You’ve likely seen some relatively large conferences cancel their 2020 plans due to coronavirus (or the disease it causes—COVID-19) concerns—events like SXSW, the Geneva International Motor Show or Facebook’s F8, for example.
While this makes sense for global, week-long gatherings that pull in large international audiences, your national corporate event audience is more likely to just experience chapped hands from over-washing.
Here are five simple tips to keep your upcoming events on the calendar and safe:
1. Over-communicate With Your Audience
With so much cancellation coverage (events, flights, school days, etc.) in the news, you should take steps to assure your audience that your event is still happening. Releasing more frequent statements regarding each component of your event could be helpful. Be transparent about what measures you’re taking to keep everyone healthy who is coming.
You could even provide a contact email or phone number to allow you and your team to interface with potentially nervous attendees and vendors directly.
2. Incorporate Health Initiatives
One of the most significant factors in keeping you and your guests safe and sound is simply washing your hands properly. Many don’t realize that you should scrub your skin for 20 seconds before rinsing, for instance. Consider using catchy songs and attention-grabbing signage to keep this top of mind for everyone.
Providing travel hand sanitizer and liberally distributed sanitization stations at the venue can go a long way, as well. Connect with event janitorial staff to ensure they’ll be continuously wiping down all surfaces.
3. Anticipate Cancellations of All Kinds
Hope for the best and plan for everyone to decide to bow out. Someone will inevitably cancel at the last minute, whether it’s a speaker or critical vendor. The important thing is not to panic and instead plan.
You can design an easy-to-read flow chart to send out to guests and staff alike to help them determine their actual attendance ahead of time. Ask simple questions, such as:
- Have they recently been to China, Iran, Italy, Israel, Japan, South Korea or other affected areas?
- Have they been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus or COVID-19 in the last 14 days?
- Are they having trouble breathing and experiencing flu-like symptoms?
4. Amplify the Remote Participation Aspect of Your Event
Thankfully, offering remote attendance options such as a two-way livestream, a virtual reality “seat,” or an episodic video series after the event have already increased in popularity before the current health concerns. Consider employing some of these tactics now more than ever.
You could assemble a “conference in a box” package for those who’d instead host a local watch party at their offices. Design your experience around a national digital broadcast across a variety of satellite, local F2F venues.
5. Move Beyond the Handshake
While handshakes themselves aren’t cause for alarm (wash your hands before touching your face), you can implement creative ways to avoid the potential risk altogether.
Encourage your attendees to swap phone numbers for calls and texts, use the previously mentioned instant-messaging solutions, or even perform this fun foot tap as a substitute.
These easy-to-do initiatives can go a long way in the current climate. If you’re still struggling with Coronavirus anxiety, however, you should consider these additional tips from ADAA and the American Psychological Association.
Additionally, if you need a brand experience partner to help you reimagine your event in light of recent disruptions, contact CPG Agency today.