The safety and wellbeing of attendees go beyond the design and delivery of an event. COVID-19 Safe Workplace Principles and COVIDSafe Guidelines for Business Events should also form part of the marketing process to ensure attendees, clients and other stakeholders feel safe when attending an event or brand experience.
As addressed in the FAQ section of our Events & Brand Experience Hub, Federal recommendations are actioned by individual states and territory governments as they have different restrictions in place (we feel you Melbourne). In NSW for example, new restrictions were introduced 24 July limiting corporate events to 150 people, subject to the four square metre rule.
Some of the requirements to be addressed as part of a COVID-19 safety plan include:
- The wellbeing of staff and attendees
- Physical distancing
- Hygiene and cleaning
- Record keeping
Along with the new health and safety requirements, there is an obvious societal shift in the way we perceive networking and social events. Understanding the fundamental mindset shift that has happened because of Coronavirus is critical and needs to be applied in the design of events and brand experiences,
Prior to the pandemic, we worked with Google to surprise AFL fans with a pop-up activation at Australia’s most iconic stadium, Melbourne’s MCG. On two of the biggest weekends of the season, we opened a ‘pie’ shop that gave AFL attendees a hands-on demo of the new Google Home Mini showcasing how easy it was to use and to get “a little help with the footy”.
As part of the experience, fans entered a sound-insulated booth, one at the time to interact with a Google Home Mini. They picked two AFL related questions from a list which they asked Google Assistant-powered device. This released a mystery box from a chute which contained either a Google Home Mini or a Four'N Twenty meat pie.
Some of the elements of this activation are great examples of formats that could be adapted to create events and brand experience that adhere to COVIDSafe regulations.
In our COVID-19 learning podcast series, we spoke with behavioural scientist, Kristen Berman to try to gain an understanding of the changes and challenges we might encounter.
“The premise of behavioural science, it is very hard to change someone’s behaviour or habits until you change their environment.”
Right now the opportunity to tap into these huge societal changes that are taking place. People are staying indoors, working from home, and practising social distancing and increased hygiene. This behaviour is likely to continue for the longer term.
Berman suggests that brands should take advantage of what is happening right now. “Brands have the ability to communicate differently… [people] are more receptive to change then we have ever been before.”
It’s hard to know what the coming months will look like but we do know that by following Government regulations and listening to health professionals, we can provide safe, comfortable environments for attendees. This will direct and alter the way we approach events and brand experiences from ideation to execution.