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  • Katie Geraghty

The Great Repivot

Event organisers have spent the last 2 years figuring out the elusive space that is now known as the ‘virtual event world’, and with the ever-changing easing of restrictions, the industry could be looking at a pretty jam-packed 2022 with the return of in-person events.

Here are some of Pluto’s top tips to get back into the swing of live events – but first let us start by saying, take a deep breath, we are all in this together!

Finding the best fit

It is important to understand why the client wants to hold an in-person event. Besides wanting human connection again, there are always insights into the reasons to take an in-person approach.

Even though in-person is now back, sometimes a virtual route will still work best for a project, regardless of restrictions. Maybe it’s not an event at all – maybe the answer is a digital campaign or in-store experiential piece. Remind your client that there are so many avenues to delivering their request, and don’t rush into doing an in-person event just because we’ve been missing them since the pandemic began.

Build a brief out, and consider the below:

- What are the deciding factors in choosing an in-person event?

- If it must be in-person, can the numbers be tailored specifically to attendees that

absolutely need to be there?

Expect the unexpected, and then some

Have a Plan B, and then a plan C, D, E and F…

COVID has added another layer of unexpectedness, and it is important to keep that in mind throughout the planning stages.

Consider the below:

- Always be prepared to go virtual, you never know when you might need to switch.

- Expect drop off, and consider this in your larger plan for catering, beverage spend and venue.

- Ensure the venue selected has an alternative outdoor space that could be used.

Think sustainability

We have this amazing opportunity to spring back into in-person events armed with the tools and information to do the right thing for our planet.

COVID has allowed us to relook at how we do things, and that includes running events. So, when planning an event, work closely with your client to see how a more sustainable approach could be implemented. This can be done through elements such as print,

gifting, entertainment and venue.

Community Resources Network Ireland and Rediscovery Centre are great resources for Irish agencies looking for support in becoming more sustainable.

The Event Planner you were pre-2020

For a lot of us, COVID significantly changed our planning style – instead of being in-person and running a gig totally in control (well at least we thought we were), we were forced to sit in our homes crossing our fingers while the event happened, hoping that everything would work out.

We lost a feeling of control over our work a little bit, and I think now (more than ever) it’s important to remind yourself that you can regain that power and control in your experiential projects.

To sum up: we successfully pivoted once, and we have no doubt we can do it again.

Best of luck out there!

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