Over the last month we have reached out to our contacts in the event sector to gauge their opinions on when and how the sector will re-start following the coronavirus pandemic. The results are interesting and show that there is a determination for events to resume in a safe and well-planned manner. The results reveal the desire to resume physical events when the time is right rather than relying completely on virtual alternatives.
For the time being at least, more than 50% of respondents to our survey said that they were considering replacing physical events with virtual events. For those who had already attempted to organise virtual events, 45% of respondents found virtual events to be less efficient than physical events while 36% were neutral on the subject. Only 9% of respondents found virtual events to be more efficient than physical events.
There is no doubt that this year has been hugely disruptive for the events sector, with many events being cancelled prior to the country going into lockdown. 80% of respondents to our survey revealed that they will not be holding more events to compensate for the cancelled events and 63% expressed their intention to cap delegate numbers at their events in 2021.
Less than 20% of those questioned felt that events would return from September this year. Most (54%) foresee holding their first events between December and February 2021 with almost 20% believing that events will resume between March and May 2021.
When events do resume, event organisers have been vocal about what they will expect from an event venue. The measures that organisers expect in order of importance are as follows:
- Additional cleaning of surfaces
- Hand sanitizing gel stations
- Single-use cups
- Individual lunch boxes
- Provision of face masks and gloves
- Social distancing
Respondents also pointed out the need for venues to be able to support live steaming as it is envisaged that not all delegates will attend an event in person.
Sandra Wilson, conference centre manager at 99 City Road Conference Centre comments: “2020 has been an incredibly challenging time for the events sector. The loss in revenue for event organisers and every other operation further down the supply chain has created widespread uncertainty. However, the event sector has shown itself to be adaptable and tenacious in realising the potential of virtual and hybrid events, particularly in the short term. Our AV team are skilled in delivering virtual events and can assist organisers to create hybrid events or online events.
“Our survey has given us some fantastic insights into the thoughts and expectations of event planners both now and in the future. We are busy preparing the venue by implementing safety measures now so that we’re ready to re-open when it is safe to do so. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete our survey as your thoughts and opinions really matter to us.”
For more information about booking an event at 99 City Road Conference Centre email firstname.lastname@example.org