Since COVID-19 plagued the world and destroyed families and lives, we have seen the changes it has created. Over the last few weeks I have been asked the same question over and over as it relates to the event industry.
What has changed for you or events since COVID-19?
While this is a valid question it is not one that many people should focus on. When I think about the changes that have taken place since March, they are all negative. You already know this. Weddings have been an emotional roller coaster for many families. Corporate events have halted with no clear future in sight.
Certainly the world has normalized words like “pivot, “Zoom”, and “virtual events“. Yet these words can and will never take away what we love about the event industry. Here are 5 things that won’t change in the event industry.
Guests Want The Event Industry to Have Immersive Experiences
As the event industry pivoted to virtual events I heard rumors that virtual events would be just as good as face to face events. That’s impossible to believe. What face to face events have that lacks in the virtual world is immersive experiences. Walking into a room that is beautifully designed cannot be replicated online. The only way to get that is through virtual reality which is expensive.
While it’s a great visual representation online, the reality is not the same. We are sitting in our PJs, sipping tea, and trying our best to look engaged and not be distracted by kids, emails, or the woman who decided to use the bathroom with her video still on. Yeah that happened.
When I think of an experience, I think of what I can touch, smell, and see. I think of how I can engage with actors at a corporate event. How I can roam around with my friends and create lasting memories. I think of all of the images I can snap with my phone and remember for a lifetime. That to me is the experience that the event industry will always have.
Guests Adore A Good Party
I almost cried when I realized that I would not be able to celebrate my birthday overseas this year. Every year I have traveled with a group of friends to places like Toronto, Dubai, and Paris. This year my birthday party was held at home in front of a computer celebrating with people I could not hug, make a toast with, or any of the typical things you’d do at a party.
We love parties because we get to break up the 9 to 5 that while we may love it, we hate the routine. Every week the same thing. Why do so many people complain about Monday? Not because it sucks, well maybe it does. But they complain because they are leaving behind a weekend full of epic events.
These parties allow us to meet new people. I’ve seen marriages happen because two people met at an event. People feel more comfortable getting to know others at a party than anywhere else. It’s also a great opportunity to build your network and come up with amazing ideas to execute.
A good party will change the way you think about people, food, and culture. This is why so many of us know this will never change no matter what pandemic occurs.
Guests Don’t Like Being Alone
Since this disrespectful pandemic occurred, the request for a Zoom call went from zero to 567,432,345 in a matter of days. It has gotten to the point where I have set boundaries for Zoom and its annoying requests. People simply cannot be alone at home for too long without the need to talk to someone else.
Talking allows us to share differences and things we agree on. It involves body language and even better with a cocktail in hand. What has made Zoom so popular is because people can see each other and that is invigorating. Yes I do enjoy a Zoom call when appropriate.
I did a test with a few people just to test how powerful a Zoom call was over a regular call. The results: more of my regular calls ended before the time was up verses my Zoom calls which almost always went over time. Why is that? People enjoy seeing another person and feeding off of their body language. The only way to do that during a pandemic is with our new best friend Zoom.
People don’t just come to events because you are hosting it. Oh did I just say that? LOL Yes I did. People come to events because it frees them from having to deal with being alone. Having to deal with bills, kids, and husbands who believes fun is flying kites.
Guests Love A Good Story
A good story can have you so involved that it makes you forget about the house burning down around you. Thank you to the Writers who force me to read an entire book in one day.
The art of storytelling is one that I really wish is taught in school. Charities have possibly been the leader in telling stories for decades. These stories cause people to donate millions of dollars to worthy causes because a story of a person surviving cancer was told. A child, who under normal circumstances, would not be able to attend college graduated from a Ivy League school.
Stories of triumph will always win. Stories that connects to you will always win. Guests want to feel as if they have participated in your story. It’s the need for connection that tugs on the heart. The event industry has mastered the art of story telling.
Guests Find It Hard To Say No In Person
When you hear or see the word NO, do you find it negative or positive? I enjoy saying no. Not because I’m this DC Event Planner who everyone asks for everything. It’s because Warren Buffet said, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” I’m going to follow Mr. Buffet.
According to the Law of Attraction, a person should be willing to say no because of the following:
- Acknowledge That You Cannot Do Everything
- Can Offer An Alternative
- You Can Say No Without Apologizing
- You Understand Why Some Have A Hard Time Saying No
- Know Your Value
However, face to face interactions makes all of the above even more difficult to say no. If I’m on a phone call and you ask me something I am unwilling or unable to do, NO screams through the phone. Yet ask me the same thing in person with eye contact and I may scramble to find a way to do it.
Event Industry Conclusion
The event industry has certainly changed over the years. Thanks to COVID-19 it has changed quicker than we have wanted it to. Even in the midst of such changes, there are fundamental things that keeps the industry in tact. These are the things that all events should strive to include. They bring people together in ways that the virtual world could never duplicate.
By no means is this saying there are no benefits to virtual events. The virtual world still connects people and allows magic to happen. It’s simply a different way of going about things. It isn’t a competitor to face to face events. That would take a great deal of work and infrastructure to get to that point.
If you are looking for an Event Planner to help you ensure your next event includes these 5 factors, send us a email here.