How will venues survive after the pandemic?
Updated: Feb 22
As a result of Covid-19, venues across the UK have ground to a halt and in some cases have been forced to close altogether. The pandemic permanently rattled the conference, venues and exhibition industry, which was one of the first sectors to feel the effects of Coronavirus since events were forced to immediately close in March, when the virus was first identified as catastrophic.
With government advice only allowing smaller meetings or weddings for up to 30 and the looming review date looking further and further away, the next 12-18 months are survival mode and venues must stay visible, stay competitive and adapt their offering for the growing demand of hybrid events.
Many venues typically rely on commercial events in order to make a profit, for example: museums and galleries, stadiums and arenas, community centres, academic venues and more. According to a 2018 report, business events alone are a £1.2 trillion industry worldwide - that's without including the huge amount of consumer events, trade shows, experiences and weddings. These events are dependent on in-person, physical attendance, which is not possible in the current climate as most venues are closed or operating at a reduced capacity. With no clear guidelines for when large gatherings and events can take place again, we wonder what this means for the future operations of venues and how they can survive the aftermath of Covid-19.
More Pressure on Venues
While planning and managing events is already no easy feat, the new safety measures and heightened regulatory laws recently put in place present a new challenge for venues. In consideration of these systems designed to keep events ‘Covid-19 safe’, venues will be under more pressure to abide by these practices and accommodate the new rules, so it is seamlessly integrated and fully operational. On top of this, the event organisers will find themselves spending more time sourcing the necessary vendors who can deliver all of the required aspects of producing a safe, sanitised and socially distanced-complying event. The addition of sanitisation stations, health check-points, temperature control centres, track and trace and hygiene scores increase the venues’ costs and time to logistically plan all of the pre-event considerations. These contributing factors are not to be underestimated in improving the delivery of the event, and instilling public confidence in the venue’s cleaning practices and responsibility to their guests. With Covid-19 fears still set amongst most of the population, guests and attendees are evermore concerned about their welfare and the cleanliness of venues and spaces they will be entering.
This has quickly become an extremely important part of how venues and events work and cannot be an oversight for the near future, or else, consumer and business confidence in your venue will substantially reduce. Though it may be seen as an added cost, it will benefit your venue in the long run if it’s abiding by the necessary precautions to keep all attendees safe.
With all of these increased deliverables, venues will be looking to increase their staff capacity - but at what cost? The negative impact of the pandemic has meant that many venues’ events were cancelled, thus causing their revenues to fall and profits to decline as demand was drastically reduced. Venues will be forced to become more innovative when easing back into the new normal under Covid-19 guidelines, and resuming operations.
To help with this, Associate Events has recognised the substantial negative effect Covid-19 is having on venues across the nation and has developed a new service offering which will massively reduce cost whilst enabling the venue's known quality of event delivery and most importantly staying competitive in this rapidly changing market. This new model looks to disrupt the market and encourages struggling venues to think differently in order to survive; all whilst retaining the highest level of talent, management, delivery and expertise. Keep an eye out for more information on how we are implementing this and where, on our socials here and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the loop!
If this sounds like something your venue could benefit from and you would like to find out more, please do get in touch with us and give us a call on 0116 464 5995 or email email@example.com and we can have a conversation!
The Important Role of Technology to Recover
Event planners were already actively using different types of technology, at different points of the process to enhance their events. From digital marketing to digital signage, and many more methods, technological innovations have simplified a range of processes in event management. Technology will soon become more beneficial than ever before, and will play a crucial role in helping the industry to recover and flourish. Venues were using technology before Coronavirus, and will continue to afterwards, but in ways which they may not have seen before.
More venues are likely to be looking at ways to utilise their spaces for events whilst remaining profitable, as there is no indication as to when large events can take place inside enclosed spaces. Live-streaming, virtual and hybrid opportunities and online collaboration are amongst the tools which venues can use to enhance and add value to their live event packages and programmes. Many businesses and organisations have taken advantage of this throughout the pandemic, and have used it to accelerate the performance of their events on digital platforms since physical events were cancelled. Despite this, not all events can be reproduced electronically - particularly medium and large events which meet very different needs - so there is another option for these: hybrid events.
How Can Hybrid Events Help?
There is a growing popularity for hybrid events, not just because of its cost-effectiveness but because it's also a great way to encourage and increase participation. As some travel restraints are still in effect, it’s an effective way to allow attendees to join in from the other side of the world whilst reducing the carbon footprint of the event, as well as number in physical attendance and overall costs. Hybrid events can truly bring any event to life, whether it’s for 15, 50 or 500 people. They are open, inclusive and participatory in nature, as hybrid events merge offline and online discussion. The strong digital focus on sharing content, either by messaging in live chats or forums; live audio; integration of social media; and many other means, encourages this important and highly valued detail of hybrid events: connectivity. Those attending an event in-person are able to connect with those who aren’t physically present, and vice versa, thanks to the Internet!
A unique opportunity presents itself in this new era of digital and hybrid event delivery, and it’s not just the cost-saving benefits. All of the participant-generated content can be combined and later used for your own marketing efforts, or converted into shareable content take-aways post event. Hybrid, also referred to as digital, events can be electronically recorded, saved and downloaded, which means even if your event took place on one day - it will never expire!
At Associate Events, we can offer a complete end-to-end service with everything you would need to run your digital event, as if it were happening physically. You can choose which services you need - from setting up live-streaming and hosting platforms; finding guest speakers and presenters; venue searching – so you can beam straight from the venue of your choice; to filming and recording where you can capture your event live with the sound, lighting and all the atmosphere to make your guests feel like they are actually in the room. We can help with everything from cultivating attendees, managing your invitations to the promotion and marketing of your event. We have already begun making headway, as we have set up our new digital suite and started cultivating and creating hybrid and digital events for many of our clients keen to keep their foot on the pedal for their events. There are many options ahead for venues who are looking to not just stay afloat and survive, but to thrive in this ‘new normal’.
Whatever your requirements are, we can help you bring your digital event to life.
If you want your business to stay competitive using digital and hybrid events and you would like to find out more about how #TheAETeam can help you, please get in touch with us using the normal methods and call us on 0116 464 5995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and lets talk!