The past year has been the toughest, strangest year on record for many organizations, including yours! You may be wondering when, or if, things will ever get back to normal.
The good news is that corporate events are slowly taking place. However, like everything else in our pandemic era, they’re bound to change. Here’s what you can expect and how to plan a safe, successful event for your staff and guests.
What to Know About Post-COVID Corporate Events
If nothing else, this past year has demonstrated the efficacy – for better or worse – of Zoom meetings. Going forward, employers and employees will likely expect to keep that virtual capability, even as they head back to the office or begin attending trade shows and conferences again. Events will likely be hybrid: both in-person and online. So, if you’re hosting an event, expect to include a presentation and communication ability, such as chat, in virtual format as well as live and in-person.
Cleanliness and Safety
Cleanliness will remain a top priority for event planners. Even as restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated, they’ll still expect a safe, sanitized event with precautions taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus. In short, the days of passing a microphone around are over.
This sense of cleanliness and safety goes for catering as well. Guests may not feel comfortable with buffets or shared appetizer trays for awhile, so planners will have to consider menus and serving options carefully.
Events that Matter
As much as we’re all eagerly awaiting future get-togethers, we’re all a little more cautious these days. So, a planned corporate event needs to offer a LOT. The content and company you offer has to be enticing and valuable. That may mean offering a little bit more than you have in the past to both show your appreciation for your team members and offer guests an event that will be meaningful and memorable.
How to Plan a Safe, Successful Event
At Catering St. Louis Events, we understand how important corporate gatherings can be. Here are a few tips for making your first post-COVID event a success:
1. Make Sure You Have Plenty of Space
By considering the amount of space in a venue, including outdoor areas, as well as the number of people you’re inviting, you can make sure your guests will feel comfortable. Consider a venue that cares about its outdoor space as much as its indoor space. We offer several venues, such as Oliva on the Hill and City Cottage on Chouteau, that boast a charming patio area that your attendees will absolutely love.
2. Consider Alternative Seating and Dinner Options
Buffet dinners are out in the COVID era. But several event venues, including ours, practice safe dinner services, so you can still wow your guests with a curated menu. Our planners can arrange seating so that guests are spaced apart and comfortable.
3. Include Everyone, Even Virtually
Whether you’re training your staff or celebrating a milestone, everyone wants to be included. So, make sure that you’re adjusting your activities so they can be enjoyed virtually as well as in person. Sure, not everything translates to a Zoom screen, but some games and training exercises can be hybrid.