remedy to reduce corona risks?
As European and North American health authorities are trying to contain isolated outbreaks of the corona virus, event organizers re-assess the consequences for their events the next few weeks. Can we continue preparations, should we cancel or are there alternatives?
Large events with international participants are under a dark cloud at the moment. At DDG Europe we are seeing that as new cases of corona infections are being reported every day, organizers of small and medium size events also start to question what is the best course of action. Most trade shows and meetings add hygienic measures and share suggestions to promote personal care. As long as governments and national health authorities have not advised organisers to postpone large events, most are continuing with their preparations.
For event professionals, these uncertain days present a real challenge. Are we quietly hoping that this virus blows over quickly? What is our motto: better safe than sorry? or the show must go on? At DDG we are observing that large multinationals are stepping up efforts to experiment with video-conferencing and other online meeting technologies. For some it is time to activate Plan B now!
We have seen more occasions when event plans had to be altered, in the past few years. When a volcano erupted in Iceland ten years ago, flights had to be re-arranged all over Western Europe. More recently terror threats affected the risk analyses of larger events worldwide. Another factor that is influencing large international events is their carbon footprint. Do we need to use so many air-miles if streaming events is an option?
The fashion industry knows that a choice of fashion shows in Paris, Milan, London and New York can be seen at Fashion Week Online. Many runway shows are hybrid events nowadays. There is still an audience of invited guests and press, celebrities in the first row. But there are also a few cameras that broadcast the show on the internet. That gives fashionados an option: travel or follow the events online.
As online audiences grow, the nature of events develops. Andre Rieu reaches out to fans all-over the world with his Maastricht waltz-casts. Another example are the Burberry runway shows, a complete cross-media experience. Music, light, mirrors and camera angles all contribute to the dynamics.
Can we imagine that product launches, annual partner events, user group meetings and conferences will get an online dimension? That the event itself might have a small live audience, but large online followings? Why shouldn’t we apply the ideas of content amplification to the development of amplified events?
Event amplification might have budget consequences: less spending on the reception of a large audience, more investment in online experience. But the focus remains on story telling. Look at TED Talks and ask yourself: how would my team develop a similar format for our own company?
Another option is distributed events where several country teams organize connected meetings in their own regions, with central direction for a part of the program. This requires proper preparation and good coordination, but it is a totally new perspective on gatherings. And it’s more carbon friendly! It could be an option if corona is still around in May: a Virtual Eurovision Song Contest!
For plan B, contact DDG!
What do you need to add video streaming to the mix? A few good ideas. A format. A venue. Personalities. And the right technology! We at DDG Europe can’t wait to assist. It is our job, we have the experience and we are connected to all the right suppliers. We prefer plan A, but if need be we can help you realize plan B!