Business events are making a timid comeback with a whole new set of rules and recommendations from international and local health organizations. The first events will look very different. These telling images shed light on the first in-person events.
Events are slowly coming back in areas that have decided to reopen. While most large events are planned after September 1, 2020, a few courageous souls have taken the plunge and organized their first in-person events since the lockdowns.
Quite a few of them chose to make their event hybrid, as many areas still enforce a limit on the number of people allowed to congregate — especially indoors. Most of these events also share common traits, such as face masks, social distance, signage, etc.
To show you what you can expect from post-lockdown events, these photos of events that took place in the past few weeks offer a glimpse of what is to come for the event industry.
Masks Have Become Ubiquitous
Many in hard-hit countries are becoming accustomed to mask wearing in their daily lives, and recognize that this becomes that much more crucial at events in enclosed spaces. Some organizers went a different route and provided face shields (branded, of course), as shown in this picture from Reconnect 2020, a hybrid fundraising event held in Vancouver, Canada at the end of June 2020. Only 50 guests and crew were allowed on site.
Social Distancing is the Name of the Game for Room Settings
All the events that have been organized since restrictions have been lifted seem to have taken social distancing recommendations to heart.
In early July, the Association of Professional Organization of Congresses of Madrid and Center (OPC Madrid) organized a “Día de la Reinvención” event to present their recommendations for post-Covid-19 face-to-face meetings in Spain. The event had a maximum capacity of 80 people, technical staff included, and required the use of masks, disinfection of surfaces, and social distancing during the presentations.
Similarly, the Axica Congress Center in Berlin set up a complete event showing industry leaders how an event would work with the current health and safety regulations, including social distancing.
Social distancing will be a staple of post-lockdown events, certainly in the immediate future, and many events can be seen enforcing it:
New Tech Emerges
Hybrid events are the future, and are integral to keeping up audience volumes while allowing everyone to respect social distancing guidelines. This example from the German Convention Bureau demonstrates both hybrid event technology and beacons that help to enforce social distancing.
Temperature Checks Make Their Appearance
While checking people’s temperature might not be the panacea everybody thought it could be, it is part of the new routine for some event planners.
As the event industry makes its case for reopening through example, these events are determined to show their compliance with Covid-19 regulations and that it’s possible to hold events in a safe way as long as everybody plays ball.
It’s hard to imagine that social distancing will define the new normal for face-to-face events as it goes against our natural tendencies. While these measures are likely easier to put in place for small events, it remains to be seen whether they will fare as well for trade shows or exhibitions normally attended by thousands of attendees.
Nevertheless, it’s of the utmost importance that attendees and other stakeholders do everything they can to ensure the safety of all involved, not just for safety’s sake, but for the sake of the future of the industry.