From corporate meetings to intimate weddings, 2021 will see events that still take the same social distancing precautions as 2020. With new, highly contagious strains of coronavirus appearing, and travel-related surges in cases persisting, event planning must focus on safety while offering an experience both families and organizations crave. Trends in event planning for 2021 focus on technology and limiting capacity.
Virtual and Hybrid Events Are Here for the Foreseeable Future
Even when vaccinations have been widely administered, many people won’t feel comfortable with large gatherings. Many won’t want to leave home to attend a corporate or even family event.
This means event planners must continue to find creative ways to offer virtual and hybrid events. Some attendees will be 100% online, while others may meet at venues with limited capacity, social distancing, and precautions including masks, plexiglass screens, and individually wrapped meals.
Hand Sanitizer, Six-Foot Spacers, and Health Screenings
Entering a building in 2021 is likely to require a temperature check. Expect to see touch-free thermometers at entrances. Those willing to attend an indoor meeting will expect a plentiful supply of hand sanitizer and a strictly enforced mask requirement.
Those six-foot spacing stickers on the floor will encourage people waiting in lines to distance themselves from one another. Tables and chairs must be spaced at least six feet apart, reducing room capacity and altering room layouts. Shared microphones are a thing of the past; frequent cleaning and sanitizing must be visibly apparent to guests, and bathrooms must be sanitized after every use.
Four Season Outdoor Events
Tented outdoor events became the norm in 2020. Beyond that, tents for outdoor dining have popped up in cities around the world. Event planners will continue to make use of outdoor venues, with adaptations like heaters and ventilation designed to keep guests warm while also allowing maximum air circulation.
Even outdoor events must be organized for social distancing. Intimate weddings and corporate events will continue to emphasize small guest lists and livestreams rather than large, in-person gatherings.
Zoom-weary families and professional colleagues need more than a grid of faces to enjoy a virtual event. Livestreaming music and entertainment, virtual reality technology, and 360-degree videos will add depth and immersion to online events.
For in-person events, guests can utilize Bluetooth-enabled wristbands that give a warning when two wristbands come within six feet of each other.
Trends in event planning will creatively keep remote participants engaged and in-person attendees socially distanced, masked, and safe before entering any event.