Getting Back to Live
Safety is Top of Mind for Event & Tradeshow Attendees
The long-awaited return of physical events and tradeshows is beginning, albeit slowly. Virtual and hybrid events continue to dominate the events landscape but meeting and event planners are beginning to plan for in-person conferences and shows beginning in Q4 and into 2022. Health and safety will continue to be top of mind for many as 2021 winds down and the 2022 events season picks up, so now’s the time for integrated marketers to look at ways to effectively reach out to customers to entice them back to live events—and engage with them once the event is on.
Below are four ways to emphasize safety to attendees to bolster their confidence for attending an in-person tradeshow or conference.
Masks Are a Must
According to the 2021 Global Business Travel Association Report, 83% of companies surveyed said attendees should be required to wear masks. Likewise, 68% of professionals surveyed for the 2021 American Express Meeting Events Forecast said they will consider returning to a live event if they are confident in the health and safety protocols in place. Event marketers are suggesting a mask requirement to help attendees feel comfortable. Masks are also a great branding opportunity for an event sponsor to get their brand front and center throughout the day. Corporate apparel providers can easily create custom-branded masks with your logo or that of an event underwriter.
Hand sanitizer stations should be prevalent on the floor at any live event. Small bottles can be placed on tables, in room drops, and in breakout stations, of course, but consider large-scale designated stations with dedicated signage for promoting your own or a sponsor’s brand. Signs can feature logos, event-related branding, and any other key messaging.
Don’t Stand So Close to Me
Social distancing doesn’t have to be difficult when you have carefully planned your spaces for meals, breakout sessions, keynotes, etc. Carefully consider the area between attendees, the floor plan, and how to help attendees maintain a six-foot “bubble” when groups are gathered in common spaces. This is a great opportunity for table tent reminders, floor stickers (especially in registration!), reserved notices for seating in between attendees, and other social distancing signage.
Putting all your safety protocols in place is only the first step; now you need to let attendees know so that they can feel confident enough to join your event. Your communications are comprised of pre-event marketing, on-site, and post-event. Be straightforward, honest, and authentic in all attendee-facing messaging. Consider attendee needs and how to fulfill them, then share your system. Your communication plan should encompass messaging across:
- Event website
- Public Relations (PR)
- Social media
- Pre- and post-show emails and/or direct mailers
- Leverage your (well-maintained) email or mailing lists
- Social distancing and safety posters, decals, stickers, and other reminders
The event industry is eager to bring back live events, but careful planning is first required.
Are you an event marketer, planner, or integrated marketer charged with reinvigorating your organization’s tradeshow or events program? Contact us for assistance with your event marketing needs. From branded masks to signage, floor decals, communications, or PR assistance, our team will help you get your team ready to re-enter the world of live events.