In-person experiences. They’re exciting. They’re nerve wracking. The changes are the constant, and the pressure is exhilarating. While the feeling of producing a live event has not changed in the last 6 months, the size, scope and service challenges certainly have.
There is understandable fear and apprehension that comes with deciding to provide in-person experiences right now. No one wants to be the top story on the Today Show for an outbreak associated with their gathering. But there are ways to safely and respectfully experience, gather, share and celebrate. It takes extra time, thoughtful strategy and constant communication.
Bespoke clients have begun to host in-person events as a part of their member engagement and strategic year of events and experiences. As we’ve worked with our clients to bring their in-person events to life, we’ve learned a few tips we want to share with you:
• The back-up plan needs to be as prepared as the original plan: And a third and fourth option should be on the table as well. Take the time to research – the information is out there, but it may not be easy to find and decipher. Don’t be afraid to make a call to a local health official to gain more clarity and establish a good relationship with other industry leaders who are making similar plans and decisions.
• Include a virtual component: It is no longer a luxury add-on; it is a necessity and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.
• Show an overabundance of care and caution: Many people have not gathered in groups yet and may feel an extreme amount of anxiety in doing so. By showing that you have done your due diligence and are taking extra precautions, you can provide a guest with an enjoyable and memorable experience.
• Give people an opportunity to visually share their comfort level with in-person interaction: Bespoke provided attendees with the option to select a red, yellow or green bracelet/lanyard to display to other guests.
• Red = No contact, please respect a 6-foot distance
• Yellow = Elbows only, still being cautious
• Green = Okay with a high-five or handshake. Practicing frequent hand washing.
• Follow all state guidelines: This includes venue capacities, COVID-19 signage, masks, one-way entrances/exits, 6-foot distancing for lines, no mingling or gathering, etc.
• Understand the liability: In many cases the event organizer is responsible for ensuring that all vendors and attendees are aware of and adhering to requirements and procedures. Consider and research the need for liability waivers and other preventative measures. In addition, the event organizer may be responsible for collecting and tracking all contact tracing information for attendees and any onsite vendors/suppliers.
• Move cleaning services from behind the scenes to front and center: Hire a dedicated porter to wipe down common services, door handles, bathrooms, elevator buttons, etc.
Following a recent in-person Bespoke event in Colorado, a survey was sent to the attendees to see how likely they would be to attend future events in person based on their experience. Of the responses back, there was a single neutral response, while all of the rest were positive with 60% of the total responses choosing “Extremely Likely.” Guest feedback included comments like, “We really appreciated the precautions – the wristbands, the mask reminders and the distanced seating. I am more likely to attend future events if we are able to maintain these safety measures.”
People want to come together; they need to come together. Bespoke can help provide the strategies, problem solving and thought leadership when deciding if/when an in-person experience is the right decision. From how to message that decision to your constituents, to selecting the right venues and vendors, to all the other details involved with producing a successful live event, Bespoke brings the experience, broad network and compassion that your team needs.