MPI recently shared an article discussing some of the issues of returning to live events. The biggest concern was human nature. After many months of separation, we want to connect, we want to shake hands and share hugs. This will be the initial challenge facing event professionals. TRG is here to help navigate your challenges and help you create a plan for returning to live events.
One of the first major steps in evaluating a space and selecting a location is the seating plan and determining how attendees will fit within the space. TRG has worked with our clients for years to create comprehensive room diagrams that address various seating styles, A/V and staging space requirements, aisle width, paths of egress, fire code, line of sight, and attendee comfort.
Prior to COVID-19, attendee collaboration and engagement were primary concerns for meeting hosts. That focus has shifted to proper spacing of attendees while seated and while navigating through the space. There are several seating arrangements to consider: theater seating to maximize the number of attendees in your space; to classroom seating with one person per table to allow for workspace and further spread out the attendees. TRG can work with you to create diagrams for various options to help decide the best seating and spacing arrangement for your event.
Entering and exiting the meeting space presents another challenge for event professionals. Attendees may be asked to fill the room from the front to the back to avoid walking past each other. Aisleways maybe uni-directional as attendees go in and out of the space. At the end of a session, attendees should be dismissed from the back first, asking attendees in the front of the room to wait until directed to leave their space.
Pre-meeting space is a point where attendees tend to gather in close proximity and socialize before and after the general session. To manage the space, event planners can rope off areas for attendees to stand on markers spaced six feet apart as they wait to enter the room.
Here is an article from Forbes magazine about what hotels are doing in conjunction with production partners to keep your attendees safe:
One thing is clear as we discuss ways to safely return to live events, the number of attendees per event will be lower than normal. One way to address this concern is the use of Hybrid events. In a hybrid situation, attendees gather in different venues in their geographical area. Each of the venues are connected virtually allowing attendees an intimate in-person experience and a larger group experience through virtual connection.
Whether you are considering a virtual, live or hybrid event, TRG is here to be your partner in planning and creating a safe and successful event.