Chamber Chat with Vicky Lofthouse
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF EVENTS?
Before the outbreak of COVID 19, the Chamber ran many face to face events throughout the year across North Lancashire, providing opportunities for business people to meet like-minded professionals, grow their network and acquire new skills.
This included business Lunches, networking events, conferences, and socials as well as a variety of training courses catered to local business needs.
COVID 19 and subsequent government restrictions have meant the chamber’s traditional face to face events have been put on hold, but we are aiming to bring as many online opportunities to meet up as possible, as well as COVID Safe training in small groups, face to face.
All meeting and event planners and stakeholders of the meetings and events industry are still witnessing the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But little by little, we see the light at the end of the tunnel: as our country continues to ease lockdown, the first few business meetings and events are being tested by the government with the hope face to face business events will be allowed in a new form from October 1st.
Post lockdown business meetings, events, conferences and exhibitions will look quite different, as events organisers like the Chamber and venues try to make them as COVID secure as possible.
Since mass gatherings are one of the proven vehicles of spreading any disease, many people will be sceptical about attending conferences soon. While the virus recovery timeline is still not promising, the events industry cannot remain frozen. Therefore, smaller events with a manageable audience are the immediate future of the industry.
Even when physical events are back in full swing, we expect the surge in the popularity of online events to continue.
Hosting events will be challenging. For most organisers, the risk component is unbearable and virtual, solutions will be part of the new normal. However, with the right measures and involvement of health and safety experts, and guidelines in place, the Chamber along with others will be able to organise, host or attend live events.
Please be assured that as soon as restrictions allow, the Chambers much-loved events will be back.