As governments around the globe start to look towards the future and how they can ease lockdown measures by changing guidelines and allowing more industries to open the time has come to review you future short, medium and long term meeting and events strategy.
A common question that is being asked of Bien Venue over the past few weeks is:
‘When should we start planning for our future events?’
Bien Venue understand that each client currently have different priorities and timescales however, if you have not already done so, we would recommend that you start planning for what your conference, meeting, events and accommodation strategy will look like post COVID-19.
‘Our commitment remains unchanged and however long this crisis lasts, we are determined that we come out the other side of it stronger and more resilient.’Samantha Elliott, Owner and Director of Bien Venue Ltd
With this in mind Bien Venue are very much here to help and support you with your future planning.
This blog outlines some of the key questions and topics that we have been discussing and reviewing with our clients and venue partners.
What type of events do you envisage being the first to be planned?
With many strategies, budgets, and planning for 2020 being a non-starter or wiped out, some of our clients have indicated the first events they will look to schedule will be workshops, strategy days, future planning days and team away days.
Training is a key event type which clients are currently reviewing, and we are hearing from venues is that over 50% of their enquiries are in relation to training events.
Some questions to consider:
- Is there a need to bring forward strategy planning for 2021 and any kick-off meetings or team away days?
- Have you reviewed how your event is structured? Layouts, event timings and refreshment breaks may need to be changed.
- How will your event work under the current (or future) social distancing measures?
As always Bien Venue are on hand to support you with the above, not only with our free venue finding service but also with our professional advice on how your event may look post lockdown. Bien Venue liaise with the venues on the best layouts, safeguarding measures, and how your event will work with any measures put in place by the government.
Location, Location, Location
A key meeting criterion which we are encouraging our clients to consider is the location of the event.
Some questions to consider here are:
- Where all the delegates are attending from?
- Can you host the event nearer to your target market rather than all delegates travelling closer to your office or into a city centre?
- Could your event be run as smaller, regional events rather than a larger national event?
- Will your target audience be willing to use public transport, or do you need to consider a venue with car parking facilities and easy reach of motorway networks?
Bien Venue’s free venue sourcing option is now available for you to use online. If you want to check a location’s suitability to accommodate your event, you can use our Instant Venue Search tool on our website – www.bvevents.co.uk
After searching, you can either send our team the enquiry via the tool or contact your dedicated venue consultant to receive a personalised proposal with the best rates and availability.
Team Building, Incentives & Social Events
It is the time of the year where Bien Venue would normally be working on lots of summer team building enquiries and incentives. With teams working remotely for several months, Bien Venue believe that more than ever there will be a need for team building and, whilst some popular team building options will need to be tailored to meet social distancing measures, these will still be a popular add-on to an away day or meeting. Bien Venue can include team building options within our proposals, alternatively you can discuss with the team about some of the virtual team building options which are now available for you to keep your team engaged.
We know the party is going to be big once we are living the new normal and venues can operate to their new full potential. A desire for a post COVID-19 party is going to be high on many companies lists and whilst a normal Christmas shared party night is currently unlikely, private parties and lunches are likely to be strong options come December.
In turn, many companies will want to thank their hard-working teams for their efforts through lockdown or offer a new sales incentive. Incentives do not always have to be in Europe or with overnight stay, an incentive can be a full day or half day.
Some questions to consider:
- Would a team build activity enhance your future event?
- Does a company or client summer party fit into your 2021 strategy?
- Do you have a core team who you would like to thank for their support during COVID-19, think about including an incentive day or trip into your future planning?
Bien Venue have expertise in these areas and would be happy to explore these options in more details for you – contact your dedicated venue consultant or account manager to discuss your requirements in more detail.
Virtual & Hybrid Events
Bien Venue understand that some events can and will in the interim move to a virtual platform. Virtual and Hybrid events have been a hot topic in the events industry for some time and lockdown restrictions has certainly highlighted the benefits as a short-term solution, with ongoing enhancements for inclusion as part of longer-term strategies.
What is a Hybrid Event?
A live event which is streamed so delegates who cannot attend the event can still participate. Hybrid events are becoming more popular and some do see this as the best of both worlds.
Bien Venue have been exploring several virtual solutions, if you are looking at a virtual or hybrid event as part of your future event strategy, our team would be happy to propose our preferred solutions and discuss findings from our research.
Bien Venue are adding virtual teambuilding solutions to our portfolio of services – look out for the launch of these in the coming weeks on our social media platforms.
Is Virtual really the way forward?
Whilst virtual meetings are a great solution for a quick catch up, daily briefing, team meeting, platform such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams all advise 25, 40 or 55-minute sessions as the ideal length to ensure maximum concentration and focus. Therefore, some meeting types such as training sessions, strategy days and planning meetings will likely return to a face to face environment as there is a requirement for audience participation and creativity.
However, from our discussions with our clients and piers within the industry there is a number of clients who want to continue with face-to-face events as they have found several negative areas with virtual events. These areas include:
- Relying on the delegates internet access and their technical knowhow
- Health & Wellbeing – potentially sitting in front of a screen for a long period of time
- Concentration levels – one thing we have found is when attending a virtual event there are more distractions
Food for thought
Here are some additional questions to consider when starting your future planning:
- Do you need to put in place a policy for the event to advise delegates what measures you are putting in place and share the venues policy ahead of the event?
- Is your internal meeting space still suitable?
- Do you need to review travel policy? This might include changes to dinner allowances and use of public transport over vehicle mileage
We hope you have found this a useful tool for when you start your future planning and as always if Bien Venue can assist in any way whether it be to discuss a new enquiry, discuss your future planning or just for a virtual coffee chat contact firstname.lastname@example.org