Making The Decision to Postpone or Pivot Your Event To Hybrid

Postpone: cause or arrange for something to take place at a time later than first scheduled

Pivot: turn on, or as if on a pivot

Hybrid: of mixed character, composed of different elements

To be or not to be...that is the question...or is it? Unlike Shakespeare’s Hamlet, staging an event during a global pandemic need not be such a black and white question, nor as dramatic.

FCM Meetings & Events has considered all the scenarios surrounding COVID closures and can assist with deciding on whether it is best to postpone or pivot your event to something like a hybrid experience.

50 Shades of Grey

FCM Meetings & Events Senior Producer, Rosie Thompson Jones, said there was currently a “grey area” which needed to be navigated in terms of postponement when it came to current government regulations and whether an event was postponed due to COVID restrictions.

“If, for example, you have an event in two weeks’ time and the government says tomorrow you can go ahead but the client might not wish to because of perceived risk, this may not fall under a COVID cancellation policy,” she said.

“If you are pivoting from a live to hybrid event you can utilise some of that equipment to pivot, whereas a virtual event is a significant shift where you need to add in a whole bunch of other elements  and think about things in a new way.

“There is a sweet spot with postponement as long as you can do it within a certain time frame.”

2021 on blocks

5 Reasons to Consider Postponing

  1.  If one of your key objectives is to drive communications and networking, postponing for a few months until you can bring your people together is advised

  2. If you’ve correctly negotiated contracts before signing, postponement is manageable. This is where the value of a TMC who are specialists in meetings and events comes to the fore as they do the hard work for you.

  3. If the event is about direct sales or the launch of a new product it may be the case that it cannot be staged online to the same degree as an exhitibion, for instance, where you need all the suppliers in one place in order to sample products and place orders

  4. It is difficult to glean a true experience of some events, such as music festivals, when they are held virtually. It’s about the feeling of live music and the hairs standing up on the back of your neck, that is best experienced live and in person.

  5. Consider how you can better leverage social media in a way that is in real-time, searchable, desirable and Instagrammable for your event

Lady on a video call via computer

5 Benefits of Pivoting

  1. You are still communicating with your network of customers and/or employees which is vital to the success of the business

  2. When you pivot to hybrid or virtual your content can live on. Everything is recorded and you can edit and distribute which is particularly valuable when it comes to sponsors and ROI

  3. You can add a more dynamic element to your presentation and embrace the opportunity to think more innovatively about your content

  4. Online analytics enable you to measure your success beyond conducting surveys and counting heads, allowing more data to be able to plan for future events

  5. By stepping outside your comfort zone for the benefit of your industry you will be considered as a thought leader and innovator

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