Social distancing and networking: a contradiction or a new way of experiencing events together?
The entire event industry was temporarily forced into a standstill and probably many wonder what events will look like in the future, when the fear of the virus is still lingering in some people's minds? Event formats will (have to) change to meet new needs. But in the end we will come closer again, albeit with a little more distance.
The event & communication industries have been doing well for a long time and they experienced growth ... maybe along the road some events emerged with dimensions that were too large: tightly packed venues, everyone as close together as possible.
After this challenging coronavirus crisis, there will have to be some kind of reconsideration as far as event formats go: maybe something like "small is beautiful" or just with more space?
It's not that we anticipated that a virus would spread globally and affect society as a whole. Neither could anyone foresee that our Business model - which in its essence is to bring people together - must probably be revised. But there were indicators that there are other ways and formats to do events. Sustainability, green event footprints or healthy nutrition aren't topics which have only surfaced with Greta either. It is safe to assume that in an evolving society the social patterns of behaviour will change again in the months and years to come, and with them the way in which conventions, conferences, seminars and corporate events are conducted.
Hence the discussion about where event formats are going is a permanent one. And it already has been a long time before this crisis started. The new requirements and needs of our customers will generally lead to a situation where the concept of quality above quantity will be even more important than before. Relaxed, yet sound event processes will be key for a new type of cooperation between organizer and event location on the road to goal-oriented events.
In preliminary talks with customers our first objective must still be to identify the "soul" of the event. At the same time it is now equally important to define how we can incorporate the newly emerged "rules of conduct" which dominate our lives so much these days. Sufficient space will be one of the most important factors. For example, to respect certain safety distances and to implement additional hygiene measures.
It will be quite the learning experience. Again. We have to learn what is necessary in order to do events "the right way". For these challenges we are at your disposal and look forward to soon be able to break new event grounds together again.
Best wishes and talk to you soon.
Reto Leder, ceo
Note: Daniel Tschudy, Hospitality Journalist (firstname.lastname@example.org) has contributed to this article.