Around the globe, Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the daily operations of countless businesses. Though the closing of business doors is perhaps one of the most evident symptoms of the global pandemic on the worldwide economy, it’s also highly visible in the number of business events that have been canceled or postponed by owners across the United States. In a survey performed by PCMA, it’s been found that 87 percent of those consulted in the survey have canceled important business events while 66 percent have postponed them. If you are one of these business owners who have found the need to cancel or postpone, it may be time to invest in event planning services to get ready to host your next fall or winter event to restore business as usual in a safe but efficient manner.
The Value of Face-to-Face Meetings
Many have found digital meetings through applications such as Skype and Zoom to be an effective way of managing the social effects of Covid-19. However, digital conferences simply cannot produce the same results as traditional meeting planning efforts do and do little to foster a bright corporate culture within your business. According to research, there are simply several benefits that come with face-to-face meetings that digital alternatives will not be able to reproduce.
The first of these is the ability to build stronger relationships with clients, between employees and other business representatives. While facilitating contact via a screen is convenient, it’s simply seen as an impersonal solution. Clients are more easily able to create connections with your business and those representing it, leaving them feeling that your company values their time and sees them as important.
Next, face-to-face meetings promote trust within the meeting parties. By meeting in person, you have a better opportunity to properly convey your intentions to clients, reducing the likelihood of misunderstandings or misconceptions occurring. Simple touches such as using a firm handshake or a professional voice inspires trust and confidence from clients while generally boosting your credibility.
Body language is one of the most vital means of communication and may be used to promote a sense of leadership, strength, and friendliness without you ever speaking a word. In fact, it’s been estimated that during an average interaction, people show an average of 150 microexpressions over just a 10 minute period, all indicative of their engagement or level of approval of the subject at hand. However, this effect is utterly lost during digital meetings, cutting out a crucial avenue of communication altogether. In-person meetings allow you to take full advantage of this phenomenon, fostering a better connection with every conversation.
Finally, in-person meetings allow you to create opportunities for hands-on interaction with services or products you might be providing. This is especially vital if your conference is designed to let your clients know about new developments you’re looking to supply them with, or you’re planning to implement new technology within your own business and want to give those who will be using it a chance to try it out on their own. You can, of course, demonstrate the use of products through a video call, but the barrier of impersonality continues to interfere. Not only are your viewers not getting the full effect, but you are likewise unable to get the full story of their body language and facial expression to assess their true feelings regarding the product you’re showing.
Simply put, face-to-face meetings provide a personal touch to any interaction that cannot be replicated with the technology currently offered. While digital meetings certainty help facilitate simple communication, they cannot fully replace in-person corporate events because they remove many of the opportunities for human connection from the equation. This is precisely why, though you may have turned to digital meetings, for now, they should not be your permanent solution to business operations.
Why it’s Time to Schedule Your Conference or Event for Fall/Winter
Though it may feel a bit premature, its best to start planning as soon as possible for a postponed event in the fall or winter of 2020. This is due to several issues, including the availability of venues and relevant services, potential deals, and even higher commission rates for independent planners. In uncertain times, it’s always best to give yourself a bit of extra time to lay your plans so you can be certain things will run smoothly throughout the event.
Of the many events that have been postponed in light of Covid-19, organizers report that 36 percent of them are now expected to take place in the fall of 2020 rather than their usual annual time slot. This is problematic because these additional postponed conferences are then heaped atop events that have already been planned during this same time period, making resources – especially venues – scarce and in high demand for conventions of all types. This same issue extends to other services such as catering as well. Beginning your planning now gives you a better chance of booking the venue, catering team, and other services you want before they’re spoken for by another event.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to keep in mind that fall is a busy time for most people. Between the reopening of sports events, a return to school, and the approaching holidays, many people invited to your event may find their schedules absolutely packed during this stretch of the year. The sooner you plan your event, the sooner you can formally let your guests know the exact time it will occur, allowing them to reserve space in their schedules to attend.
Due to the lack of events during the first several months of the Covid-19 outbreak, many venues have been unable to secure business, meaning a loss in profits. As a result, many of these same venues have now taken it upon themselves to offer financial incentives to draw in business during the fall. Some of the reported offers include:
• Fee-free cancellation and attrition policies
• A percentage off of the bill for rooms
• Complimentary venue/hotel services
This allows you to book your event more confidently, knowing you won’t suddenly be facing the loss of a deposit or payment simply because government guidelines made travel or
gathering impossible during your scheduled event time. Booking early means you get guaranteed access to benefits such as these (if your chosen venue happens to be offering them).
Finally, any organizer stands to benefit from booking in advance at many venues. In order to garner business from independent organizers, many venues have upped their commission percentage from 10 percent to 12 percent. Depending on the size and price of this event, this could heavily increase the amount of profit any organizer sees at the end of a successfully managed event.
In the end, having a bit of extra wiggle room for planning is always superior to planning last minute and hoping for the best, especially when resources are expected to be scarce for events like your own. Start planning now in order to ensure you’re getting everything you need to build your perfect event and make the best impression possible on your guests.
Start Planning Today
While in-person pleasantries and face-to-face meetings may have been postponed for a while, it’s still important to begin planning for the future and the reopening that comes with it. If you’re looking to plan an event at a venue where you can truly make a good impression, consider working with Ellicott Development to find your ideal location. We have access to a huge range of venues across the Buffalo area, ranging from chic to elegant to casual. Contact us for more information on planning your fall or winter 2020 event.