Working From Home – How Has It Effected Event Planning?
Attitudes towards working from home have shifted dramatically in recent years. With 75% of London’s workers saying they don’t believe they will ever return to the office full-time, and indications that these numbers are replicated across the country, there’s a clear need to find efficient, entertaining and engaging ways to communicate important messages that would, pre-Covid, have been presented at Live Events.
Is Remote Working Here To Stay?
In a study just completed by the Policy Institute and King’s College London and reported on by Lucy Burton in The Telegraph, three-quarters of London’s workers stated they will continue to avoid going to the office and will instead, work from home (wfh). Former government adviser Mark Kleinman, a professor of public policy who worked on the study, said he was surprised that respondents showed such an ‘”attachment” to home working “regardless of politics, age [and] seniority” and that the work at home attachment was the same regardless of personality type.
With both introverts and extraverts showing little difference in their responses. So what does this mean for those who plan events or for Event Managers wanting to get people together in some form?
How Has Remote Working Effected The Event Industry?
There will likely always be a need for live events, or at least an in person element. However, there is a clear need to have a digital overlay or live streaming element for any planned live event.
One that enables those who can’t or won’t attend in person to still receive the information. There’s also a case for asking one important question; Does this event even need to be live or have a live element? Would it be better delivered fully virtual and if so, what is the best way to do that?
Virtual Events vs Physical Events
There are now so many creative ways of crafting and delivering an event. Both virtually or in a hybrid (Live/Virtual mix) way. And I’m not talking about simple (and often excruciatingly dull) webinars or endless Zoom or Teams meetings. But well thought through and technically brilliant, highly creative virtual events. Done properly by those who know how. There is no need to subject an audience to online purgatory.
Employers who don’t provide a way for employees to continue to engage with events are dramatically undervaluing one of their most important assets, their employees.
Businesses who fail to provide entertaining and engaging online or hybrid events are missing out on opportunities to not only retain customers and valued suppliers, but are also going to be left behind by their competitors who do. And if those employees, customers, or suppliers are in different countries or on different continents, then the need is even greater.
What Should Be Included In A Digital Events Strategy?
The good news is that so are the results and outcomes. All more reasons to ensure a clear Digital Events Strategy is in place.
What should you include when forming a strategy for your digital event? Here are 5 questions to ask to give you a sense of direction.
- What are the key things I need to communicate to groups of at least 50 but perhaps hundreds or even thousands, in the next 18 months?
- Geographically, where are each of those groups of people?
- Do I have a proven creative and technical partner who has the knowledge and experience to deliver powerful online events? And can they operate internationally? (by the answer to question 2)
- What are the measurable business outcomes we want from any event we stage – whether it’s a Virtual event, Hybrid event, Live event, or a combination?
- Have we got the in-house expertise to independently analyse and assess the best event method to deliver our required outcomes?
Where Next For Remote Working?
Working from home is here to stay. This report is yet more evidence of that. My team has delivered numerous international Hybrid events and remote events in the past 6 months. From New York to New Delhi, London to Dubai and Scotland to Switzerland. Every single one of them has benefited from us providing that Digital Event Strategy. Which ultimately ensured the right outcomes and a great all-round experience for attendees.
If you are responsible at some level for communications or events in your business, developing a clear strategy for your events for at least the next 2 years, will ensure your business prospers. And your attendees will thank you for taking the time and care to provide properly created and technically fantastic events.
About The Author
Paul Musselle is CEO of Global Events Solutions business Giggabox. With over 35 years experience in the TV and Events sector, Paul has led his Giggabox team in the delivery over 300 digital events in the UK and Internationally since Covid hit in early 2020. While based in the UK, the company has and continues to provide Virtual, Hybrid and Live event solutions for businesses, NGO’s and government agencies in the USA, Middle East and Asia.