It’s the middle of September, which means the planning process for your company’s holiday event should be in full swing. Except, it might not be… Thanks, again, COVID-19.
Because of the delta variant and the worrisome number of hospitalizations it’s caused, many organizations are wondering, “should we cancel our winter get-together this year?”
It’s a difficult question to answer. But we’re going to do our best to help you make the right choice for your company. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Do You Need to Cancel Your Holiday Party?
We’ll answer the main question first: should you cancel your holiday party in 2021? We understand why you might consider this option. But in our opinion, the answer is absolutely not! We believe that most organizations should host their winter events.
Why? Because your audience deserves it. Let’s be honest, last year was rough and this year hasn’t been much better. If you have the opportunity to make people smile, you should take it.
Now, just because you don’t cancel your event doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adjust it. A full-scale in-person event might not be the best option for you. Let’s talk more about that…
What Kind of Event Should You Host in 2021?
There are three kinds of events you can host in 2021: in-person, virtual, and hybrid.
In-person events are the ones we’re most familiar with. People show up to a venue, interact with each other in a face-to-face manner, maybe share a meal. These are the kinds of get-togethers that are most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual events are the ones we all got used to in 2020. People use video conferencing technology to meet and engage with each other via the internet.
Finally, we have hybrid events, which combine in-person and virtual elements to create a unique event experience. Hybrid events are the least popular, though they’ve been picking up steam in recent months because they allow guests to choose how they attend.
So, which of these three event types should you host this holiday season? There are two things that you need to consider before making your decision:
Local Regulations: Where do you plan to host your event? And does this area have any laws in place that prohibit in-person gatherings? If so, a virtual shindig is your best bet. Check local regulations before moving forward in the planning process.
Audience Comfort Levels: How does your target audience feel about in-person events? Will they attend an in-person get-together? The best way to learn the answer to this question is to simply ask. Send a survey to your audience to get their opinions.
If your local area allows in-person events, and a sizable portion of your audience feels comfortable being around other people, consider hosting an in-person or hybrid event. If not, plan a killer virtual get-together that your audience will remember for a long time.
The Power of Hybrid Events
Can we take a moment to talk about hybrid events and how awesome they can be? They’re especially awesome in 2021 because they give attendees a choice.
If they want to attend in-person and interact with other humans in a face-to-face manner, they can. If they’d feel more comfortable staying home, but still want to partake in the festivities, that’s an option, too. Hybrid really does offer the best of both worlds.
The key to a successful hybrid event is to ensure the virtual experience is as fulfilling as the in-person one. Don’t just stream your content to virtual attendees. Allow them to participate.