The Return of Corporate Events in a Post-Covid Era

Paras Lohani, Founder & CEO, B2B Sales Arrow LLC

Paras Lohani, Founder & CEO, B2B Sales Arrow LLC

As the mass vaccination drive eased the travel restrictions, the hotel industry, including hotel chains, resorts, banquets and restaurants is planning on kickstarting a post- pandemic recovery campaign. Moreover, corporate organizations and audiences are looking for a return of in-person events unveiling  the magic of face-to-face relations building B2B relationships sharing a sense of purpose. However, Covid protocols restrict hotel venues from carrying out entire capacity operations.

With the hotels pursuing in full strength preparations to host events, we analysed how the return of corporate industry affects the hotel industry in the post-covid recovery phase.

Adjusting to the changing customer demands: Last 2 years have, virtual events have become an integral to organizations’ event strategy. Even in the post pandemic era, it will be in demand because of its unmatched benefits offered by the digital phenomenon. The gradual return of in-person events necessitates including a virtual element to accommodate prospects’ and marketers’ continually evolving preferences. Additionally, meetings, events, exhibitions, and conferences are enormous businesses that drive significant revenue generation opportunities for the hotel industry.

Hence, in the post-Covid world,  a hybrid event model incorporating dual benefits of in-person events with a global virtual audience inspires the hotel industry to reinvent a marketing strategy that caters to the varying customer preferences that will be in demand. To host large-scale corporate industry events with small-scale in-person attendance with a significantly larger virtual audience, following the health and safety protocols will be the powerful and agile hybrid model. Corporate hybrid events include Fireside Chats, Business Meetings, AGMs, Round Table Conferences, Product Launches, Roadshows, etc.

According to a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) study estimates that the number of hybrid meetings will double in 2021, with 65% of the event professionals showing keen interest in the hybrid model with the return of in-person events.

Creating Cutting-edge Tech Infrastructure: According to the  Marklectic report, 67% of the event organizers have faced technological challenges to deliver a seamless attendee experience. Therefore, the hybrid event strategy is imperative for the hotels to include strategic investments in cutting-edge IT infrastructure, including the latest audio-visual equipment, high-speed internet connectivity with large bandwidth, stable WiFi connection, and video conferencing capabilities with an event-friendly backdrop.

Operational Protocols for Health and Safety: The EventMB Research 2020 report showcased that 55% of the event marketers mentioned in-person delegates’ health and safety concerns as the topmost challenge in resuming in-person events.

Hosting a Covid safe event in hotels implement comprehensive health and safety protocols, aligning with the international safety standards to meet the in-person delegates’ expectations.

Following safe social distancing norms with staggering attendee arrivals and departures, attendees’ temperature check, configuring clutter-free venues, and leveraging outdoor spaces, where possible, are very important . Furthermore, safety precautions such as PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), contactless payment options, QR Codes, replacing printed marketing collaterals with digital documents, self-service counters, or packed meals in place of buffet dining are abundant.

Also, various hotel chains have collaborated with third-party organizations to create a brand committed to delivering a safe experience environment and becoming an event venue of choice.

Summing Up: Based on the PredictHQ research report the hotel industry is expected to witness an uneven yet robust recovery worldwide.

As the stakeholders are interested in attending in-person events, Covid safety protocols, including social distancing norms, restrict hotels from hosting a full-house attendance.

With the return of corporate industry events in the hybrid format, the hotel industry demonstrates resilience and adaptation to the evolving client preferences. With futuristic investments in state-of-the-art technology framework and adequate staffing and recruiting strategies focussing on creating a Covid safe hybrid event environment, the hotel industry lays the groundwork for much-needed recovery in the post-Covid era.

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