How to manage event bookings in the pandemic era
The pandemic hit restaurants, event organizers, and hotels hard. Compared to before the COVID-19 situation, the restaurants that managed to reopen are now scrambling to find workers and return to normal. However, according to the National Restaurant Association, the industry lost $240 billion in sales in 2020. Moreover, not all businesses managed to pull through, and many had to shut their door permanently.
But, for those who managed to go through the difficult period and are now planning to restart the business, there are new hurdles to overcome. By far, the most difficult part is creating a safe and welcoming atmosphere while making sure everyone continues to respect the rules (social distancing, mask-wearing, hygiene, and so on).
So, in a world that’s still uncertain about large gatherings and events are still a gamble, how can event organizers help make things better and allow both businesses and customers to move forward?
Minimize Physical Contact
It has already been established that the COVID-19 is transmitted through physical contact, from person to person. Therefore, the best way to keep everyone safe is to minimize physical contact for as much as possible.
Luckily, here is where technology can help fill in the gap. For instance, to minimize physical contact between staff, you can use venue management software such as PlanningPod and streamline logistics details digitally. This way, you won’t have to hold in-person organizational meetings and everyone can be kept in the loop with what they have to do.
Smaller Groups Are the New Norm
The time for huge events is gone (at least for now). Nowadays, event organizers and venue administrators must find a way to organize people in smaller groups without making them feel alienated.
For this, you can use space dividers that help maintain social distancing and implement various tech-fueled methods that allow people to attend remotely and enjoy the fun with the ones who are present. This type of hybrid event will be quite popular for the next time period, and it may even become trendy in the future, so the investment venue owners need to make won’t be a waste of time and money when we no longer have to distance from each other.
Be Ready for Last-Minute Changes
In today’s crazy world, it’s easy to see how things can change from one day to another. Moreover, recent data shows that the average booking window for events is around 36 days (down from 59 days, before the pandemic). This means that planners and venues will have less time to prepare and operate new requests coming from already booked events.
Also, it’s important to adopt an agile strategy that allows organizers and planners to update availability and conditions in real-time. If there is a cancellation, the space should be immediately made available for rent for another interested party. Additionally, the same system needs to keep everyone involved in the loop, so changes can be operated swiftly and rapidly. Also, it helps to have a centralized structure that allows marketing and sales departments to work on the same database to avoid any mistakes.
As the world seems to return to the idea of in-person events, things may never return to what we used to know. Therefore, planners and venue owners who want to stay in business and grow must find a way to adapt and accommodate the changes.
For instance, organizing events in secluded and isolated locations that allow guests room to move between outdoors and indoors may one way to adapt to the new normal. Still, as long as we respect the rules and regulations in place for everyone’s safety, the hope is things will slowly seem normal again.