Mass gatherings and communal events—though off the cards for the forseeable future—have other means of connecting people. Today’s #CovidCreative expert is Laura Karefilakis, Founder & Manging Director of Socigo, an online events directory platform. In this discussion piece for BEJournal, Karefilakis examines some practical ways for the events industry to transition their models online and stay relevant during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has knocked the events industry to its knees with the current outbreak desolating the world as we know it. As businesses continue to cancel events daily the social world continues to change before our eyes. Festivals, weddings, the Melbourne Grand Prix, the Olympics, music tours from international and local artists, the AFL, NRL and many other worldwide broadcasts all cancelled and life as we know it changed possibly forever.
Cancellations and postponed events were inevitable considering safety of the community is paramount right now. It should come as no surprise that it will be the business owners who remould and flex with the current circumstances that will not only survive but ultimately thrive beyond the pandemic. After the shock of having to cancel events subsides one may start to wonder how they can move their event online. I’m here to tell you it is possible with some technical adaptation and an open mind coupled with a willingness to learn to take your event online. From musicians to business seminars many are already adapting and recreating how we socialise for some time to come in the future.
One such artist adopting an ‘events online’ attitude is Erykah Badu (singer and musician). She has announced her “Apocalypse One: Live Interactive Experiment”. Marketed as a quarantine bedroom concert Badu has told fans she’ll be performing live from her bedroom on the weekend with the bargain basement price of $1 to get in. Another icon adopting an online attitude is Chris Martin from Coldplay. He’s been sharing live intimate performances online to keep spirits high in the community. The advantages of moving online via Zoom, Skype and other conference services are clear; it’s cheaper and you can reach a worldwide audience whilst saving an abundance of time. Even choirs have adopted an online attitude banding together to sing from the comfort of their homes using technology to create a performance.
Large corporations have also moved to conduct high level meetings online. While there are some restrictions with large gatherings of people in the virtual world most are finding ways around the social restrictions. Business networking events will take a hit as multiple conversations will prove tricky to be productive; however, smaller groups will be more effective for everyone participating.
With the above in mind, here’s my top tips for keeping the events industry alive during COVID-19:
- Create an eBook for your trade
Turn what you know into a handy education piece. There’s an entire audience just waiting. Mums no longer able to pop to the shop for a designer cake can download a ‘how to’ online. Now is the time to capture their attention on how to make their own yummy creations and to get their kids involved too. Has your party decoration supply chain dried up? Turn that into a ‘how to’ eBook with information on how to make pretty yet simple party decorations. Throw in some handy hints for your audience like suggesting Facetime to attend the party when it’s time to blow out the candles! We’re sure making use of technology will be the latest party trend replacing the large extravagant events we’ve admired over recent years.
- Create tutorial videos
While many creative business owners will drop dramatically from 100s of jobs a week to 0, so will their content and artistic drive. Mentally this will take a toll, therefore, don’t stop creating. Instead, start creating blogs and video tutorials. Get creative with explainer time-lapses, tips and some funky music over the top. Not only will you feel amazing, but it will also benefit SEO for your website.
- Plan a photoshoot
Keep your creative juices flowing and start to plan an insta-breaking photoshoot with the latest trend to drop when the lockdown is lifted.
- Use your time wisely
Catch up on your to do list. Now is the time to do all those items you don’t usually have time for. Rejig your business and marketing plans, make concrete connections in the industry, consume educational sources such as podcasts. Other great ideas include meditating or enrolling in an online course. This is a great time for mind, body and soul.
While times have changed and will continue to reshape, the show must go on by adapting. We’re sure the curtain hasn’t fallen on the events industry just yet. To learn more, tune into the Socigo podcast on Spotify.