The number of daily reported COVID-19 cases appears to be flattening in the past 30 days. Vaccines are also being issued out to essential workers and the rest of the population. There have been discussions about whether it is a good time for companies to start hosting public and corporate events.
For companies wondering how soon they can start hosting events again, the answer is that it depends on the kind of event. A good way to determine if in-person events are appropriate to have is to consider the guide below.
Starting with private events
Surveys found that 81 percent of companies plan to host an in-person event this year. There are still many people who are not vaccinated, which means those who are vaccinated can still infect those who do not have it. For everyone’s safety, it is best to keep corporate events to just employees and select individuals. More planning also needs to be done to ensure all guidelines from the CDC are being followed.
While renting out hotels is still being done, companies are looking for alternative venues with larger spaces and more ventilation. Since guests still need to be six feet apart, convention halls and gardens are possible options, and they can be decorated with the help of event rentals. Some wedding venues are also open to other events to generate more income during the pandemic.
Some organizers do have a hybrid event, with some people attending in-person while certain guest speakers are there through video call. For people who will be attending it, they must wear their masks as much as possible.
Use online for public events
A lot of people will be hesitant to attend public events until everyone is vaccinated. These events are usually for marketing and awareness purposes, so having more people is better. Since there is a possibility that an in-person event will have low attendees, virtual events and webinars would be a better option in this case.
In fact, online events might be better for the time being. Some have reported that virtual events had eight times more registration than in-person conferences. If the event is used for networking or acquiring more customers, this option would have better results. It also allows for a wider reach, so even those outside the state can get an opportunity to attend your event.
Another big advantage to virtual conferences is the ability to ask for information and collect data from attendees. This can be a good opportunity to give out surveys for future company developments. It can also be a way for businesses to gain more followers in subscriptions and newsletters.
Team building activities can be put on hold
Companies often host team-building events for employees, but it would appear that this needs to be put on hold. These activities usually involve close contact, but there is still a bit of uncertainty about the virus. Thus, it would be in the company and employee’s best interest to avoid these types of events for the time being.
Many of these employees have families and children, and attending in-person team-building events could mean bringing home the virus. They will surely not want to expose their families to this. Some of them might also be married or living with frontliners. It means they have to exercise caution when attending events to prevent spreading it to the rest of the office.
An alternative option that companies can do is virtual team-building activities. What managers and team leaders can do is use this to check up on their employees and boost morale. It can be something simple such as an online Netflix party or an online Zumba class. Since many have shifted to remote work, some employees feel lonelier or disconnected. This way, they can feel as if they are still part of a team.
When can companies expect to return to normal?
Experts believe that the new normal will continue until at least the third quarter of this year. It might be best to assume that the majority of this year will still be full of caution. Companies can start hosting corporate events with a controlled guestlist, but public events would take more time. A safe estimate would be the end of this year or the start of next year is when companies can go back to the way it was before.