I recently had the pleasure of guesting on Les Goldberg’s 39th episode of LMG’s The Road Ahead podcast, alongside Lauren Chelf from AOAC International, and Diane Kovats from ISCB, to discuss negotiating and navigating event venues through the COVID-lens.
I’d love for you to give our chat a listen, or keep scrolling for what you need to know when planning a post-pandemic event.
- Pay attention to event size vs. event capacity. Just because a venue can accommodate 1,000 attendees, doesn’t mean that the city or state will allow that many people to gather just yet.
- Review requirements and regulations. Safety measures and restrictions vary drastically from state to state, and city to city. The hotel, convention center, or event venue itself is also likely to have an additional set of rules. Ask upfront and get details in writing.
- Determine venue staffing needs. Hotels and event venues are just as excited to be back in action as we are, and welcome the opportunity to bring back furloughed team members. It’s crucial that your event venue has enough experienced staff working now to handle your events needs. (Because we all know there’s more to a flawless event than the event day itself.)
- Consistent, coordinated communication regarding COVID safety. Both the event venue staff and the event producers must be on the same page when it comes to communicating and executing COVID safety measures. These could include mask wearing, temperature checks, COVID tests, cleaning measures, and on. For example, a venue, city or state might not require temp checks, but the event producer and client does for all attendees and staff. Share safety requirements before the event takes place with all involved parties, in order to manage expectations and equal treatment across the board.
- Internet is essential. We’ve encountered venues that are willing to improve Internet service and create hot spots, and others who are not. As Les says in the podcast, he’d “prefer Internet over air conditioning these days, it’s just that important.” Amen.
- Hotel room rates are often negotiable. Holding a large-scale company meeting or conference in a hotel? So far Team dB has found that there’s a lot of wiggle room with room rates.
- Hybrid events are here to stay. Yeah, I said it. Not your jam? Think of it like this: hybrid activations allow for greater attendance. (And elastic waist bands.)
Those are a few helpful highlights from our fun discussion; listen to the full podcast for more, including our thoughts on specifically when I predict think 250+ attendees at an event will be the new (old) normal.