5 Tips for Event Organizations to Respond in the Crisis Situation

amanda-mcphail.jpg  Expertise in party, wedding and event industry, deck655.

  WWS contributor


The global crisis brought on by the Coronavirus has slowed down activities in most industries and continues to provide numerous challenges for businesses to overcome. Organizations that wish to stay afloat during these difficult times need to learn to respond to the crisis appropriately, or risk damaging their reputation and or going under.

Event organizations have been particularly hard hit by the pandemic due to the strict social distancing measures being followed by people of all ages. A significant number of event-goers have been backing out from attending events during the crisis out of concern for their health. As a result, many people are reluctant to organize and hold events in the near future.

In order to stay afloat and minimize losses, event organizations should be proactive in the way they approach and mitigate such crisis situations.

Here are five tips for events organizations to respond appropriately to the crisis situation:


1. Postpone events


Many news outlets had reported about the Coronavirus as early as December of 2019. However, the crisis rapidly ballooned in size in March of 2020. News around the virus’s high infection rate initially caused many businesses to panic and halt their activities.

Several event organizations responded to the crisis by immediately postponing their events until experts had a better understanding of the virus and were able to provide information for combating it. Postponing an event may seem like an extreme measure, but it was the safest option for event organizations that did not wish to endanger the well-being of event-goers.

So how long should event organizers postpone their event for?

Many major music festivals at outdoor party venues which were originally scheduled for mid or late-2020 have been postponed to 2021. This provides organizers with enough time to implement proper safety measures at their events.

The general public may also be better acquainted with Coronavirus safety measures in 2021. When precautions are taken by both event organizers and event goers, the chance of mishaps occurring is minimized.



2. Organize virtual events


Event organizations that have postponed their events due to the crisis may be able to hold other virtual events in the meantime.

Events such as seminars, for example, can still be held virtually using live streaming services. These “webinars” are relatively easy to set up thanks to the wide variety of video conferencing software that are available.

Event organizers who wish to set up webinars should look for video conferencing software that offer some of the following features:

  • Supporting meetings with a large number of participants.
  • Provide the ability to switch between speakers easily.
  • Offer ways for participants to interact with speakers in real-time (e.g: chat boxes and message windows).
  • High quality screen sharing capabilities.
  • Slide sharing functionality.
  • The ability to record sessions and meetings.

Event organizers should also consider using video conferencing services that are easy for people to access. Bulky software that needs to be downloaded and installed could create accessibility barriers and prove to be inconvenient for many attendees. So, it may be a better option for event organizations to use website-based video conferencing tools, such as Google Hangouts for their webinars.


3. Take precautions during in-person events


Event organizers that have chosen to proceed with in-person events will have to adopt some safety measures and take extra precautions to minimize the risk of attendees contracting or spreading the Coronavirus.

Some of these measures include:

  • Providing attendees with facemasks at the entrance.
  • Checking attendees for fevers (which is a symptom of Coronavirus) at the entrance using infrared thermometers.
  • Distributing literature related to Coronavirus prevention to attendees.
  • Setting up hand sanitizer stations at multiple locations throughout the venue.
  • Spreading out attendees so that they are at least 6 feet apart from one another.
  • Hiring staff to advice and ensure attendees are following safety measures.

In order to ensure social distancing measures can be followed, event organizers need to select a large corporate event space. San Diego, for example, has many corporate spaces that can comfortably accommodate a sizable number of attendees while they are following social distancing and other protective measures.



4.Inform attendees about your precautions


Many event-goers are still reluctant to attend large gatherings out of fear of contracting the virus. Event organizations should address the concerns of these potential attendees by informing them about the safety precautions being taken at the venue.

Event pages on social media and on company websites should list the COVID-19 measures up front so that more people consider attending the event. These precautions should also be listed at the event venue’s entrance in order to ease the worries of attendees that are having second thoughts about attending.

Such precautions should also advise potential attendees that have contracted the Coronavirus to avoid attending. The stricter your safety measures are, the more likely it is that attendees will feel safe attending your event.

Any updates to these safety measures should also be conveyed to attendees immediately. These updates could include information about the availability of facemasks at the event, changes to venue capacity, and access to medical staff during the event.


5. Revise your strategies for future events


The Coronavirus pandemic is expected to last until a vaccine is developed, which could take at least another year. Therefore, event organizations should view the pandemic conditions as the new normal and adapt accordingly.

This means creating deals and plans with vendors and suppliers that take COVID-19 precautions into account. Event organizations should aim to have access to a steady supply of hand sanitizer, face masks, and medical staff to ensure they are available for all future party venues.

This could prove to be a challenge due to the widespread supply chain disruptions that have occurred due to the crisis, but it is necessary for event organizations to stay on top of these measures if they wish to succeed in this new era.

Amanda McPhail runs the booking team for deck655 – a sophisticated downtown corporate event space in San Diego. She has longstanding expertise in party, wedding and event industry, and she also enjoys blogging about the latest trends and industry topics.