Event planning now

During this time of pandemic and necessary restrictions on gatherings to ensure the safety of all, it’s easy to conclude that all events are impossible.

However, as our company and customers have demonstrated, that is simply not true. There are flexible options still available that make use of technology, comply with regulations and practical health concerns and deliver fun and memorable experiences.

Certainly, events as we are accustomed to them aren’t happening right now or for the foreseeable future. However, more and more people are finding ways to get together for meetings, celebrations and performances. We have all become familiar with virtual meetings, and there are no lack of platforms to help, like Microsoft Teams, Zoom and GoToMeeting. In meetings like these, everyone is an identical participant – there’s no clear “presenter” and “audience” distinction. But how do you handle situations where the participants are not identical, and there is a clear distinction between who is doing or saying something “onstage”, and who is watching? Or, when it is important to physically be present, in celebration or solidarity? Church services, concerts, graduations and other performances are just some examples that fit these categories.

One of the simplest approaches is to just spread out. Recent political demonstrations and rallies are an example of this – people, masked and staying at least 6 feet apart from one another, congregate in an outdoor space large enough to accommodate them. Some graduations have employed the same strategy – instead of holding the ceremony in an auditorium, the event moves to the football field.

Sometimes, the solution is to have several mini events, restricting the audience size to recommended sizes and spacing. For example, having several mini graduations can allow everyone to participate in a traditional ceremony, divided either in space or time. Students and their families can be brought into the same area, but in small groups one at a time. Or, several areas can be set up around campus and the student body divided over all those areas. In any of these scenarios, the events can be captured on video and displayed to other attendees in other areas or even to other family members at home.

Another solution is to take the event entirely online. This works best in the traditional “stage” scenario – one person or group onstage and a largely passive audience. In this case, the event can be recorded for distribution or live streamed to an entirely remote audience, or both. Examples of this application are church services, presentations or musical performances.

One of the challenges of virtual events is the difference in the audio and video equipment employed – the size of the area and the spacing of the attendees create significant differences in the equipment used. If you’re considering any of these options for your event, give us a call!