Events in 2021: What’s next for the new normal for events
The events in 2021 will be drastically different from that of last year, as the pandemic is successfully being suppressed. With the vaccines being said to reach people by mid-2021, the pandemic will recede. Most people are left wondering when things will return to the way they used to be and how that will affect event planning. For those planning events, it might seem confusing to choose between in-person events, hybrid events, and virtual events. This article aims to provide a guide to what events are going to look like this year.
According to experts, the vaccines should reach most people by mid-2021 which means that most events can start transitioning from completely virtual and include some remote elements but for this to work out certain precautions must be strictly implemented. We feel Local, national, and international Events in March of 2021 will still be virtual as the vaccination would not have reached the critical mass for herd immunity.
In June of 2021 local and national events can be in person but international ones will be hybrid since vaccines will have been distributed to the general public and a large percentage of the population will have been vaccinated.
In September of 2021, local and national events will be in-person but international events will be hybrid as although most people would be vaccinated or would have access to the vaccines, it will still take time to complete the process globally.
The impact of the vaccines will not be observed until around June or September but since they will become more accessible in the summer, the chances of people having remote events and hybrid events will increase as they are safe for the attendees and easy to hold and manage. The vaccines also allow for relatively safe travel which means more attendees can attend remote events and hybrid events.
Click here to learn more about vaccinations.
Precautions while conducting events in 2021
Even while carrying out remote events in 2021, the attendees need to test negative and adhere to the following principles:
- Limit the Number Of Attendees with the 6ft rule in mind
It is essential to note that with an active pandemic, the people should maintain social distancing. Therefore, the ideal number of individuals should be chosen so that they can maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other. Fewer guests mean that it’s also easy to keep a track of their travel history to curtail the spread of the disease. Limiting and scaling down the number of people prevents crowding. The duration of the meetings also needs to be kept in mind and they need to be kept short.
- Make Sanitary Equipment Compulsory
The guests and organizers both need to have access to sanitary equipment at all times. The guests need to be provided with alcohol-based hand sanitizers immediately after registration. The event should also have appointed sanitation sites that have access to sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, tissues, gloves, and masks. Wearing gloves and masks should also be made compulsory. Technological equipment used to present such as microphones, tablets, and iPads also need to be disinfected after each use. Thermal scanning equipment can be installed at entry points to check for symptoms.
- Addressing the Venue
During such troubling times where we are required to stay 6 feet apart, the venue where the event takes place needs to be large because proximity would lead to the spread of the virus, this is also a reason why hybrid events would work best since it does not put a limit on the number of people who can attend the events.
- Get Creative by transitioning to Hybrid Event
Just because an event is a hybrid event doesn’t mean limitations need to be forced upon it, in fact, hybrid events only increase the chances of networking. Attendees who are not free at the time-span can send recordings, the remote event can also be recorded and uploaded to virtual platforms. Hybrid events also allow more time to be devoted to Q&A sessions. Due to their nature, they also allow for more networking and engagement.
- Sanitize the Venue
The venue determines the outcome of the event, to prevent crowding and contagion, a large venue is ideal so that the individuals can maintain 6 feet distance. Outdoor space or a place with several windows is also beneficial for airflow. A spacious venue ensures that there’s ample distance between each guest. Strict guidelines laid down by the CDC and WHO must be followed. It should also be ensured that enclosed spaces such as lavatories which are a haven for the spread of the virus are sanitized. The venue should also have closed dustbins to dispose of the waste.
- Create a Precaution Plan
To have a successful event during a pandemic, there needs to be diligent planning. Establishing efficient communication channels is extremely important to keep track of all the guests and individuals in the event. If the monitoring is successful the information can also be shared with health officials. Creating a health policy before the event and mailing it to the attendees is also resourceful so that they are aware of the various rules and regulations in the event, for example, specifying before the event that the attendees should not shake hands or hug to greet is more helpful than letting them know during the event. Think about setting up a contact tracing log to examine if the guest has come in contact with the virus.
- Consult Public Health Officials
No matter how systematically things are planned, some things are beyond control and it is imperative to have medical professionals on board before planning an event in 2021. The local public officials must be consulted. Every individual attending the event must provide their contact details so they can be relayed to the health officials in case of emergencies. The attendees must also be provided with the contact details of the health officials and other health hotline numbers. It is resourceful to have an onsite crisis response team as well.
Physical events are advisable only if they are necessary, otherwise, people can migrate to virtual events or hybrid events. Hybrid events are the best of both worlds since the attendees can choose to attend remotely or virtually. The advantage of this approach is that it ensures more coverage. Hybrid events make in-person events safer as one can provide multiple options for the attendees to choose from to access the event remotely reducing in-person attendance.
Webmobi.com has a hybrid event platform where the events can be conducted with extreme simplicity, with a priority given to safety. Whilst planning and preparing events, the health, and well being of individuals must be prioritized and hybrid events make sure that’s the case. To learn more about hybrid events and the best practices surrounding them click here. To learn more about us, please visit our facebook page.