Welcome to another edition of Aventri's Connect Weekly column, where we share the top five news stories from the week that today's meeting and events planners should know. We aim to cover everything from the worlds of events, technology, business, marketing, social media, travel, hospitality and beyond. Check out the top stories from the week of March 23, 2020.
Meetings Venues Convert to Field Hospitals for the Sick
Before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the almost 20 million residents of New York State were serviced by 53,000 hospital beds. This week, governor Andrew Cuomo announced that at least 140,000 more beds will be needed to care for the large numbers of coronavirus patients expected in the next few weeks. The Army Corps of Engineers is working with its extensive network of vendors to execute a plan to convert hotel rooms and other venues into field hospitals. Hotel rooms, with their private bathrooms for contained hygiene measures and air conditioning which can be used to protect health workers from contamination by continuously sucking air out of each room, turn out to be almost ideal for treating COVID-19 patients in controlled circumstances, and many hotels are completely empty at the moment. Read more.
What the Olympics Postponement Means for the Events Industry
The fate of the 2020 Summer Olympics, set to take place in Tokyo starting on July 24th, has been a topic of discussion for the past several weeks as the coronavirus has continued to spread throughout the world. Yesterday, the IOC and Japan's Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo, officially announced that the Games would be postponed until 2021.In their statement, they claimed that the Games have been postponed "to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community," referencing WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's remarks at the latest press briefing that "the pandemic is accelerating." This comes after numerous calls to postpone the games from countries increasingly concerned over public health and athletes' inability to properly train due to social-distancing restrictions around the globe. Despite the official messaging, the decision clearly wasn't made out of an overwhelming concern for the safety and wellbeing of all those involved, given how long it took for organizers to finally announce the postponement. Read more.
Email Marketing Do’s and Don’ts During COVID-19
Have you been flooded with emails from what feels like every place you’ve ever bought a cookie? To be sure, some of the correspondence is welcome and quite helpful. It’s your favorite Italian restaurant letting you know they remain open for takeout and delivery or the travel company sending you information on how to easily cancel your upcoming trip to Spain. If your product or services are affected by COVID-19, then your customers would probably appreciate an email update, according to Campaign Monitor. The somewhat less helpful is what Fast Company called the “Brand Friend”—“This is where brands who have built a direct line of communication with customers feel obligated to at least acknowledge the situation, even if it’s just to say hi with a ‘We’re all in this together’ drum-circle vibe.” Read more.
Recommended Resources: Don't cancel your event, go virtual with Aventri! Learn more in our press release.
Why Face-to-Face Events Will be More Powerful Than Ever in a Post-Coronavirus World
It’s hard not to wonder what a post-COVID-19 world looks like for event agencies, producers, designers, and suppliers—but one overwhelming prediction is that experiential marketing will become highly digital. Who could disagree? As we had advanced live experiences with AR, VR, and streaming, these tech-focused tie-ins that were always viewed as “optional” will soon be considered a requirement in the planning process. This new need is something that we should all get on board with quickly. That said, many are dismissing physical experiential events as a thing of the past as clients and brands move entirely to a digital or streaming approach. I keep hearing about a slow recovery, and for things to permanently become “high-tech” rather than “high-touch.” In my opinion, this could not be further from the reality that is ahead. Read more.
7 Advantages of Hosting Virtual Events
As Aventri’s CEO Jim Sharpe says, “we know nothing beats the value of face-to-face meetings,” however, what happens when in-person meetings and events are restricted because of events like the coronavirus? Should meeting and event professionals just cancel their events altogether? The answer for many will be no, thanks to technology, like virtual event platforms. In this guide, we will discuss some of the benefits of switching your in-person event to a virtual one. But first, what is a virtual event? Virtual events, in its simplest definition, are events held online. Virtual events use web-based platforms to connect dozens to thousands of attendees from across the globe and often include interactive engagement features such as polling, Q&A, chat boxes, etc. Some of the top virtual event providers include Digitell, Evia, Intrado, ON24, Zoom, GoToMeeting and more. Read more.