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3 tips to navigating COVID era event planning

Credit: Unsplash / Kelly Sikkema

The clock struck midnight on December 31st and didn’t take COVID-19 with it. 2021 is here and we are still grappling with a global pandemic.

Widespread distribution of vaccines is taking place across the country. Some experts believe it won’t be until fall 2021, at the earliest, that we will see events return with any level of normalcy.

As challenging a year as 2020 was, it taught us all a lesson on how to pivot in our respective industries. We’ve had to adjust to fluid circumstances in order to find a way to make things work and, for many, a way to keep working. Here are three big takeaways for COVID-era events as we find ourselves still navigating an uncertain landscape for the foreseeable future:

Have a contingency plan

We miss packed concerts, movie theatres, arenas and even the casual high-five. But, this is life for the time being.

After spending months in quarantine, many of us crave human contact (other than someone standing too close to us in line at the grocery store). But, in many cases, virtual events are currently the best or only option. If done right, these events can have considerable impact and even provide some of that human contact without the added risk.

As we plan for 2021, it is critical to not put all your eggs in one basket. It is one thing to be hopeful about a return to “normal” in the future. It is another to be realistic of the situation we find ourselves in during a global pandemic. Things can change in a matter of minutes.

If an in-person event is in the hopper, hope for the best but plan for the worst. We advise keeping a back-up virtual or socially distanced option in place for any events. A bit of back-up planning up front may save you oodles of stress down the line.

Embrace virtual

Based in “the entertainment capital of the world,” we’ve witnessed the direct impact restrictions have had on industries across the board.

The in-person experience can be tough to replicate. But, 2020 nudged many in a creative direction to simulate that experience virtually. That creativity culminated into memorable virtual concerts, conventions, sporting events and everything in-between.

Every virtual event planned can be a success when one considers the adjustments that needed to be made to even make the simplest of events happen. It’s not in-person or bust anymore. As everyone continues to test virtual boundaries, more noteworthy events are sure to follow. Will yours be one of them?

Stay up-to-date on in-person regulations

All jurisdictions are not united when it comes to in-person event regulations. With guidance from the CDC, state officials, local officials and everyone in between, it can be truly confusing as to what is required to host an in-person event these days. It’s essential to stay current on what your area’s guidelines are regarding large group gatherings.

We are living in a time where a clear-cut press conference one day can require a whole new set of guidelines to follow the next.

If you reside in a state where people are allowed in attendance, make sure that all requirements are met. These can include signage, hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations, mask mandates and social distancing.

Missing out on a key COVID-era element, requirement or permit can lead to a major headache for your company. And, no one needs that extra stress these days.

Does your business need guidance navigating events during these uncertain times? Contact The Firm Public Relations & Marketing today at or 702.739.9933.

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We have been working with The Firm for many years and they have certainly become part of our team. They provide more than just media relations and social media management – strategy is a key component of their work for us.

Cheryl Gowan, MA, APRVice President of MarketingThe LandWell Company, developer of Cadence