As we move further away from the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of professionals are more eager than ever to return to attending and hosting in-person events. Moreover, event planners are no exception. In fact, 96% are gearing up for an in-person event in 2022.
According to PredictHQ CEO and co-founder Campbell Brown, the people want what they want. He said, “There’s capital available, there is this pent-up demand, and there are these events being generated for people.”
Perhaps even more exciting, event management technology supports a contactless experience. Essentially, offering the safety of a virtual experience with a live one. What makes contactless safer, and why should you consider equipping your next in-person event with contactless capabilities?
With this in mind, we’ll explain this and share some strategies to help you leverage the contactless potential. In addition, we’ll show you how to elevate the in-person experience for your attendees.
A renewed interest in in-person events
In truth, most event planners have missed in-person events for various reasons. The social component is a big one and has the potential to see new things. For instance, if the event requires travel to an exciting new city. Above all, from a business perspective, it’s been tough to keep consumers interested – in a purely virtual world.
For example, it takes about 23 minutes for an attendee to lose focus during an in-person session. Thus, think about your last Zoom meeting – did you make it that long? Research suggests probably not. In fact, even if you’ve found yourself engaged in a virtual conference, many of us have grown weary of screens. Moreover, many are concerned about how much time we devote to them, both for business and pleasure.
According to The Internet and the Pandemic, published by the Pew Research Center, 40% of adults sometimes report feeling fatigued or worn out by video calls. In addition, 68% report that, while helpful, digital interactions are not a replacement for in-person contact.
While COVID-19 made digital interactions and virtual events a necessity, the online experience can be tiresome. Also, it sometimes feels sterile, which does not make for such meaningful memories as an in-person event.
The argument between in-person and virtual
Author and event industry professional, Kevin Van der Straeten, makes the distinction between virtual and in-person events crystal clear. Moreover, it is tough to argue with:
“In order to really get through to your audience, you need to provide them with a genuine experience. This is an experience that will linger long in their memory. Thus, if you can engage people’s emotions in this manner, you create long-term, sustainable relations. In addition, they will be quicker to pick up and accept your message. Therefore, the art of creating this kind of experience consists of the total concept of a high WOW! Factor.”
Likewise, when was the last time you felt truly WOW–ed by a virtual event? Same here which is why event planners are anxious to get back to planning and hosting in-person events as soon as possible.
Of course, after two years of social distancing, heaps of hand sanitizer, and long days wearing masks, many people remain hesitant. Similarly, they are even fearful of attending in-person events. Safety remains a paramount concern for organizers and attendees alike. In fact, 39% of event planners will require attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to gain entry. Today, a key component to successful in-person events requires reliable in-person technology like contactless capabilities.
Since the pandemic, many attendees have preferred contactless technology. Fortunately, contactless tools have come a long way, and the options available to you now are cutting-edge. The benefit of going contactless for your next event comes down to comfort and confidence for your attendees. You can provide peace of mind by offering contactless options which will in turn attract more participants.
Here, we detail four key contactless strategies that you can incorporate at your next in-person event to support everyone’s safety.
Make contactless count at your in-person event
Like anything else worth doing right, choosing to go contactless at your in-person event requires a commitment. Thus, event planners must ensure that they apply technology that makes a touch-free experience possible. Furthermore, following these four strategies, you’ll establish a tone that you take safety seriously for your attendees, staff, and volunteers. At the same time, it makes a statement that your brand is up to speed with cutting-edge contactless technology.
1. Make a contactless entry
Contactless check-in makes it possible for event organizers to create a safe event and it’s actually as simple as it sounds! Thus, contactless technology eliminates any physical exchange of paperwork or badges. As a result, using barcodes and scanners, attendees can secure their event documents without interacting with event staff. Additionally, contactless check-in includes serious time-saving compared to standing in the long lines typically required of the traditional check-in processes. In fact, our ExpressPass system allows for on-demand badge printing that reduces check-in time from minutes to mere seconds. To illustrate, when you opt for contactless check-in, you’re setting the tone for the event. Likewise, this puts attendees at ease right out of the gate — quite literally. In addition, event organizers also save money by reducing staff or reallocating them to more important matters.
2. Keep capacity in check
Although the social distancing guidelines have slowed, people may feel concerned about sitting too close to fellow attendees and they may still want to avoid spending time in an overcrowded room. Event organizers can use an attendee tracking app to confirm capacity, monitor attendance at sessions, and restrict admission when necessary. As a result, this is another step to ensure everyone’s safety. Lastly, it provides peace of mind so your attendees can focus on the event itself.
3. Collect funds, without contact
Contactless payment is a cinch, whether it’s the cost of admission or vendor products like snacks and beverages. Furthermore, it’s safer than exchanging crumpled-up cash with colleagues. Likewise, it eliminates the need to touch high-traffic surfaces like terminal pin pads to complete a transaction. Consider this: Paper money and coins change hands an average of 55 times annually, making germ transmission practically guaranteed. Equipping your event and your attendees with contactless payment alternatives helps maintain the hygienic expectations set by the pandemic.
4. Consider contactless collaboration
Event management software has evolved to make collaboration and communication with key players like sponsors and exhibitors accessible and contact-free. Likewise, you can avoid the hassle of assigning booths, updating exhibitor listings, and developing an interactive digital floor plan. In short, this makes scheduling in-person meetings and conversations easier. An even better perk is that you can connect with everyone by planning and using this software. Thus, get to get to know your exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees before the event. It’s an easy way to establish more robust networks.
Ready or not, in-person events are making a comeback and (hopefully!) are here to stay. While the decision to go contactless at your next event might feel daunting, Expo Logic is standing by with our event solutions.