Is anyone else sick of the word pivot?
For obvious reasons, professionals in the events industry are being bombarded daily by speculation about the “new normal” and an increased emphasis on developing long term plans to incorporate virtual components. But are we spending valuable resources to implement long term solutions to a short term problem? There is a time and place for online meetings and virtual events but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking this is normal. This is temporary. Sure, it will be some time before this whole mess in the rearview but the world saw a number of positive signs of recovery this week and that is awesome!
Earlier this week, the Italian government announced the return of outdoor shows of up to 1000 people and indoor concerts of 200 people in mid-June. Distancing requirements, concentrated efforts to restrict unnecessary movement (translation: assigned seats...emphasis on the seats part) and other means to limit contact between attendees and staff will be enacted. Estonia will be right on Italy’s heels beginning the first of July with similar limitations and venues restricted to operating at 50% capacity. And parts of Spain are on the verge of entering the second phase of the removal of lockdown restrictions with increased capacity levels.
Meanwhile, across the pond in the US, the first concert took place in Arkansas. Attendance was limited to a mere 20% of the venue’s capacity to accommodate distancing requirements and came complete with temperature checks, “fan pods” and the fashion statement nobody wants to embrace...face masks. It may have been the most low key rock & roll show in history but it was a rock & roll show nonetheless.
Sporting events are on the rebound in much of the world, minus the fans of course. For the football starved community, the Bundesliga kicked off last weekend and the Premier League players have returned to the pitch with the debut expected in June. For the racing aficionados, NASCAR returned to the track on Sunday. And for those that prefer a bit slower pace, the MLB is in negotiations to play a reduced season this year beginning in July.
The road to recovery won’t be an easy one and there are sure to be some bumps and bruises along the way with a resurgence high on the list of possibilities. There’s no question that as the world starts to reopen the uncertainty for many event organizers is only going to get worse. The added pressure to operate safely amidst the threat of a still wildly unpredictable virus and increased scrutiny on processes and procedures make for an extremely difficult challenge. Meet it head on with the help of Eve.