Safer events with Smart Live
We can't wait to be back doing what we do best - bringing people together. Here's how we're preparing for the future of events.
We are all very much aware of the effect the coronavirus pandemic has had on businesses and individuals around the world. Some businesses are thriving, and others have faced unprecedented circumstances. The events and hospitality industry has no doubt been one of the hardest hit. We pretty much ground to a halt – venues, restaurants and pubs closed, and events were cancelled or made virtual.
Over the past few weeks we have seen pubs, bars and restaurants re-open with all of the necessary safety measures, and we have loved seeing our industry start to come back to life!
Whilst we’re organising virtual events for our clients during this time, we truly believe in the power of live events, and feel confident that the hunger for bringing people together will return as soon as the government allows events to take place again. And when they do, we will be ready.
HOW ARE WE PREPARING?
Planning is in our nature – it’s what we do each and every day – so rest assured we’re deep into planning for how we can safely hold events in the future. We’re continuously listening to government guidelines and revising our plans in order to ensure the safety of you, our clients, and your guests. We want to help to alleviate any fear when the time comes to invite your guests to events again.
As event professionals, we are used to working within different environments, with diverse audiences and with unique requirements. We are used to requirements changing and unforeseen obstacles and, whilst COVID-19 is obviously a substantial obstacle, we are adept at working around problems and finding solutions. We know that whilst this has been a time of uncertainty, pain and sadness for many, it has also seen the country come together in a way unlike any other in this generation. We are all in this together, and we are confident that we can deliver events that not only meet government guidelines but also your vision and intentions for bringing your audience together.
WHAT DO 'POST-CORONAVIRUS' EVENTS LOOK LIKE?
Perhaps ‘post-coronavirus’ isn’t the right term considering it’s likely to be around for a while yet, but regardless, events will need to change significantly in order to keep attendees and staff safe. Here are the key changes we at Smart Live are currently focusing on…
Even once events can take place, there will still be people unable to attend due to capacity restrictions and concerns over attending. Whilst our events are all currently virtual and we are enjoying this new way of working, we will soon be hosting hybrid events with rules easing up. Hybrid events will be our new norm, certainly for the foreseeable, so we’ve spent time learning about how this works in practice, and have been working on best practice for this to ensure virtual attendees remain engaged too, whether it be through a studio or eventually within a venue. We can safely say that technology is going to be a huge part of events moving forward and this has been our focus.
Venue & Location
There is no doubt that event venues will be putting significant time and investment into ensuring they are safe spaces for delegates, and to risk further spread of the virus. From revising capacities and layouts and regulating entry and flow to allow for safe social distancing, through to increased hygiene procedures and temperature checks on arrival, venues will need to implement various elements as standard. Depending on the venue and event, staggered arrival times may need to be considered, and attendees will need to be pre-registered to better allow for smooth and contact free entry.
Attendees will no doubt be thinking about how to get to your chosen location too. It’s difficult to predict how public transport will be affected, however it’s safe to say that more people will be utilising bikes, and some may feel more comfortable driving to events. The location of your event is certainly an important consideration to make, and could impact attendance quite significantly.
Communication is key. It always has been with events, but now more than ever attendees need to be aware of both the new measures venues are putting in place and what is expected of them before, during and after the event. We will work with you to ensure clear pre-event communications are in place to reassure and inform your delegates, as well as putting plans in place for detecting and monitoring event-related cases of COVID-19, should the situation arise.
Communication with all involved with the running of the event also needs to change, whether that be in-house teams or suppliers. Not just in terms of making them aware of the new measures but also in relation to reducing time spent onsite by online briefing pre-event, for example.
Modified catering offering
We are fortunate to be under the Smart Group umbrella with two incredible caterers, Moving Venue and Smart Hospitality. During lockdown our kitchens were open and supporting the Cook-19 initiative, delivering meals to our wonderful NHS. The team followed strict government guidelines, working closely with NHS practitioners to meet regulations.
Armed with this knowledge and experience, they are working on robust plans to meet guidelines at events, exploring revised service styles, bespoke menus, and contact-free service, as well as re-evaluating best practice and team working patterns for when we are able to host events again. Whilst they are awaiting a government mandated policy on event delivery, they are working with their food safety consultant, Food Alert, as well as all suppliers and staffing agencies, to ensure measures will be implemented. We will keep up with these plans so we can inform you of what is possible catering wise and, most importantly, safest for you and your attendees.
The Moving Menu
Regardless of where events are held, we know our clients still want to enjoy top quality event catering. Moving Venue have proudly launched ‘The Moving Menu’, adapting their delicious menus to enable them to deliver directly to homes for virtual and hybrid events. Click on the link below to discover their vision and the various menus available, including their Chef Cook-Along option.
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU?
We know that one solution won’t apply for all events, and that each of our clients will have different requirements, and so we’re preparing for multiple scenarios. If you’re considering hosting a live event, or of course virtual or hybrid, but are unsure of where to start, please do get in touch with our team. We’re confident events will return and can’t wait to be back doing what we do best – bringing people together – whatever that may look like.