As we continue to trudge through the thick of this global pandemic, many of us are left with questions on how life will be after the proverbial ‘doors’ open again. While it is certain that things won’t be quite the same, it begs the question of how the industry will be affected. What parts of the event process will change? Will we find ourselves in a rejuvenated state where old ideas are new again? Or will it be more difficult to find business, maintain employees and procure vendors? No matter what side you’re on, it’s important to stay up- to-date on the changes and brace ourselves for the reality we may face. So, what CAN we expect?
Vendors & resources may be limited: The shut down of all non-essential businesses will mean so much to the events community. Now only does it include our own companies, but our vendors as well. Many will not recover, and those who do, may not be able to provide goods in smaller amounts. How does this affect planners? The days of elaborate tastings may be limited to a more strict offering because of catering companies not having the vendors they need OR the budget to purchase items in smaller quantities. Floral companies may need to limit the amount of samples they create because of product accessibility. Event professionals will need to rely heavily on photos and testimonials for their clients.
Companies will run a skeleton crew: As businesses find themselves with limited budgets and resources, paying employees will be a challenge. Since so many event companies are furloughing and running tight on labor right now, there may be a realization of how many teammates are truly needed. Those who make the cut may be expected to carry more responsibilities as well. Managers who have never held events will need to learn how to execute. Event professionals will find themselves on site for set up, events and break down with little help.
Smaller events vs. large ones: Once the government loosens its grip on how many people can gather, it is inevitable we will see an increase in smaller events. There is also an anticipation for companies/clients with larger events to downsize (or cancel large events all together). Larger events may get broken down into several, smaller events to minimize exposure to each other as well. Although this could potentially create a loss in revenue, that may not always be the case. Smaller events provide opportunity for a more intimate experience and a large budget per guest. In fact, this could create a new space for planners to become creative with their ideas.
The demand for more flexibility: Event producers, couples, companies, etc. will all feel the pressure to have much of their contract verbiage changed to protect themselves post-COVID-19. What we can anticipate is requested flexibility for date changes and any type of guest-count minimums. Clients will want to feel supported as changes are happening. The ‘last-minute event’ may also take a hit as it will be difficult for event companies to provide the resources they need to execute as quickly as they once did. From an event company’s prospective, the flexibility for deposits will be non-existent. Many companies may ask for larger deposits or smaller payments more often to protect themselves.
Online Communication and Learning: Even after the quarantine is lifted, the need to minimize exposure will still be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The idea of holding online consultations, walk-throughs and meetings will be considered more often, depending on your clients and where they feel comfortable. It is important to take the time to make these types of offerings easy to access now, as it will be hard to catch up once events are allowed to be executed again. Moreover, online learning/teaching will become more popular. The need to further educate your team (or yourself) will rely on what can be offered on the web.
Which of these post-quarantine changes have you considered or prepared for? We’d also love to hear what your company is currently doing to prepare for the changes that lie ahead for our industry. If you like what you read today, please feel free to share! To receive our weekly blog in your email each week, be sure to subscribe below!