April if you missed it). But if the occasion did pass you by, don’t feel bad—chances are you still contributed…With the pandemic highlighting just how much us staying inside is helping the environment, it seems the best thing we can do right now, for *many* reasons, is stay home and let nature do its thing. So if you parked it on the couch and stayed there, you did your bit.
To round off the week, we’ve got: the launch of a new group of event profs working towards a more sustainable events industry; the government’s new ‘support finder’ tool helping businesses discover which financial schemes are available to them; an ode to digital team-building; 10 standout virtual event ideas; ways in which brands are getting creative on social; and a few more events industry podcasts to get you through another weekend on lockdown. Let’s go…
#EventProfs for Change launched on Earth Day
Speaking of saving the planet, Earth Day 2020 saw the launch of #EventProfs for Change—a new group that are on a mission to create a more sustainable events industry. Their campaign aims to empower individuals within the industry to take action, by providing a forum for event professionals to connect, explore ideas, and learn from one another. They’ve set up a Facebook group, which will feature interviews, virtual meet-ups, and shared resources with practical steps you can take towards more eco-friendly events.
The group is founded on the belief that events can, and should, play a big part in driving solutions for climate change; but that, together, we have to be brave and confident enough to play our part. We couldn’t agree more. They want to hear directly from passionate event profs who share this ethos and are ready to step up. So if that sounds like you, you can join the Facebook group here.
Govt launches new business support finder tool
With all the talk of financial support packages and cash grants and loans and tax relief etc etc etc, businesses and freelancers have still been finding it remarkably difficult to find the answers and the help they need to navigate the coronavirus pandemic. In response, the government has now launched a new ‘support finder’ tool that will help businesses and self-employed people across the UK find out what financial support is available to them, quickly and easily. The questionnaire takes a few minutes to complete, and will point you in the direction of any schemes you may be eligible for.
You can find out more about the tool here, alongside a list of actions the government has taken so far to protect businesses, workers, and the self-employed.
The importance of digital team-building
In Tuesday’s briefing, we talked about virtual collaboration and how many of us are feeling disconnected from our colleagues as we continue to work remotely. This is something that Zing Events know all too well, as a company specialising in live team-building events and away days…aka, now-banned in-person gatherings. Like many of us, they had to reevaluate everything as the UK headed into the truly uncharted territory of total lockdown.
Co-Director Andy Wells spoke to C&IT about how they had to work out what their clients needed from them in this situation, and then change gears to deliver digital team-building that’s confined to the home. It’s an interesting case study in being adaptable and creative in difficult times—and if you’re looking for digital activities to motivate your team and boost morale, there are some real gems in here (think along the lines of ‘at-home scavenger hunts’). Check it out here.
10 standout virtual event ideas
If you’ve ever stared at a blank page for hours on end, only to find inspiration 30 minutes before a deadline, then you’ve had first-hand experience of the psychology of limitation—the idea that limitations don’t kill creativity, they drive it.
If you need further proof, just look at the creative boom that’s taken place within the realm of virtual events since the start of lockdown. Instead of folding as live events everywhere were cancelled, event profs across the globe have rallied to deliver innovation and value in a purely virtual format. Honestly, it makes us damn proud of our profession.
Event Manager Blog has collated 10 standout virtual events from recent weeks, many of which were originally supposed to take place in person. From live games and real-time artist illustrations, to AI personalisation and immersive environments that transport your delegates to a digital venue—there’s plenty in here to get the ideas flowing and inspire your own online gathering. You can view the full list here.
Is lockdown rekindling our love of social media?
The last couple of years have been turbulent for social media companies, PR-wise—with growing concerns over privacy, studies on the negative impact on our mental health, and the unstoppable tide of fake news. By the end of last year, many brands were reconsidering their relationship with these platforms, with some companies even quitting social media altogether. Something clearly needed to change for social channels to be seen as positive spaces. And it turns out that something was complete disruption of our daily lives…
As Creative Review points out, worldwide lockdown seems to have reminded us why we loved social media in the first place. Now that we can’t meet in person, these platforms have become the place to socialise, collaborate, learn, and even workout (thank you, Joe Wicks, for forcing us to realise just how unfit we really are). Brands have been getting creative on social in an effort to raise people’s spirits; Nike and Adidas have been sharing content from athletes to keep people motivated during lockdown, while Levi’s has been streaming live performances from musicians for their entertainment-starved audience. This is, at the very least, a nice change of pace from the sales-driven content that usually clogs our feeds.
And if you still need your faith in social media restored, need we remind you that Clap For Our Carers started life as a humble social post?
Something for the weekend. . .
As we head into another weekend on lockdown, you may feel like you’re scraping the barrel of at-home entertainment. When you start organising the kitchen drawers for a third time, you know things are getting really desperate…
You’ve probably already smashed through our last podcast recommendation, so how about a few more? These 15 event industry podcasts are must-listens for 2020. And working your way through this list is an easy way to keep your finger on the pulse of thought leadership and best practices across the industry while we’re stuck at home.
So get subscribing! These are best enjoyed with noise-cancelling headphones (a real WFH life-saver) and a well-earned drink—because, folks, we made it through another week.