By Conor Romig
With the impact of COVID19 becoming more evident across the events industry it is important to be strategic within event planning. By planning ahead, we can minimize the impact of situations out of our immediate control, making the best decisions for our attendees and organizations. Below we have listed six considerations to keep in mind while you plan your event during recent COVID19 happenings.
Knowledge is power especially with a situation that is as rapidly changing as COVID19. Monitor for changes in recommendations about events and associated travel from trusted health and government offices such as the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. Maintain perspective in doing so, it is easy to get caught up in the news cycles. The best guidance will come from industry partners, local governments and other event organizers in your area.
Prepare for attendees to have concerns regarding COVID19 and your event. Provide them with resources updated in real-time. Doing so can minimize questions and allow attendees to be reassured that you are keeping their safety priority number one. In doing so, prepare a communication plan, especially in case your event needs to be postponed or canceled.
Consider Sourcing Items Early
With the disruption of supply chains in China and across the globe, it is important to consider where your SWAG items may be coming from. Plan ahead and place orders early. We expect to see disruptions and price changes within the coming months. Many companies have large inventories and alternative suppliers, so consider your options.
Review Contracts and Refund Policies
Have a good understanding of contractual terms. All contracts contain information regarding re-booking, cancellations, and refunds. Many large corporations have posted statements in regard to cancellation policy changes. Check with your local contacts in regard to their venue and how they are handling the situation.
Review Event Insurance Policies
If you have an event insurance policy, review what is covered. Event insurance helps to reduce losses if an event has to be canceled due to an act of god, damage at the venue or something beyond their control. According to the events industry council, communicable disease coverage often isn’t included, but organizations should always plan to have some level of insurance.
Consider Elements at Your Event-
Is there anything you can adjust to minimize person-person contact? Ensure your event space is getting wiped down regularly and consider adding hand sanitizer stations. Because some attendees may be skeptical of attending, consider adding a virtual element to your event. In the case of conferences, video streaming can help mitigate some impact. In the case of fundraising events, silent auctions and giving moments can still happen remotely, so be sure to promote this option should any of your potential donors choose to remain at home, rather than attend your event.
Preparing for situational changes out of our immediate control is important. While at this time we don’t foresee any major disruptions or changes as a result of COVID19, it is important to plan ahead. Have any other questions regarding your event and COVID19? Leave us a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.