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Event Trends and Technology 2021: Build Back Confidence with COVID-Safe Events

Making sure people feel safe meeting face-to-face is the biggest challenge for event professionals in 2021. If your audience has safety concerns, attendance is going to be lower than it should.

Fortunately, event technology came a long way during the COVID-19 pandemic. New technology trends in event management can not only bridge the gap between fully virtual experiences and in-person exhibitions, but they can also signal that your event is safe to attend. Onsite security measures, flexible solutions, and digital communication all work together to build back confidence.

Onsite Security

Social distancing guidelines need to be at the top of your mind during event planning – but how does that work in a room that’s potentially full of people? Attendee management tools like digital badges, temperature checks, and health questionnaires are essential for navigating social distancing. And they also share an upside: they’re all highly visible. Seeing COVID-safe measures in place will put people at ease.

  • Digital badges. Cut back on physical touchpoints and staff interaction by sending attendees a unique QR code when they register. Ask them to scan the code whenever they leave or enter the event space for accurate visitor tracking and contact tracing.
  • Temperature checks. Identify high-risk visitors before they enter by setting up temperature checks at venue doors.
  • Health questionnaires. As visitors check in, ask about their recent travels or current state of health. If you conduct health questionnaires, always make your data policy clear, as well as your commitment to never publicly share sensitive data.
Flexible Solutions

COVID-19 restrictions are slowly being lifted, but sudden government mandates can derail an event that’s been planned for months. Not only can this be a nightmare for event planners and venues, but it can also scare off people who would have otherwise felt safe enough to attend in person. Putting the focus on flexibility can save your event and keep your attendance figures strong.

For example, a hybrid event platform can put your audience at ease by giving people the choice to switch their experience from in-person to virtual. Think of it as an “insurance policy” for attendees who are still wary of meeting face-to-face.

Another example is offering the ability to share recorded sessions on a virtual platform for people to watch on demand. This also has the added benefit of spreading your message to a wider audience since people can share the videos with colleagues.

It’s important to review emergency response procedures with the venue before you book. If your event date or platform needs to change last minute, you want to be prepared with a written plan well in advance.

Digital Communication

Don’t let your trust-building efforts go unnoticed. Spread the word about your event’s COVID-safe precautions by putting together a robust communications strategy.

Promote safety guidelines on your event registration page, app, and social media channels. Partner with the venue manager by featuring the same topics on the venue’s website and social media channels. Automated emails and push notifications leading up to the event are also a great way to get the word out. Some important things to highlight include:

  • Hygiene and safety rules at the venue
  • Contact information for last-minute questions or changes
  • A chat bot on your app or website dedicated to safety information
  • Data policy and commitment to sensitivity towards attendee health data
  • And don’t forget to follow up – post-event feedback is crucial for building trust

By adopting new tech trends like onsite security measures, flexible solutions, and digital communication, event professionals can convince people that their face-to-face event is safe to attend. Technology is truly your friend. Use it to guide the development of COVID-safe events and regain the trust of audiences.