Last year was filled with uncertainty, as we all tried to make sense of the first pandemic of our lifetimes. It's still early January, but this year continues to point toward uncertainty, as vaccine distribution is rolling out, but the COVID spikes are still extremely high.
So, what does that mean for events in 2021? Should you be planning for virtual or in-person? What's the timeline?
With so many questions about events in 2021, we thought we'd share what we're hearing and seeing in the market.
1) You're not the only one.
Most of our clients are still in limbo, trying to determine whether to move forward with planning their typical large scale in-person company events—like summer picnics, annual retreats, nationwide conferences, and the like.
And if you do pick a date and location for the event, make sure the venue has a flexible cancellation or reschedule policy!
2) In-person events are unlikely until June or later.
Based on what our clients and venues are telling us, they're not looking at in-person events anytime in Q1, and even Q2 is looking like a stretch. Many of our customers cite concerns about travel, gathering in large groups, and the upfront costs/deposits for booking venues as reasons to postpone their in-person event planning until later in 2021 or beyond.
3) It doesn't have to be big or in-person, but you still have to do something.
While nothing can replace the feeling of connection at an in-person event, tending to your company culture is still massively important right now. As offices remain closed, many employees are feeling more and more isolated, drained, and demotivated. So, how do we put this lightly...
🗣 YOU STILL NEED TO ACTIVELY FOSTER YOUR COMPANY CULTURE. 🗣
Okay. Sorry for yelling. But it's a big mistake to keep delaying or putting off your events when there's so much uncertainty around timing AND your employees are already feeling fatigued and disconnected. It doesn't have to be a big blowout, and it also doesn't have to be in-person, but we highly recommend you do something meaningful, fun, and not-work-related to bring your company or team together at least once per quarter.
4) Virtual events have exceeded clients' expectations.
We've heard so much about uncertainty, but here's one thing we know for sure: virtual events are legit. Many of our clients were skeptical at first, but after just one event, most of them signed on for a second event, a monthly series, a large scale conference, or an all-day slate of games, wellness classes, and engaging entertainment options.
But don't just take our word for it. Our clients at Tory Burch had rave reviews about their 4-day virtual sales conference.
5) Virtual events are here to stay.
Here's one other big thing we know. We are 100% confident that even after the pandemic is gone, virtual events will continue. Why? Because they work. Because they're effective. Because the modern workplace is evolving, and virtual events will play an important role in keeping remote employees feeling connected to the team.
Looking for help planning your virtual events for 2021? Get in touch today!