Anticipating the Impact of COVID-19 on Face-to-Face Meetings and Events

Lifestyle & Culture

As we all endure the strain and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s natural for agencies, producers, designers, and suppliers to wonder what a post-COVID-19 world looks like for events.

Of course, adjusting the way we work and operate is necessary now, but virtual formats will not forever replace face-to-face. During all of this upheaval, we are reminded that human connection is essential. Here are some suggestions on how to navigate this temporary terrain.

 Keep Communicating

Communication is key – especially as team members work remotely. Stay in touch with your clients and partners. Offer support and, when appropriate, adaptable solutions. Begin establishing pandemic event plans.We are dealing with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety about the ways we socialize and interact,” says Michael Dalton, LEO’s Senior Vice President of Strategy. “We will need to be flexible, creative, and cooperative, to make sure people feel safe.”

 Take A Minute to Breathe (and a Few More to Think)

Event people know, our endless lists of tasks demand our constant attention. It’s easy to get caught up in the urgency of now and what’s next. We challenge you to take a pause. Give yourself the capacity to stay informed, get educated and gain new insights, as you develop creative solutions for clients moving forward.

Joan Cornett, LEO’s Vice President of Program Management, compiled a list of free webinars for event producers to join in to help keep the creative juices flowing during this time:

Prepare for the Rebuild

Remember: greatness comes from gathering. We’ve helped cure diseases through connections formed at conventions. We’ve helped build the most coveted brands in the world through handshakes at trade shows. We’ve forged peace treaties, created new jobs, built economies.

But away from those big things, and most importantly, we’ve forged lifelong friendships that never could have happened if not for events. How many lives have been saved through those relationships? How many connections forged?

See, we are the instigators, the narrative architects, the enablers of change. Our industry will emerge stronger and more focused than ever. Not because we need the cash flow; not because we need the work. But because the world needs us. Our industry will be looked upon for the suitable communication, education, and reassurance because during these days of sensible distancing and virtually connecting, we still crave real face time, real meetings and real places to gather. When that day arrives, we’ll be ready… ‘til we meet again.