The world of the event froze in mid-March when events in all directions were canceled due to the pandemic. Changes in the game have had a particularly painful effect on companies that did not own a financial cushion. Many began to optimize costs, move out of offices, reduce the number of storage rooms for storing requisites, send employees on vacation without saving their salaries.
The question “What to do next?” most market representatives asked 2-3 weeks after the introduction of self-isolation when it became clear that the familiar life of the industry would not return soon.
The market is divided into two halves:
Some companies during this time managed to adapt to the new conditions, reorienting their activities into an online niche. Some moved into the segment on their own, while others created an online product together with a partner. Some of the players adapted offline scripts to the specifics of holding the event online, some of them created conceptually new options.
Others – due to the specifics of their work or the ideological commitment of an offline organization – froze their activities until better times in the hope of waiting out.
We were initially against the online format. But it so happened that our company always follows the wishes of customers. Therefore, when regular customers began to turn to us with a request to organize a team event in a new format, we drew attention to the online niche.
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Bringing online team building to the market, we did not set the goal of urgently inventing and bringing to the market “something” in order to earn money here and now. The new direction was launched without haste, as high-quality, self-sufficient service for the long term. Four diverse scenarios were thought out in several variations.
Before creating a new product, we analyzed the market so as not to repeat in concepts with colleagues in the market. From the analysis, we concluded that there are three diverse directions: intelligent online games, detective quests, and unusual team-building options, as one of our scenarios, is “Corporate comics”. In this case, the first two programs are aimed at emotional unloading of the team, the third – is working on team interaction.
The future of corporate offline events
Difficulties of businesses on the remote
Our customers are already talking about the violation of cross-interaction in the team . Issues with mutual understanding, effective teamwork, building vertical and horizontal ties will become acute enough after people return to the office. It was then that the classic team-building events with the full-fledged effect of unity, immersion, ownership, and the feeling of the neighboring elbow re-enter the arena.
Demand for offline team building after quarantine will be sufficient. But! At the same time, the popularity of online and hybrid events, which is observed now, will not decrease.
The role of the online niche
During the time of self-isolation, both customers and organizers felt the virtues of online events. Technological progress in the organization has contributed to the expansion of the audience. Customers also felt the difference in budget and speed of preparation.
Online you do not need to pay regional offices flight, accommodation and meals, and you can collect the entire staff for the event with one click. The economic crisis will “cut” client budgets, which will play in favor of the online niche.
Will it be just as effective? This is a question for the quality of the program and the professionalism of the contractors.
After the quarantine has been removed from the event industry market, the hybrid way of organizing events will also gain significant weight. This will be the format in which head office employees meet offline and regional representatives connect to the event online. The hybrid meeting is unquestionably a fresh and modern event model that will grow in popularity in the coming years.
Difficulties in overcoming the crisis
The crisis will change the behavior of the entire market. On the one hand, an increase in the dollar will lead to higher costs for the purchase of materials, that is, the cost of services will increase. Suppliers and contractors are already sending an updated price list with price changes from 20% to 100%.
On the other hand, after a difficult period, companies will significantly reduce budgets for events. Our large customers are already talking about this. After a pause, the eventors will be “hungry” for orders and many will reduce the cost of services as much as possible – the level of dumping will increase.
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Therefore, companies involved in offline events are waiting for the flow of orders, but the vast majority will be low-budget.
You need to be prepared for the fact that the market will be updated. With a high degree of probability, those eventors who have now taken a waiting position without any action will disappear from the field. Perhaps the emergence of newcomers with new ideas, a fresh look, and a willingness to work at reduced rates. You can’t dismiss the “fired” – they are well aware of the specifics of the market and can independently “shoot”.
I suppose that the quality of service delivery will decline. This will manifest itself at different levels. At the organization level – someone will not be able to survive a long period without orders. At the level of contractors, many performers went home to the regions, from where it is difficult to return to the workplaces without capital. In both cases, newcomers who only have to gain experience will come to replace.
When will the offline events return
At the beginning of the crisis, we thought that the sphere would begin to come to life in 2-3 months. Now optimists believe in timid movement in the market only in early September, realists – mentally said goodbye to work until the next calendar year. Already today, our partners turn to us upon request for December of the current year and the first half of the next.
The situation in the native area
The relaxation of quarantine measures in the country is encouraging. In certain regions, subject to safety measures, it is already allowed to walk and play sports in squares, shopping centers, and public catering are gradually opening, and mandatory passes for going out are no longer issued. This means that the regions may soon allow events.
It is expected that in the capital, the holding of mass events will be allowed last and with a great deal of caution, that is, starting with small-format from 50-100 people and observing safety rules.
Pitfalls of lifting restrictions
We must be prepared for the fact that the lifting of the ban on organizing events will not entail a mass exit of people into the light. Numerous polls on social networks show that people after completing self-isolation will prefer to be at home for some time.
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Masks, antiseptics, distance, avoiding congestion – all these actions in recent months have driven into the subconscious at the level of habits. Therefore, time must pass before the psychological block for training and meetings passes.
How to make the most of this time for your business
- Now and always is the best time to remember the future of the company. Sooner or later, the market situation will stabilize. Therefore, it is important that clients do not forget about you at this moment. Maintain your brand by ear: develop corporate sites, step up work on social networks, collaborate with information partners.
- Review the estimates and make changes to reflect the decline in return on regular customers. Develop new programs focused on medium and low profitability of companies. Develop something new that sets you apart from your peers. Consider the possibility of holding regional events with low incomes – in the regions, the event industry will come to life faster.
- Immediately after self-isolation ends, remind your customers of yourself. Offer discounts or bonuses for the service, send sample gifts. As practice shows, 20% of customers will return to you with orders, and 30% will recommend your company.
- Make the right conclusions today – work and form a financial pillow to be ready at any time to meet an emergency situation.
- Modify or invent new directions, programs, scenarios. Pack your services in presentations and talk about them on sites and in social networks. If you are without orders in anticipation of a change in situation – do not stay idle.