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3 Tips for Successfully Returning to In-Person Events

We’re starting to see the light at the other end of the tunnel! Vaccines in the United States are readily available and local, state and federal governments are beginning to lift restrictions, allowing people to return to in-person events. While we’re optimistic, the reality is, no snap of the fingers will get us back to a time of pre-COVID events. With COVID-19 as an ever-present factor, event planners now have an additional layer to their job; one that includes planning, contingency plans, safety precautions, and more expenses. 

According to Meeting Planners International’s Spring 2021 Meetings Outlook Report, an unprecedented 81% of meeting professionals predict positive business conditions over the coming 12 months. We know your customers are likely seeking your input on how to create engaging events that bring people together safely. At AIA, we’ve found these three considerations help ensure a successful event.

Hybrid Events Are Here to Stay

As eager as some people may be to return to in-person events, the event industry is still playing catch-up. Many event spaces are operating with limited staff, leading to reduced availability and smaller events. This factor, combined with the fact that many people are re-booking their postponed events, means that meeting spaces are at a premium. 

Event planners will also want to give some of their vendors more lead time. Supply chain issues and low inventory levels require more planning and creativity. Not to mention that very few suppliers are taking rush orders. What used to take five days to produce, can now take 10-15 days. And don’t forget about the time needed to drop ship items to virtual participants. With all this in mind, print and promotional products should be thought through and confirmed well in advance of the event date.  

With all these considerations for in-person events and creating an equally compelling experience for remote participants, time is of the essence.

Safety Precautions Are a Must

Involving a safety director or a team member or vendor who is certified in COVID-19 compliance will help the event team implement the right protocols––all of which are necessary to establish trust and make participants feel safe. From masks, sanitization stations, touchless technology, signage, and carefully planned event flow to minimize gathering, all these components should be communicated to participants well in advance, so they know their well-being is a priority and feel comfortable attending. 

We are excited that your customers are beginning to plan in-person events! If you need more ideas and information about how to counsel your customers on in-person and hybrid events, partner with the promo experts at AIA. We have a talented team who is always on top of new and upcoming trends, and you’ll have access to our community of distributors to share ideas that are working in the current market.