With the fantastic news that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is to be rolled out from the 4th January, it must surely also signify a shot in the arm for the events industry. Matt Hancock advised today that after 14 days from having the first vaccine people will not display severe symptoms even if they do catch coronavirus. This must make us all feel a lot safer and more optimistic. Twelve weeks on, after the second dose has been administered, we will have long-term protection from the virus.
So, does that mean that we can start planning events in 2021 with a certain degree of confidence?
We could find ourselves in a situation by the summer where COVID-19 is a thing of the past and doesn’t have much of an influence, or we may still be faced with social distancing of some sort.
If the latter applies, then large venues will have to be used for smaller events to allow for social distancing and new room layouts will be used to optimise space. Smaller venues will be perfect for hybrid events, with just a few people having face to face sessions and the rest accessing via digital platforms.
However, if we look on the bright side, we can start to plan ‘normal’ events again. Over the past 10 months, venues have worked very hard at ensuring that they can offer a safe environment for events. Flexible contracts and sensible cancellation policies make sure that even if you have booked a venue and signed a contract, if government restrictions are re-introduced, then the event can be cancelled and re-booked at a later date.
Based on this, if your company does usually hold an event or a series of events each year, it would be sensible to start planning it from early January. Enlist the help of an experienced and trusted venue finder who will be able to help. Find the perfect venue and get the date on hold. That way, if things improve the way that we expect them to, you can be safe in the knowledge that your event can go ahead at your preferred venue.