Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste
NEVER LET A GOOD CRISIS GO TO WASTE
– WINSTON CHURCHILL
The pandemic struck a blow to the event industry with brute force – nearly 90 per cent of events were canceled. Many event production companies that didn’t offer digital (or didn’t quickly pivot to digital) lost their footing in the industry, or they went out of business altogether. Event organizers had to quickly get up to speed on the most effective options available to them.
It was a real one-two punch to the industry.
What are our takeaways?
How do we now lean in, for a strong future of corporate events?
Now is the time to take stock. Rather than dwelling on what we’ve just been through, we need to review and transform our organization for successful, positive outcomes for the company’s future! It’s time to shake it off, consider the takeaways and step back into the ring. Below are five takeaways that may help you and your team focus on the bright side:
AS A CULTURE, WE HAVE LEARNED WE ARE “PEOPLE-CENTRIC”.
This is the silver lining. The isolation we experienced during the pandemic has highlighted people’s innate need to connect – we crave face-to-face meetings and connection. Live interaction is where the magic happens! It fosters a deeper connection, revealing cues in body language, facial expressions, and energy levels. This is where trust is built, relationships are strengthened, and deals are made. You may notice that people are also be more open and approachable. Many people now have more of a sense of community from being “in this together”. Businesses are working harder to achieve productivity while being more aware of employees’ needs for work-life balance.
Employers are implementing remote work options, as well as quality in-person meetings, and team interdependence. Some consider this as the trifecta for happier, more productive employees.
We have new opportunities to make new connections.
With so many changes to staffing, there are more people that are newer on the job. We now have many opportunities to make new inroads with them and to develop stronger bonds. We have new topics to discuss with these new relationships.
We have learned that preparedness is paramount.
Expect things will happen that you didn’t plan for.
The pandemic can be likened to catastrophic events, such as flood, fire, or natural disasters. Many companies and their clients had continuity and resilience plans in place; some were able to respond quickly and positively. Others, however, did not – and therefore faced major problems.
We have also learned that it is a priority to be flexible. Now is the time to reposition projects, products, and services to be resilient and increase our agility. Disaster recovery plans and risk management need to be addressed now, in preparation for upcoming crises.
Research has shown that already 75% of small-business owners are confident that their business will be better prepared to handle a crisis like COVID-19 if it occurred in the future.
Source: Society for Human Resource Management COVID-19 Research: Small-Business Challenges, June 2020.
Combined events are here to stay.
We would all likely agree that live corporate events are the gold standard for company engagement, connection and communication with our teams, affiliates, and customers. This said, the virtual events (aka digital events), hybrid events and event media will continue to be integrated by many event organizers and meeting planners in various ways, at least until confidence is restored and budgets replenish. Work with your corporate event producer or event project manager to assess your needs and define your event’s digital, media and hybrid options. Phase these in or phase them out…but whatever you do, if you plan to phase digital events in at any point, be sure you work with your corporate event production company to integrate them with quality and effectiveness in mind.
Send a positive message with safety protocols.
There has always been people that hold their breath when someone in the room coughs. They clean their hands soon after a handshake if they can, and they avoid touching door handles. They wouldn’t regard themselves as “germophobic” …more like “germ-aware”. Pandemic or not, we all could be more careful, right? Many people have recently become concerned about germ proliferation, so being firm with your rules regarding safety will go a long way to convey the message that the meeting organizers are taking everyone’s health seriously. Decide how you want to ramp up your safety precautions – depending on the current and potential future health climate – and be ready to implement.
Rethink, revise, redefine and reshape.
As the pandemic subsides, why not take advantage of every opportunity for you, your corporate event, and your company to come out stronger – and better overall because of it? Decide how you need to reshape your company, redefine your goals or create better processes. Companies have had to get creative to stay strong. Challenge your processes so that you come out of this tunnel better than before you went in!