Event management is one of the industries that has been severely affected by the pandemic. The primary challenge the pandemic brought in its wake is the reconsideration of social activities which is the service that event managers provide. With the pandemic establishing its presence in our daily life and uncertainty regarding the future, the challenge that event organisers have to face is to reconsider live social experience for people. This reconsideration brings its own new set of difficulties that test the adaptive resilience of the career. Even though the transition to meet the conditions of this new reality can be demanding, it nevertheless is an interesting time to challenge the innovative capability and creative aptitude of event managers to set new standards of human interactive experience; and to come up with solutions related to this new reality. Moreover this time can be considered as an opportunity to make social interactions a more personalised experience. The concerns and predisposition of event management can be discuss under the following criteria.
Following the requirement of social distancing in social gathering, the issue of space is a main concern for event management companies. Spaces need to be bigger to reduce crowd condensation, and the scale of the events need not be grand given the fact that the amount of people attending social events would be less. Event organisers have to keep in mind the provision of more open spaces for people to walk around, and access to common areas like washrooms and sanitisation booths need to be provided at multiple points to facilitate distancing. Planning an outdoor event in an open space would be ideal as long as the nature of the event permits so that the attendees are able to enjoy an event without the limitations and fear associated with an enclosed structure. Seating arrangement need to be considered, and a new adoptive way of seating that encourages interaction while at the same time help maintain distance need to be devised; the popular setting arrangement being a u-shaped format.
With virtual participation being a popular mode of attendance in social events during the pandemic, it has increased our reliance on digital platforms for engaging in such interactions. Sophisticated technological resources have already replaced situations that need human assistance in order to reduce human contact, and the adoption of such technology is only going to increase. Events that require checking-in and registration have now been replaced by self-check-in processes, and participation and interaction are now showing more technological platforms. The use of technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), facial recognition and other online and app-based systems are some of the digital tools the pandemic has brought demand for. With the advancement happening in technology, the aim is to substitute human assistance for machine. Although it is challenging to find an equivalent replacement for a real human contact experience, machines can enable faster processing and enable one to save more time. A popular method of social participation is the hybrid-mode which provides social event with the flexibility to be attended both online and offline, which encourages more global participation.
Design-thinking and Creative collaboration
With event managers having to transition to a new mode of arrangement of interactive social event management there are a lot of potential problems that arise with its unfamiliarity and unpredictability. Incorporating creative and design thinking ensures an adaptable and resilient approach that provides effective solution to problems. Instances of the application of such creative processes could be in catering service where a disposable mediums would be preferred in order to prevent reuse, but this questions the sustainable integrity of such practices. Collaborating with material labs and creative agencies to come up with products or processes that question such important issues to provide efficient service and which respect its disposal methods would add value to the experience. With technology replacing human contact and assistance, the service of graphic designers to think of effective visual and multimedia communication can ensure a seamless and reliable way to navigate the new reality.
With the provision of attending events online, event mangers need to keep in mind that the attendance of the members could change any time and that it would be lesser than the pre-pandemic time. The participants are going to consider if the event they are attending is worth the potential health risk associated with such attendance, along with other considerations such as travel, stay, seating and eating. Most importantly they would be considering the extend to which safety can be guaranteed. Therefore, the event organisers need to come up with a well-curated and planned set of events in order to make the event worth its participation.
As hygiene is a main concern that needs to be addressed in a pandemic and post-pandemic era, event organisers need to make sure the resources for sanitisation are available. Decontamination becomes an integral part of event planning and resources to check and record temperatures of the audience who are attending need to be implemented. Along with this, the provision of masks and hand sanitisers needs to be arranged by the event planners as well. In order to support any medical emergencies and to assist any vulnerable members of the audience, medical facilities and access need to be planned for the wellbeing of the concerned member and the rest of the audience. A resource that needs to be carefully considered is the provision of an efficient customer service to assist with queries that participants or potential participants might have with regard to health and safety, space, facilities and attendance.
Event management agencies and organisations have been heavily affected by the pandemic who have had no other option but to adapt to new ways of dealing with the unpredictable reality. While health is the primary concern of the organisers, clients and attendees, what event managers need to carefully evaluate is how they are able to make profit out of a situation that does not promise any guarantee. It is a challenge to plan such events with fixed financial resources and it is the aptitude and capability of an organisation to manage that can gain them appreciation, respect, acclaim and business in such a time. They also have the additional responsibility to coordinate and communicate effectively with any external agencies or partners that they might work or collaborate with in order to make sure that they follow the same health and general guidelines. Since the future of the pandemic is unknown and there is no answer with regard to how long it will last, what helps in navigating this situation is for event planners to embrace the reality and test their resilience and capability through an approach that supports creativity and empathy. Inorder to understand the field of event management in detail the 3 years BBA in Event Management course will help aspirants experience the finer workings with theoretical and practical knowledge.
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