A recent article in Forbes recognizes the importance of the meetings industry, confirming that, “events make history by bringing history makers together, and play a crucial role in the lives of businesses, communities, and families.” Although this story is aimed at existing freelancers in the events field, layoffs and furloughs have meant many formerly full-time meeting professionals are now joining the gig economy, at least until things improve.
Mentioned in the story are online job-finding platforms The Event Work and Event Pro Finder, and in addition to these, Meetingsjobs has been around for a long time and Soundings Connect is a matchmaker for experienced event professionals and jobs, as well as keeping lists of prequalified local suppliers that planners can access.
The emphasis of the story is on freelancers, but the advice from Congrex, Convene, and SocialTables is equally applicable for anyone with planning responsibilities today. Below are some of the main recommendations with links to help you prepare for the new normal.
Virtual participation. It’s not just about putting a face-to-face meeting online. Compelling digital content is a whole new skill set. These MeetingsNet guides will start you in the right direction.
Fundamentals First: The ABCs of Virtual Meetings
Virtual Meetings from the Exhibitors’ View
Webinar: Best Practices to Accelerate Your Pivot to Virtual Events
Social distancing. Seating, entrances, and exits we will need to be redesigned to optimize safety. The new guide from the Events Industry Council can help.
Sanitation. Yes, there will be hand-washing stations everywhere, but venues are also falling over themselves to be certified clean. Before booking, ask what steps your venue has taken to protect your attendees.
Competitive Cleanliness? Meeting Venues Race for Credentials
Diversity Now! Hybrid and virtual events can attract a larger number of people who would normally find it difficult to attend in person, and the same is true for panelists and speakers. Now is the time to hire diverse specialists to reflect the makeup of your attendees.
The Welcome Guide: Tools and Ideas for Inclusive Meetings
Stay green. We might be throwing away masks and gloves and ditching our reusable coffee mugs, but don’t be discouraged, you can still maintain your sustainability efforts.
Four Sustainability Lessons from the Pandemic