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Webinars are the new normal – for now…

Post Covid-19, business events will be back but with a twist. However, are online events staying around for good?

What does this mean for your future events? What changes do we need to make to deliver an event while still making the event feel normal. Or will online events take over? I know everyone is fed up of hearing the term ‘new normal’ but will webinars and online events really be part of our event schedules for ever more?

As an events coordinator, I am slightly unsettled and find the whole digital aspect of an event very daunting; arranging audio-visual at a live event is stressful enough, let alone the whole thing being digital! There is going to be some adapting and learning to do for everyone. For instance, since lockdown, I have learnt there are so many online event/webinar platforms available—which is great but I think it’s fair to say your average event planner lacks the knowledge and skills to use these—at times scary and daunting—platforms.

Man talking to groups of people sitting at tables.
Scenes like this – taken at Evolve’s Leader’s Lunch days before Covid-19 hit – seem unimaginable now. But they will return.

Over the past few months, technology has played a massive part in keeping us in touch with work colleagues, family and friends. It’s been a learning curve for some, but also an opportunity to show businesses that virtual and online working, and connecting and keeping in touch remotely can and does work.

From now on, whether hosting events online or face to face, technology will be more prevalent. For example, large events will need to adopt and adhere to new protocols, from temperature screening and digital check-ins, to social distancing and hand sanitiser stations. These are factors everyone will have to consider and allow for within their budgets now, all while making events feel ‘normal’ and making guests, staff and contractors feel safe and comfortable.

As we see the hospitality sector gradually re-open, I think it will be obvious that face-to-face interactions have been missed. Human connection is important, it’s what we thrive on; it’s essential for growing businesses, learning and sharing from each other. A Zoom call or online platform can’t recreate the buzz of a physical event.

For the meantime, however, webinar and online events are fulfilling a much needed social connection in our lives. I think online events are great alternative under the circumstances, and may also encourage the more introverted business owners or employees— who could find face-to-face networking or events a little too overwhelming—to attend online events,.

Ultimately, events will be back—hopefully in the not too distant future but with slight variations. With health and safety at the forefront (more than it usually is), a large portion of budgets will be used for keeping guests safe and adapting new technology.

This doesn’t mean we have to scare guests away with a list of regulations they must adhere to prior to each event—as event organisers we just need to adapt the way we do things, which can be small and simple changes. For example, creating an entrance and an exit for your event to keep a flow of traffic in one direction. (Read full government guidance and support here).

Online gatherings work for now. But people will always crave that face-to-face connection…
  • Evolve is hosting a range of exciting webinars through July and August. Click here to book your place!

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