With the surprising rise of the Delta variant of recent time , the event industry faces all-too-familiar struggles over whether live events should be canceled, switched virtually, or whether other precautions should be taken, such as moving outside or requiring vaccinations and/or rapid testing. To get a live perspective, we asked the event producers in Bizbash’s Facebook and LinkedIn groups what they see in their respective cities. Here’s a selection of what they had to say.
Amanda Ma, founder and Chief Experience Officer, Innovation Marketing Group, Pasadena, California.
“It all depends on the event. Events planned for the interior are either moved outward or become virtual. Events planned outside remained outside. Our team stays up-to-date and transmits security requirements to customers to integrate them with on-site check-in and signage, and works with our partners and event providers to ensure the required diligence and security as a top priority.”
Laurea de Ocampo, Executive producer, Masaya, New York
“I advise all organizations that want to host live events to have a purely virtual backup plan to move on at the appropriate time. All personal events should have a Virtual Plan created alongside the personal event, and each should be focused on what a move to virtual means for The Organization—impact on finances, partners, sponsors, employees and suppliers.”
Jessica Mills, Event manager, Cassia, Santa Monica, California.
“I do events for a restaurant. Our outdoor space has definitely become a place where all parties want to be. I have some great corporate events there, while some are still satisfied with our private dining room, simply because they feel confident that only they and our vaccinated employees will be in touch with them. I’ve had some cancellations as well as the dramatic number of guests, which has resulted in a change in status from a large group to a regular booking, but I don’t see a drop as dramatic as expected. We will see what happens if we move forward.”
Lisa Marks, Owner, Brand Alive Inc., Calgary
“I haven’t seen any cancellations from my clients-a lot of projects are booking for after autumn and 2022. ”
Jordan Kaye, Owner, Analog Events & Marketing, Los Angeles
“Many health and safety departments of our pleasure customers have canceled all personal events in the near future. In the past two weeks, several events have been canceled and there have been many discussions for future events. It feels like taking one step forward and two steps back with recent time and the events. It’s a yo-yo effect for our industry-but as event professionals, we know how it works in any situation.”
Elaine Davidson, founder of Elite Casino Events LLC, Dallas
“We are moving forward as planned. … We have learned to adapt. While we have hybrid options available, people want to meet. They want to come together. We are social beings, and without this connection, people feel lost, productivity suffers and there is a fallback. While we understand the gravity of the situation, we also know how to overcome it. We took the opportunity to promote well-being, beyond vaccines. Vaccinations, healthy eating, good disinfection-all these things work consistently. Events will happen. As a professional, I pray that you do it with experienced professionals who take into account the risks and reduce them for customers and their guests. We’ll leave our hybrid and virtual options on the table for business management groups that need them.”
Jenna Nelson, associate director of event logistics, Road consultant, Nashville
“At this point, mainly due to the fact that our Organization is on the front line, we do not cancel any live events or move to virtual. We follow all local, state, federal or local guidelines and encourage our participants to follow all CDC guidelines, but we do not ask for health questionnaires or proof of vaccination.”
Amaury Arroyo, owner and founder, PK Productions, Plantation, Fla.
“Some of the events we have in the books ask to broadcast them live, so we work with them. But we need to see how this unfolds. For concerts and events in the city, ask us to create 10 by 10 seats.”
Isaac Rothwell, national director of business development, Digerati Productions, Chicago
“I had a big conference in early September, which was turned into virtual, after more than 40 moderators were no longer present in person.”
Allison Gaddis, Owner, Live, Laugh, Love Marriages, Knoxville, Tenn.
“I am a wedding planner, and the Delta Variant strongly influences some of my clients. I have clients who had planned to marry their families in the United States, and they can’t cross borders now. Once my family has been directly suspended and I have been quarantined, I conduct more virtual consultations and limit participants to specific meetings. My staff continues to mask at all events, and creating safe seats for guests and their guests.”