Events are coming back, business, social, they are back, but are they and in what form?

Over the past few weeks we have seen the impact that lockdown has had and have taken part in a series of Drive-In events, where people have enjoyed being back out in the outside world seeing spectacular live performances in a socially distanced box which allows them out of their cars to one side.

But is there a long-term future for them? At the moment, yes, because they are safe and people feel comfortable once they have attended one, indeed one thing I have noticed is the amount of returning public to the different shows, the question is how will this confidence transfer to business and public events without the protection of a car between families, or a good sized box to stick inside knowing the social distancing measures are taking care of?

We are about to attempt to return to the more typical types of events, including conferences, exhibitions and many more, but realistically, would you feel comfortable attending one of these? It is going to depend from show to show, and who is organising it. With a strict social distancing management plan put in place, then venues such as the NEC, ICC, London Excel and even places like the Telford International Centre with good sized concert and exhibition halls allows organisers a better chance of running a successful and safe event, but, where the industry will really struggle to reassure people are the smaller, Hotel and Expo type events, being cramped in a room with business stands back to back, or people side to side, is not attractive and clearly against all the guidelines the UK has in place.

This creates a problem for small businesses as the cost of the bigger events and exhibitions are usually three and four figure sums, whereas the smaller events and expo types are usually the cost of a meal out, and of course, cash flow is at its worst ever for many in the SME market, which means they will edge towards the affordable events rather than look at high investment and rely on a good return, but it is too much of a risk at the moment to think about small Expos. Also visitors simply won’t be attracted to these type of events either, especially as there is a high possibility that very little will be happening around the Expo itself in regards workshops and seminars due to the measures making attendances so low that the extra costs of these rooms simply don’t make it worthwhile.

So, what is the answer, we won’t know until we are back out there, but wherever you decide to visit or exhibit, the one rule we all must adhere to is to still stay safe and pray for the scientists to produce those vaccines ASAP.

In the meantime, we will carry on enjoying the Drive-In events in our local area, on that note, beep beep.

Notes:

Shropshire Drive In series of events are taking place at the West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury, a list of events is available at https://www.shropshiredrivein.co.uk