e all know that the recent pandemic has dramatically altered daily routines and workplaces, shifting day-to-day activities to the online realm. The new normal finds meeting planners adapting to the constraints of a post-pandemic world. One hard-to-ignore fact is that people are anxious to get back to live meetings and events. Yes, business has always been personal. It’s about making connections and building a network that grows and sustains successful relationships.
It's likely that in-person events will increase in number and size in 2022 and that in itself brings about some challenges. Let's discuss.
1. Health and Safety Remain a Primary Concern
Vaccine rollouts may be changing the game, but new Covid-19 variants and outbreaks mean health and safety continue to be a major priority. It’s the responsibility of the meeting planner to ensure that event spaces adhere to acceptable standards and regulations. The problem is many domestic and international destinations have differing mandates and approaches to safety. Another concern is how to keep meeting spaces interactive yet contactless.
Here at Wingspread, we follow CDC guidelines and additional safety protocols. Plus, our property is set up in such a way that campus exclusivity is available!
2. Technology and Security of Online Platforms
The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital transformation, which means hybrid meetings are here to stay. Hybrid events blend the physical and digital worlds allowing event organizers to increase meeting attendance while taking into account health and safety concerns. That said, cybersecurity remains a considerable challenge. It's crucial to ensure the privacy and security of meeting spaces to avoid unwanted participants and leakage of sensitive information.
3. Planning for Uncertainty
If the last two years have taught the world anything, it’s that uncertainty is the status quo. As a meeting planner, you have to develop flexible attrition and cancellation policies to respond adequately to changing government mandates or surges in Covid 19 cases.
You can respond to the increased need for flexibility by providing:
4. Accessibility and Wellness
When planning an event, a good rule of thumb is to ensure the meeting venue meets the accessibility needs of all persons. Today, accessibility also extends to people’s mental health needs as well as their physical ones. In the last two years, organizations have had to pivot to better support their employees, which is something meeting planners have to take into account.
Planners have to prioritize physical and mental health in the way they design and contextualize their meetings. Gathering people for an event can and should involve a self-care experience for your participants. Not only does this help attendees absorb what they've learned better, but it also eases any anxieties people might have regarding in-person meetings.
5. How to Use Digital Technology to Measure Event Success
Events like conferences and tradeshows are a big-budget affair. With the rise of virtual meetings and hybrid events, it's become much more difficult to measure factors like engagement. So, how do you measure the return on investment of meeting events?
As you plan for the next corporate event, it’s vital to incorporate the use of purpose-built apps to improve the meeting experience for your attendees. The power of meetings lies in social interactions, making it crucial to provide digital networking opportunities for your delegates. It’s highly likely that most large-scale events will be hybrid in the coming years. And therein lies the challenge: how to meet the increasing demand for intentional connections across a wide range of event formats and online platforms.
Focus on Getting the Right Event Space
The market is ever-changing and adapting. Therefore, you need to partner with a meeting destination that has the resource capacity to remain agile and resilient in an uncertain world.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Wingspread is a one-of-a-kind IACC-certified Conference Center, located 35 minutes from Milwaukee and 90 minutes from Chicago. Here, your meeting success is our passion. We offer over 15,000 sq. ft. of flexible meeting space, upscale accommodations, flawless service, and best-in-class meeting guidance.
We would love to work with you for a safe and effective event. Reach out to learn more about our safety protocols, inviting environment, and unique follow-up for attendees.
Looking for more? Check out our Breakthrough Meeting Ideas for 2022. Download it here >>
Working together, the members of the meeting industry can become diligent stewards of the careful balance of wildlife, plant life and human life.