Whether you are organising a micro merry Christmas party, a bijou business meeting or tiny team-building day, here’s my Small Events Lowdown with the latest COVID rules and practical advice for event planners.
Small Events Lowdown
Like me, you must be finding it hard to keep up with the continually changing rules surrounding business events. We all want to know what is ‘allowed’ and how to maintain the safety of our guests and colleagues. Personally, I am in constant conflict and feel like I have an angel and a devil sitting on either shoulder. Hear me out. So, according to the UK government guidelines for areas within COVID Tier Levels 1 and 2 alert levels, business meetings can continue for up to 30. However, I can’t help wondering if we should encourage these gathering unless they are absolutely necessary? We all need to do our bit to help control the virus, right? But likewise, business needs to find a way to continue too. Arghhhh, you can probably hear those pesky angels and devils bickering as I type! Surely I am not alone in my confusion and conflict?
With all this in mind, let me walk you through my finding and the very latest event rules within Local COVID alert level Medium and High (Tier 1 & 2) areas as of 21st October 2020.
- Business meetings and events for up to 30 people can continue
- Work gatherings are exempt from the ‘Rule of 6’
The following exceptions are permitted where people from different households can gather;
- For work – 30 people max
- For training – 30 people max
- For a wedding or equivalent ceremony and wedding receptions – 15 people max
- Wakes and other commemorative events – 15 people max
- Private dinners – 6 people max (in Tier 1 only)
The following rules must be adhered to;
- None of the above can take place in private dwellings
- Venues following COVID-secure guidance
- Social distancing rules are in operation
- Face covering worn in an indoor setting
- Venues to close at 10pm
- Table service for all food and drinks
And so, with all of this in mind, I am here to share some ideas on how to make the most of the current situation. Hey, they may be micro, bijou, tiny or small events, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be special!
Focus, Focus, Focus
Now that you have to work in smaller groups, away-days and training session can really focus on the aims and objectives of the individual part of the business. So whether you decide to host small events in person or present the event virtually, make every minute matter. Sales teams can focus on their financial goals, whereas operational colleagues have the headspace to script new procedures and efficiency targets. Large away days are great for boosting morale and encouraging company-wide buy-in. But how can you get the same spirit-lifting effect when everybody can’t be together? Don’t fret; fortunately, there’s a simple solution so you can still have your company-wide update with a CEO address as you would in ‘normal’ times. Either a pre-recorded presentation or live feed to all events to ensure all delegates have the same intro. Go that extra mile and welcome all delegates with a gift from the leadership team if they can’t be there to greet them personally. You could even hand out bespoke safety packs with a branded face mask and hand sanitiser, and maybe some sweet treats to keep them going! If you decide to keep everyone at home, you can deliver these safely to their doors!
You can make your annual budget go a lot further by keeping the live event to a minimum and get all other delegates involved virtually by hosting a hybrid event. Hybrid events existed before the pandemic and will no doubt continue once it’s over. Not only are they economical but also save time for delegates and organisers by limiting travel, overnight expenses and out of office time; which in turn also limits the number of people having to leave home during the pandemic when it’s not necessary. As mentioned earlier, if you are holding a business meeting, you can legally only have up to 30 people so make the most of the small head-count and see the benefits of saving on the total cost. For virtual participants, to help make them feel more involved, use your budget savings to send them personalised hampers, gifts or delegate packs so they can experience the same hospitality as those physically at the event. Eventify have some great ideas and can organise every last detail for you, so get in touch!
Did somebody say discount?
Maybe you’ve dreamed of holding your next event at that jaw-dropping venue? Or that super cool hotel you’ve ached to book for an away-day? Well, now’s the time to make it a reality. Use venues safely, having just a presenter and minimal staff, presenting virtually to hundreds of potential clients or internal teams. Not only will costs be lower because you can physically only have 30 guests so less catering, less staff etc. But wait, there’s more, now is a great time to negotiate lower rates. Venues across the UK and globally need business in the current climate, so get your best bartering hat on and snap up a deal at that dream venue! Even better; use a free venue finder and get them to do the negotiating for you.
If you still need to get the whole company together for that special occasion, worry not – it’s still possible, just in a slightly different way! You can do it virtually, and no, you don’t have to use Zoom! There are hundreds of virtual team building and events options to get colleagues together for a drink, chat or to treat them to a memorable experience. For example, instead of the usual Christmas party, why not organise a Christmas cake bake-along? Eventify has a range of ideas, just let them know a bit more about your company and what your staff enjoy and they will send you a proposal of ideas and suggestion tailored to you. If you’re still not sold and want to host a live event for a larger number of staff or clients, a drive-in cinema-style event is perfect! You can get guests to one location safely, by ensuring they all stay in their own cars; however, they all enjoy the same entertainment. If movies aren’t for you, why not try a drive-in comedy show?
I hope that’s put your mind at ease that smaller events don’t have to mean smaller results or memories, and that there are still ways to host events in the current climate. Please note that the government guidelines surrounding business events during COVID-19 are continually changing, so please keep up to date with the latest government restrictions via gov.uk.
For many more examples and ideas, contact the friendly team at Eventify who have been busy putting together a wide range of virtual, hybrid and live events throughout 2020!