Will We Ever Do Live Events Again? Yes! Here's How.
Written by: Trademark Staff
We get asked if and when we will ever be doing live event production again. And the answer is: YES. Always. Forever.
But live event production has changed. We are finding that our clients who once hosted thousands of people in large spaces are rethinking their approach. The pandemic has caused not only attendees but event venues and companies to be skittish about making commitments to large-scale events. There remains a perceived risk by attendees (who may or may not be able to travel or feel comfortable in a large crowd under the circumstances). There is also the risk of changing CDC guidelines that might force venues to change the dynamic of how or even if they can host mega-events.
So how is this change in attitude about mega events affecting the world of live event production?
First of all, people are still human beings with a desire for face-to-face networking and sharing of ideas. As great as hybrid or 100% virtual events have become, there is a certain energy that can only be shared IRW.So, we’ve architected a new playbook for IRW. Here’s what we’re learning from our clients who want a real-world experience.
- Make it exclusive – Rather than having an audience in a single location for a large-scale conference,product launch, or fundraising event, we’re seeing exclusive, more intimate events planned. Targeted invitations from companies allow them to engage with specific profiles of attendees in smaller, more intimate settings. These events are still highly produced, deliver impactful experiences, and have the ability to create an army of influencers that attend. Exclusivity also creates stronger, more intimate relationships.
- Embrace on-site testing – We’ve partnered with testing organizations that are able to quickly screen attendees for Covid-19 on-site. Like most restaurants and public event venues, corporate events can require proof of vaccination and a negative test to attend. The good news: attendees are used to this requirement as it’s now standard across most cities in the U.S.And, once inside, attendees feel free to interact naturally with the knowledge that everyone is virus-free.
- Don’t skimp on production – Some of our clients are opting to create very exclusive events with high-concept production elements with the idea that attendees can only get the experience through the invitation. These clients are building inner-circle groups of customers in important locations across the country. High-quality production including audio, video, speakers, and content helps these attendees feel engaged and inspired.
- Take it on the road – When building a corporate event, think of it as a campaign where you will do the traveling rather than asking attendees to travel to you. Once content and production strategy is set, companies are able to repeat the performance in centralized cities where most of the attendees can avoid air travel. These smaller groups also give company executives an opportunity to personally engage with important customers and influencers.
- Create a content library – Some attendees will still not travel and gather in a group, no matter how small. To reach this audience, virtual delivery of information may still be required. The good news is that content prepared for a roadshow of exclusive events can be repurposed and shared with remote audiences. Reusing content to touch and influence customers virtually extends its value and creates greater ROI for the event strategy.
We know that the world of corporate event production will never be the same as it was prior to the pandemic…but we also see this as a good thing! As marketers, we now have the ability to reach audiences with high-quality productions virtually, in the real world, and in hybrid scenarios. This variety of event types provides the ability for companies to select the delivery method that works best for their audience.
For now, and until the world gets some distance between Covid-19 spikes, controlled smaller events can deliver the influence, impact, and intimacy that customers and companies still want. With mobile testing and responsible execution, attendees can still have in-person experiences in a safe and satisfying environment.