Conference News September 2021 - Page 35

35 Industry view plans ? That ’ s not just for event planners but our suppliers too . Keeping them in the loop allows them to prepare and communicate with you too . That ’ s right , we need suppliers to openly communicate with us too .

A recent conversation with a hire company let me know how booked up their September / October is – and I don ’ t have any current enquiries for that period . Continue the relationships you have with your suppliers because only by working together can we deliver to the high standards that we operate at .
Flexibility
This one is pretty much a given but surprising how some do not offer flexibility . With the event landscape as it is , we do need the flexibility . Remember when I said we couldn ’ t predict the future ? Should we have another lockdown – not predicting but preparing for any situation – flexibility is key in guaranteeing bookings , not just ones we are currently working on but in the future too . Building these relationships with planners is key to getting business back and the way to our hearts is flexibility .
Hybrid
I will make one prediction : while we are only starting to see the real start of hybrid with in-person events reopening , hybrid is going to be key moving forward . Why ? Accessibility .
We have learned a lot of lessons about our industry in the past year and accessibility is one of them . Will this be for every event ? No , but being prepared for hybrid events , from speakers to guests , is essential as not everyone will be able to attend in person .
For us that means having venues and AV suppliers which are equipped for this . If a venue doesn ’ t already have the tech in place or an AV partner which does then that is a concern . We want to partner with experts or those who have an understanding of these requirements . Knowing the needs of the industry is key , even if we have our own preferred AV partners , not being prepared for virtual and hybrid is not helpful for planners .
Innovation
This has been an amazing time for event innovation , and we have seen a small revolution in the industry . We have started thinking more creatively than ever before with a big focus on tech and experience . Let ’ s keep doing that because it only betters the industry overall . We as planners have had our innovations but we want to see the same from suppliers . Tell us something unique that you have done during the pandemic . This industry is full of some of the most creative and innovative people I know so it ’ s exciting to see what the future is going to bring and not just pandemic pivots . My final thoughts on the evolving landscape are going to combine hybrid and innovation .
Now this won ’ t be true for all events , but it can apply to some . Why add streaming costs if we have sessions available on replay , for example . Depending on the size of our virtual audience , we can still be recording sessions and uploading to the event platform . It allows those who attended in person to revisit content and those not to catch up in their own time . Does it take away the connection between the virtual and in-person audience ? Yes , it does , but was that ever there to begin with ?
Imagine , even traditional live events with no hybrid or virtual element can be taken online to be visited post event . It gives the in-person attendance an air of exclusivity while allowing for better postproduction .
We talk about what we can learn from TV production in our event production , maybe this is something .
Stay calm , prepare your Plan B , communicate , adapt and be flexible . We might not know what is on the horizon , but this is what we need to get us back to business . CN www . conference-news . co . uk