How to Return to In-person and Hybrid Events

We have adjusted to virtual life, but many venues and businesses are returning to in-person events. Even if you’re not quite there yet, it is best to be prepared for when the day inevitably comes. It’s time to focus on the health of the workers and attendees, and take note of what has changed.

Let’s cover the basics
Regardless of whether organizations are considering the possibility of hosting in-person events, some things have been irreversibly changed. With more hybrid options available, an event host should expect that some attendees will opt to visit remotely. This allows more flexibility and for more people to attend the event in different scenarios. Hybrid events are trending and will likely continue to be a popular option in the future. The virtual environment should be hospitable and easy to access for remote visitors.

In addition, event organizers and attendees will be more health-conscious, so taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all involved will be a leftover effect from the past two years. For in-person attendees, the physical environment should feel clean and safe so they can focus on the point of the event.

Depending on the type of event you’re hosting, your particular goals will be different. The size and topic of the event should inform what success means to you. Productivity, enjoyability and new leads are just a few examples of potential success parameters. Let’s dive in a little more into each topic and give you a little insight into the best ways to return to in-person and hybrid events.

Importance of an updated event guideline
A well-put-together event guideline can make a huge difference when it comes to preparing for hybrid and in-person events. Keep in mind that even the most seasoned veteran attendees may be slightly out of practice, so the extra guide that an agenda can provide is essential. The format and requirements have probably changed since most people were last out, and so the updated event calendar plan should have a list of “must-follow rules.” This way, the people who are attending the events will have no surprises and will know what to expect. You can include things like:
  • Health requirements.
  • Venue requirements.
  • Dress code.

In addition to the main event guideline, you should construct a backup plan in case something doesn’t go the way you expect. There are many opportunities for something to go wrong, but a backup plan can ensure that everything goes smoothly. If a speaker misses their flight, you should have a replacement in preparation for that possibility. Being prepared for every situation is the key to success. This is where a partner can come in handy; after all, a professional event planner has seen every possible situation and knows how to prepare and react accordingly.

What success means to your business through in-person and hybrid events
Returning to in-person events with a hybrid element requires a shift of goals and expectations. Before getting started, work with your team to set these goals and determine what success means for you.

What do you hope to achieve by holding the event? Do you want to expand your company’s potential leads and increase ROI? Do you want to create an environment where your employees can reconnect? These are just a few examples of questions that you can ask to help guide your team in the right direction.

Working with vendors to help the entire team understand having one common goal is a vital component. From making the remote attendees feel comfortable and included to ensuring that the in-person experience is safe, the entire team should work together to make the dream come true. Manage new contracts and ensure that everyone is on the same page, because the production vendors may have changed since your last live event.

Along this same vein, consider purchasing event insurance for the variety of incidents that can occur. Because the future is so unknown and unclear, event insurance can cover you if you need to cancel the event for health and safety concerns.

Valuable ways to propel event success
Preparation is key. A good host will encourage those who attend the event to participate productively. They should feel comfortable enough to engage with their fellow attendees and get the most out of their experience. Use signs and the event agenda to effectively communicate the safety protocols to all in attendance.

Finding the right venue is a big part of that. Taking into consideration elements like the number of people coming and event type, pick a venue that facilitates the kind of interaction you want. The venue should also have the right technology to include remote visitors without a hitch.

These attendees should be able to visualize the space and feel connected to the speakers and the overall event. The internet connection should be stable and the paper communication should all be converted into electronic formats for the virtual visitors.

Despite the changing gathering methods, one thing remains the same: events should propel your company’s overall success. The way you get there may have shifted in light of the past two years, however. Here are some of the safety measures to ensure In-Person events:

1. Pre-event testing: A testing option can aid in ensuring that all the attendees of the event are COVID-19 free. This elevates the safety element of the gathering.

2. Health checks: If the event lasts several days, periodic health checks could be a welcome addition to the regular schedule.

3. Food and catering: If you have a longer event and want to offer on-site meals, there are a few precautions you can take to reduce risk such as using sneeze guards in place, a grab-and-go option, dedicating an hour for lunch for attendees to go grab food.

4. Contactless Experiences: Event technology can provide safer, contactless, and efficient onsite experiences to avoid your guests touching any unnecessary surfaces.

5. Clear exit procedures: When the time comes to leave the event, social distancing should be maintained and the flow of people should be clear as many people exit the venue.

To learn more about how a partner like JTB can help your business gain success in your next in-person or hybrid event, reach out today.