After 12+ long months, places are reopening and things are starting to go back to normal here in New York City. We are eager to get back to large, in-person events without masks or the scent of hand sanitizer lingering in the air. However, it’s important to take a look at how the pandemic has changed the event planning space.
Take a look at our observations surrounding the COVID pandemic and whether these changes will continue to impact events in the long term.
Virtual and Outdoor Events
When the pandemic started last March the weather was starting to warm and no one yet knew how crazy things would become. Outdoor events became more and more popular. These events are likely here to stay – because they were here before the pandemic started. They usually offer a bigger venue space and create a more laid-back attitude.
As the weather turned cold, virtual events moved into the spotlight. They allowed for guest lists to expand, making events more inclusive to everyone, regardless of geographical limitations. The versatility of virtual events is likely why we will continue to see them. Hybrid events will also be likely here to stay for the next few years.
Masks and Hand Sanitizer
While masks may no longer be required by the CDC for those who are double vaccinated, masks will likely remain common. Some people have said that wearing a mask makes them feel more secure, because of this, it might not be as uncommon as we think to see people going maskless.
Hand sanitizer has always kicked around, but we predict it becoming more commonplace at events in the future. Hand sanitizer pumps could be easily incorporated into the decor. Adding hand sanitizer to the venue (in locations other than the bathroom) will become a nice touch to make guests feel clean and secure.
While the time of 6 feet apart seating will likely be passed over quickly, spread apart seating may become more common. Especially in settings where tables are close together. Giving the extra space between tables generally allows for more free movement for both guests and carters.
Getting tested for COVID-19 has become more and more commonplace. It’s a simple, relatively painless test. While the tests are an excellent way to ensure guests are safe, it is likely that we will be waving goodbye to them. As more and more people are vaccinated, they just won’t be necessary. However, the event industry will be more prepared to handle testing in conjunction to attendees.
We are definitely excited to see the pandemic move into the rearview mirror. However, not everything the pandemic brought was negative. Perhaps some of these changes are here to stay, at least for a little while.
What do you predict for events in the coming months?