Understanding the Challenges of Event Professionals in the New Normal

As a professional speaker, I've worked closely with event planners, coordinators, and managers. I've seen first-hand the lengths they go to ensure that each event, be it a small corporate meeting or a large conference, runs smoothly and provides value to all participants.

Even before the pandemic, these individuals were unsung heroes, but their resilience, adaptability, and dedication have been nothing short of awe-inspiring during these challenging times. 

Things are opening up but there are still challenges for these professionals. Today, I want to shine a spotlight on these challenges, to foster understanding and empathy for those in the trenches, navigating the 'new normal'. 

The Rise of Hybrid Events

In the wake of the pandemic, we've seen the birth of hybrid events, One of the toughest aspects of a hybrid event is catering to two fundamentally different audiences: in-person attendees and virtual participants. Each group has distinct needs and expectations that event professionals, and the speakers that they engage, must meet to ensure a successful event. For example, in-person attendees may enjoy live networking opportunities, while online participants might require interactive features like chat boxes or polls to feel engaged.

Hybrid events demand a high level of technical sophistication. The AV needs for a hybrid event are significantly more complex than for a purely in-person or virtual event.

High-quality live streaming is essential for the online portion of the event. This requires robust internet connectivity, reliable streaming software, and professional-grade cameras, lighting, and microphones.

Even though most covid restrictions have been lifted, event professionals must be ever-vigilant for the health and safety of their in-person delegates.

Travel Uncertainties

Travel has not yet returned to pre-pandemic predictability and extreme weather, staff shortages, and computer systems, can quickly leave delegates, VIPs, and speakers stranded. Event professionals face the daunting task of planning around these uncertainties. I've witnessed the frustration and the disappointment when a keynote speaker or a significant portion of attendees can't make it due to sudden travel disruption. It's a testament to their resilience that they continue to find innovative solutions to these hurdles.

Budget Constraints

The financial impacts of the pandemic, the tech turndown, and the war in Ukraine have led to tighter budgets for many organizations. I've witnessed event professionals squeeze every ounce of value out of each dollar, delivering high-quality experiences with fewer financial resources. Their creativity in these situations is truly admirable.

Changing Attendee Expectations

In this new era, attendees demand more flexibility, safety, and value. Catering to these evolved expectations requires both adaptability and an empathetic understanding of these new needs. As a speaker, I've been humbled by the efforts made by event professionals to meet and exceed these expectations. Yes, the speakers get applause, but they wouldn't be on the stage if it hadn't been for the extent organizers.

In Conclusion

The post-COVID-19 era has indeed brought about numerous challenges for our event professionals. But witnessing their resilience, creativity, and adaptability in adversity is a reminder of their self-leadership, and the indomitable human spirit.

To all the event professionals out there, I see you, I appreciate you, and I thank you for your incredible work. Stay strong, stay adaptable, and keep inspiring.





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