These days, you may be wondering what the right way is to host your upcoming gathering or celebration, whether you’re a newlywed-to-be, have a birthday in the family, or organizing a charity event, company party or social event. You may be noticing that some people and organizations are hosting events virtually, but that in-person events are still being done, too. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on the decisions there are to be made when planning and executing any and all events in the current climate!
The first considerations we recommend are your estimated/desired guest count, your budget, and the venue or location that you have chosen or are likely to use. If hosting an in-person event means renting out a venue, that may eat up a lot of your event budget. There are unique costs associated with virtual events as well, like those you’ll need to pay to utilize online meeting platforms like Zoom. A virtual event space won’t cost you nearly as much as a physical venue! The decision of whether to book a venue or to host remotely should be paired with considering your guest count. Venues have varying modified capacities, and the larger your guest list, the greater the overall risk that your event may carry.
Also take into account the makeup of your guest list. Does it include quite a few people who are older and may be considered extra vulnerable in terms of the pandemic? Are you inviting more family units or individuals that aren’t coming as a part of a family? If the answer to both of those questions is “yes,” that may be an indicator that an online execution is the way to go.
Hybrid events are something else to consider! Welcoming guests to your home or venue, while also giving family and friends who feel more comfortable attending remotely the opportunity to do so, can be a great compromise. A hybrid event can protect everyone a bit more by either allowing them to stay home or having fewer people present at the in-person gathering!
Some logistics to consider with hybrid events include your remote guests’ access to the online meeting (maybe sending it out on its own digital stationery by email), having a device and person at the event designated to manning the meeting, and having a plan for troubleshooting with guests. This hybrid setup isn’t ideal for all event types, but may be a great plan for weddings, funerals, and similar events. What these events have in common is the purpose of allowing guests to merely witness a ceremony or service that would therefore be easy to capture from a single camera feeding into a Zoom or similar online call.
You can imagine that a remote attendee watching via video chat would be able to experience a wedding ceremony almost as if they were actually there, but that might not remain true moving into the reception. Events that flow similar to weddings receptions with everyone mingling, eating, dancing, etc., don’t necessarily have a central point of action and probably wouldn’t translate well on a video meeting!
Once you decide on a setup, based on logistics and your own level of comfort with being around others, you can move forward with planning your traditional, in-person event, virtual meeting, or hybrid event! Planning an in-person event will be largely consistent with the planning that you might’ve done in the absence of the pandemic, with just a few extra considerations for the sake of your and your guests’ safety. Things like spacing, restrictions that may be in place like mask-wearing, and sanitization will all need to be a part of the conversation! If you decide to go with a virtual gathering, the search for vendors may be a bit different, but still full of possibility and great talent! With online events, we also recommend sending out kits to your remote attendees that include food, fun decor elements, and other relevant items that will round out their experience! You can read more about putting together these kits here.
If you’re still unsure about which way to go with your event, or need support throughout the coordination and execution, we’re here to help! We’re so excited to serve our clients during this time and help you navigate all of the challenges that may be thrown your way. Request a free consultation here!