So, how are we doing? That’s the question everyone is asking at the moment. There are a mixture of responses: depending on the day of the week, time of day, what part of the emotional rollercoaster you can find yourself on! Overall, I would honestly say the team are coping well. We are dealing with what is thrown at us with a mainly positive outlook and determination that Covid – 19 will make us stronger together. We will live to fight on and most importantly thrive when face to face events return. Although that does seem to be a little way into the future… an unknown date, which is excruciating for event planners!! We have learnt that our industry is full of inspiring leaders. There is a huge amount of support networks available for us all to help one another.
The team have been working from home since 12th March. We made the decision to do this early as we had illness within the team. At the time, we didn’t think over two months later that we would still be in this position and that this may continue for most of 2020! We keep morale going by having coffee mornings twice a week. These include a quiz, general catch up and a small business update for those on furlough. We have found this has really helped us all feel connected. The team members on furlough have managed to keep up with any training we had, particularly in Cyber Security as this is very hot right now and college work for those completing apprenticeships.
One area we have been focusing on while we have had some time is our processes and systems. We have really fine tuned them so that they are all recorded for future use. Simplifying some of them to ensure we'll be even more efficient when the enquiries start to come flooding in again!
It’s really hard to say with any certainty when live events will happen. Or if they ever will in the same format they were before. We are closely watching government announcements and reviewing hotel and venue policies. We hope that maybe a small number of people may be able to meet for some sort of event abiding by social distancing rules by the end of 2020. This which would install some sort of confidence for 2021.
We are in conversations with our clients regularly to touch base. Speaking to them regarding their plans for the next year and guideline dependant, how we can support if the events are taken online as a conference. Discussing any adaptions to content that would need to be made or if we can plan a hybrid event – with at least some of the audience in the same place. One thing we have learnt throughout all of this is that face to face events - when they come back - will not be going anywhere. These events are sorely being missed right now, virtual just doesn’t cut it in the same way!
As event planners, we don’t often look after ourselves as well as we should . We don't always take time for ourselves due to the number of events we are working on across multiple time zones and with a lot of travelling. At the moment, the team are attending mental wellbeing seminars, back pain courses, doing lots of yoga, walking, taking time to enjoy nature and getting some lovely vitamin D! So – we will be very fit and healthy ready for 2021!!